Portfolio Review techniques

Recently, the team I have been working on is hiring for senior designers. And I went through all the portfolio review and design exercise parts. As an intern, I learned so much from those candidates, and I want to share all these useful points with you.

Portfolio Review

Every candidate starts from the portfolio review part. Before that, here are some tips you should prepare:

1.Don’t forget to bring your laptop

One of our candidate didn’t bring his laptop and got the impression of “not fully prepared”. Bring your laptop, open your slides, test everything before you get to start. This will leave a good impression for the interview.

2. Smile and Confident!

When you are presenting, always remember that your audiences are real people, not just machine. Speak slowly and clearly, make sure everyone can hear you and get you. Be confident: walk into every room like you own it. This will create a good presentation atmosphere and will bring a big bonus: the team will think you are those kind of people who is easy to collaborate and communicate. This is also considered into a cultural fit.

3.The presentation should be clear and logical

One of the candidates left a very deep impression on me. She presented her work with a very clear and logical flow:

-Introduced project background

-Tell us the difficulty and problems

-Tell us about your team and your contribution.

-Show design process: how to define the problem, how to do research, what kind of tools she used, what results came out, what she learned at the end.

-Deep dive into several important part: you can’t present the whole process, just pick those points which you think is important and deep dive into it. Remember that, very decision should be justified.

-Focus more on the problem-solving part: some candidates introduced a lot about the tools they used, but we are more willing to hear about how you solve problems.

4.Storytelling skill is important

One of the candidate is very competitive, but our team’s feedback is not so good to her. Her skills are very solid, but our team has doubt that if she is easy to get along with. “She’s work is definitely strong, but I don’t know why that it seems so boring” And my mentor even said that if we are a consulting firm, we won’t heir her. So what’s wrong with it? The candidate didn’t engage people very much, she just kept demonstrating her work. Here are some tips:

-Pay attention to the pace of the presentation: don’t start too long or end too quick.

-Pay attention to audience’s face, if they seem confused, ask question like “Does anyone have question?” or confirm if they have questions in the end of every section

-Create climax for a story

-Eye contact with audiences

-Add some humor(don’t pretend to be humor if you are not)


5.Prepared for questions

Be very familiar with your projects, people always have questions along the presentation. List all the possible questions and try to practice to see if you can answer all of them. Good answers to questions will validate your performance and your capability.


Some other things you should know…..

Before you apply for a job, read carefully about their job description. Team is also looking for people who fits them. For example, for your work is more strong at UI, maybe you should not consider a UX position, because it become hard for the team to position you.

Understand clear about yourself and understand about those jobs you want to apply is always an important thing.

Wish everyone can get a dream job 🙂