FASHION INTERVIEW PREP: WHAT'S IN MY PORTFOLIO? PT. I

 

After sending out your resume to various companies, you've finally landed an in-person interview. You're mentally preparing yourself, going over in detail various tasks and responsibilities you have managed and now you have to organize and present your collection of artworks to your future employer. In this part one post, I'll be focusing on giving 5 tips & advices when it comes towards editing and executing your physical portfolio.

 

When you're presenting your portfolio during interviews, some employers do tend to ask when was the last time you have updated your artwork. This question is crucial for them: they are trying to figure out if as a designer, your looks are relevant with the trends the industry is currently observing. 

Invest in a hard drive to back up any Illustrator/Photoshop files and always make sure you have original layers of online images in case you ever decide to make any changes or adjust a section of your collection. By keeping original separate layers in your adobe files (you can always hide them), you would definitely save some time especially for those immediate in-person interviews.

 

Most employers look for digital flats, the recoloring of original print artwork or previous tech packs and call-out pages but there are some that do like to see hand-sketched pieces. Of course, we're not mind-readers and we can only distinguish and dissect a job post to a certain extent. That is why as a designer and a potential employee, you have to cover every possibility that you may run to once you present your design collections at an interview. 

Plan out your presentation. Divide up your collections (normally in a portfolio, there are 3) and decide which sections you would like to focus on digitally and which you would like to have original hand sketches. 

Your portfolio isn't just to show case your artwork, your potential employer is also taking note of your thought process as well.

 

(Click on the image above to continue viewing further portfolio examples)

 

As a designer in the fashion industry, you wear multiple hats. You design, create digital flats, manage the petty cash (I did say you do wear multiple hats) and at times create CAD artworks. You're a semi-graphic artist. Out of the majority of interviews I have been in, some of them did focus on how well you can create an original digital artwork.

For one of your collections, create a couple of prints (a range from 3-5) in at least two color-ways and show the pattern repeat as well as a zoomed scaled version to see the little details that help compose your print. With that tactic, the employer knows you understand how to scale and create a print with the use of Adobe programs.

 
© THE FSHN CAREER-ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© THE FSHN CAREER-ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Fabric is important, especially the hand, appearance and quality of it. If you place your fabric page in a sheet protector, make sure you have easy access to remove the page or leave the fabric page without one and use a punch hole to attach it onto your portfolio binder. 

For my portfolio, I pasted the fabric onto the sheet protector for neatness and visual appeal. This method also provides easy access for the employer to touch the fabric and see the quality without the glares. 

 
 

My last piece of advice is very simple- resizing your portfolio from a tabloid (11" x17") to a letter (8.5"x 11") format distinguishes the recent grads from the industry veterans. Plus, if you're ever in a position where you have to go on an interview while you are currently employed, an 8.5 x 11 portfolio fits easily into your workbag. 

 

BONUS TIP: when executing your portfolio, decide which page orientation works best to show off your designs but you should also never mix the two.  

Completely stick to landscape or portrait. If you combine the two, it gets tedious and annoying when presenting your collection. Especially if your future employer is flipping through the pages themselves.

 

There you have it my viewers, hope these tips help you strengthen your portfolio's presentation and tune into next week's post where part two focuses on two separate portfolio segments- your e-portfolio and a mini-portfolio that includes your previous work projects. 

 

 

Thanks & Best,