Portfolio for an Interview?

  1. 0
    Hi, I'm looking for some interview advice.

    Recently I secured an interview in a large healthcare organization for a Childbirth Education Supervisor. Though the title is "supervisor" the job description reads more like a "director." The position is considered a nursing leadership position and is a newly created position.

    My clinical background is Labor and Delivery and I've managed various programs now for at least 2 years.

    I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to have a portfolio of my work that I have done: my programs and other accomplishments that aren't necessarily highlighted in my resume.

    Any thoughts? I'm really excited about this position.
  2. 38 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Susy,
    I am only a nursing student with three more semesters to go but.... we were told from the start to keep a portfolio of all accomplishments for just such an occasion. We were told that it would show our organizational skills as well as our accomplishments and experience. We were also told to get letters of recomendation from instructors and professors who's classes we enjoyed and excelled in. This could be done for the areas in which you worked. I do know that it is a good way to keep track of where you have been in your career and things that you might not find important may make the difference between getting that job and them passing you by for someone else who might have that portfolio at the interview..... or at least that is what they have drilled into us during our freshman nursing courses...... GOODLUCK!!
    Sally

    Quote from Susy K
    Hi, I'm looking for some interview advice.

    Recently I secured an interview in a large healthcare organization for a Childbirth Education Supervisor. Though the title is "supervisor" the job description reads more like a "director." The position is considered a nursing leadership position and is a newly created position.

    My clinical background is Labor and Delivery and I've managed various programs now for at least 2 years.

    I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to have a portfolio of my work that I have done: my programs and other accomplishments that aren't necessarily highlighted in my resume.

    Any thoughts? I'm really excited about this position.
  4. 0
    When I challenged the clinical portion for my BSN, I had to make a portfolio. It was a huge pain, but when it was done, it was pretty darn cool. Now I add everything to it, I keep all job descriptions and copies of evals (so hard to go back and get them after the fact), and it has several letters that make me sound great.

    I have often take it on interviews, but I have never had a reason to actually whip it out. Go for it.
  5. 0
    Yes, absolutely! The interview is your chance to market yourself, your knowledge and your skills. Your portfolio is an effective way to do just that. Best of luck with your interview.

    Linda
  6. 0
    Oh cool Suzy! It sounds like a great compliment being asked to interview; I hope you get the position! Warmest thoughts, wishes, and prayers that it happens to work out for the best.

    I have often thought of some sort of portfolio too. I am sure you have a lot of extra training, seminars, and experience that would give a fuller picture of who you are and what else you have to offer. Great idea that you should act upon.

    Again, good luck!

    night
  7. 0
    Thanks for the replies and based on your feedback, I'm going to assemble one! My interview is next week Wednesday (for 4 hours!)
    Thank you for the well wishes!
  8. 0
    I've interviewed lots of people for leadership positions and this is my perspective from that perspective:

    A portfolio can be helpful if it is done well -- but not if it is done badly.

    1. Make the portfolio IN ADDITION TO the other parts of your application not INSTEAD OF the standard stuff. You should have a good, complete resume both sent to the employer in advance with your application and also a couple of copies with you to distribute with anyone who didn't get a copy.

    2. Think ahead of time about what you may want to leave with the interview to look over later and what you will take with you when you leave. When people bring a big portfolio with them for the interviewer and don't plan on leaving it with the interviewer, the interviewer is stuck having to choose between reviewing the portfolio and actually conducting the interview as planned. That can be awkward and irritating to the interviewer. They have an agenda for the interview they would like to complete and you have disrupted it by giving them this portfolio they must review quickly before you take it away.

    So ... you might want to make a small sample of your work, or an indepth resume including a few examples, that you plan on leaving with the interviewer to review at his/her convenience. That lets the actual interview procede as the interviewer would like to. Don't forget to make multiple copies for multiple interviewers.

    3. Don't get "corny" or "cutsy" with your portfolio. That's not what they are looking for. I think you know that, Suzy, but I have seen new grads come in with big notebooks that seem more appropriate for a high school assignment than for a professional job application. So I thought I should include that advice for the benefit of other readers. :-)

    Good luck. I hope you find a job that makes your graduate education worthwhile! ;-)

    llg
  9. 0
    Thanks for the suggestion, llg.

    Actually, I have a few more questions. I guess I'm not even certain what to include.
    I've designed a few original marketing/branding logos for specific education programs, designed a system-wide handout on nursing research that was distributed and design our newsletter. Are those things I could include? Also, how do I present them? In paper folders, stapled together...?

    Also, my thesis is on prenatal education and the Hispanic population. While it's far from completed, I do have a rough three chapters thrown together. Should I prepare an abstract of sorts?

    I'd really like to interview well for this job. I know age shouldn't really be considered in interviewing, but I appear very young for my age (I'm 31 but seriously look about 23) and sometimes I think that could be perceived as inexperience or immaturity. I write, speak and carry myself well, but sometimes I think I have to go the "extra" bit to overcome that youthfulness. Especially if this is a leadership position...

    Any other suggestions?
    Last edit by Susy K on Jul 21, '04
  10. 0
    As for the age thing, I would make sure the interviewers know your actual age by working it into the conversation in some way -- or by having it clearly visible on your resume and portfolio. Sometimes you can work that kind of information into a discussion of strengths/weaknesses or career goals and previous experiences ("Since my graduation from nursing school 8 years ago ...") Of course, I know you will dress appropriately, and not too youthful.

    I think the 1-page abstract of your research would be VERY appropriate. "I thought you might like to see this ..." since the topic is so relevant to the position. In fact, that might be the one thing that you leave with each interviewer. If that is the case, it can be on a simple sheet of paper with no cover or anything. I would think that if you are only going to leave 1 or 2 things with each interviewer, they could be plain. I would only leave those few things that are most relevant.

    If you have a few other things you would like to show -- but not necessarily leave with each interviewer -- you might gather them in a plain folder or binder, and leave one copy with the primary interviewer. This is where you have to be careful. Leaving 2 or 3 small things is OK, leaving a bunch is probably not (because it will make you look wierd -- and nobody wants to hire somebody who is wierd.) I would choose only those things that pertain directly to the job for which you are applying. For example, if the position is primarily managerial, they may not care too much about the artistic creativity you used in an educational program. They would be more interested in your program implementation and evaluation skills. Keep the stuff pertinent, pertinent, pertinent and presented as un-ostentatiously as possible.

    It's not so much about making a big production of it, but of quietly showing that you have the substance to do the job well.

    Those are just the thoughts off the top of my head,
    llg
  11. 0
    As far as the abstract, since I haven't began collecting data so far, should I just provide what I have so far?
    Title, question, background, etc?

    Thanks so much for your advice; it is extremely helpful. I was just talking to a colleague today who is also near completed with her MS degree and hopes to be a CNS in OB/GYN. She also looks real young (of course, her dress doesn't help her much) and I passed along your advice.


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