Re: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio

Subject: Re: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 13:49:24 -0800

Dan Hall wrote:

You can get a much better idea of a person's ability by asking questions (again, IMO).
Most interviewers, I suspect, have the same belief. However, given that most interview techniques have only a slightly better than random chance of hiring an acceptable applicant, I also suspect that, in many cases the belief is out of sync with reality (I say nothing, of course, of whether that's so in your case).

I've seen all sorts of attitudes towards portfolios, from complete indifference to focusing on nothing else. Once, I even turned down a job based largely on the way that the interviewer flipped through my portfolio; the disdain with which he managed to invest the simply act of turning a page was unparalleled, although the cubicle gulag I passed through on the way to an interview may have been a factor, too.

I generally make a point of carrying a portfolio and of showing parts of it for a couple of reasons. First, I think it shows that I'm prepared and organized, and these aren't bad impressions to leave behind. Second, there are usually points about my experience that I want to make, and those points generally carry more weight if I can illustrate them in a concrete way. The way that I see things, I can't go too far wrong with showing my portfolio (unless I go on too long and bore the interviewer to death), and at best the portfolio has landed me several contracts. It's just another advantage to have in an interview. It's not always decisive, but if a bit of preparation can improve my chances, why not do it?

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

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RE: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio: From: Dan Hall

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