RE: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio

Subject: RE: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio
From: "Dan Hall" <dhall -at- san-carlos -dot- rms -dot- slb -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 14:07:02 -0600

Excellent points, Bruce.

I do expect a portfolio (and bring one when I'm the
interviewee) but I don't give it as much weight as
the actual interview. I agree that it's safe to assume
an interviewee who didn't bring one wasn't prepared.

I'd be the last to suggest I'm infallible (and you can
probably hear the sound of coworker voices murmuring
in agreement) but I do tend to rely on responses to
questions over samples. Perhaps because I tend to have
a slightly distrustful streak (burned once) when it
comes to the actual authorship of portfolio materials.
Also, it seems more difficult to copy someone else's
answers to interview questions than to copy their
written work. :)

The idea that your portfolio materials provide talking
points is a good one. I think that if I had a relevant
sample, it'd be an excellent way to address a specific
question about technique (or whatnot.)

Points to ponder.


It is the mark of an educated mind to rest satisfied with
the degree of precision which the nature of the subject
admits and not to seek exactness where only an
approximation is possible. - Aristotle

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-72045 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-72045 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Bruce
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2002 3:49 PM
Subject: Re: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio

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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- Tom Holt, "Nothing But Blue Skies"

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Re: job interview question: ethical issues about portfolio: From: Bruce Byfield

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