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Even in this age of free access to information, there still exists things not many people know about and think about. When we speak about acing a job interview, a hidden ace in your sleeve could be work portfolio, sometimes called also an interview portfolio.

When speaking about this document, the important fact is that 98 of 100 job seekers will not bring anything like that to the job interview. So having such a portfolio, you will  stand out from the crowd in positive terms.

What more, we people are visual beings. To see something is very different for us, compared to hearing something. Our visual memory is also better. We will remember your achievements and experiences better when we see it on a paper, with pictures ideally… Visualization is a strong weapon used by marketers all around the world. So why couldn’t you use it in the job interview?

While other candidates will just speak about what they have done and achieved in the past, you will show it in your portfolio, with nice appropriate pictures confirming your words. It’s not a big difference at the logical level, but it is a huge difference at an emotional level. And that’s exactly why you should know how to prepare a portfolio and have it on you.


Nice interview portfolio in red leatherIf only from the two above mentioned reasons, interview portfolio is a strong weapon in your hands. You can easily ace your next job interview with it.  So let’s talk a bit more about it.


What is your interview portfolio?

Your work portfolio is a collection of best samples of your work and achievements, in printed form, with pictures. Nothing less, nothing more.


For example,

  • If you are working as a chef and applying for a job of a chef, you can include things like written recipes of your specialties, restaurant reviews where you have worked, training certificates and inspection reports. (Of course, tasting samples of your specialties is a must for anyone hiring a chef.) You can include also your chef certificates, and anything other that demonstrates your abilities in this particular area.
  • If you are construction worker, you can include in your portfolio photos of the buildings you have worked on during construction and close ups of your construction techniques, a list of projects you have worked on, records that illustrate your ability to meet deadlines and maintain high levels of safety, as well as your training certificates, diplomas, etc.
  • If you are an estate agent, you should include reports of your yearly sales, photos of buildings that you have successfully sold during last years,  recommendations from the clients. You can even include photo of you sitting in the office calling to someone, so interviewers can imagine you doing the same in their office.  Exactly that imagination is a power of visualization and can help you so much in a sales interview.


What else you should include in your interview portfolio? There is a great video on this topic on YouTube, just have a look at it:


applicant is showing her working portfolio to the employerYou should bring it with you to every single job interview. People who take their interview preparation very serious, have even more portfolios. Now do not take us wrong. They do not have fake portfolios… They just have more portfolios, each of them presenting different aspects of their working career, each of them suiting different category of jobs.

They simply take with them the most appropriate interview portfolio to every single job interview.


Several good rules about creating a portfolio

  • Pay special attention to the quality of the portfolio and its design. Portfolio represents not only your working experiences and achievements, but also your sense for detail, your marketing and presentation and communication skills. Do not forget about it…
  • Do not leave your interview portfolio to the interviewers. Show it to them and then take it with you. The best portfolios are pieces of art. It will be not very cost effective if you leave one in every job interview…
  • Try to make it quite simple, include not more than 15 pages. Try to avoid having there too much text, rather include more pictures – do not forget, the visualization is what matters here. If your interview portfolio has 100 pages (I have already seen such portfolios, believe or not), it can easily happen that recruiters spend all the interview just looking into it. And after you can wonder why they do not remember anything you told there… This should just support you in your job interviews. It shall not and it can not do the whole work for you.
  • Be unique. Do you have any special ideas for creating your interview portfolio? What about including one special page that declares your future professional goals? And what if these goals will be “accidentally”  connected to the job you are just applying for? What do you think, will it impress the interviewers? I bet it will… and you can change this last page before every interview!


Creating good unique portfolio takes some time and effort. But if you create it, it will strongly boost your chances of succeeding in job interviews. So, what are you still waiting for? Let’s start creating your interview portfolio right now.

As reading this article, you might be interested also in:

The general job interview preparation tips , or what questions to ask employers in a job interview.  Be well prepared and get the job!

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