Generally speaking, attending a job interview doesn’t tend to be at the top of anyone’s ‘Favourite Activities’ list. The effort required, nerves and pressure all contribute to what can be an uncomfortable experience. To top it all off, potential employers are now often asking candidates to complete an interview presentation as part of the recruitment process. As if it wasn’t stressful enough!
It’s OK, calm down! Do you want the lowdown on acing an interview presentation?
A lot can be learned about a candidate from an interview presentation. Depending on the role, the interviewer(s) will be assessing a wide range of skills and attributes. However, to give you an idea, here’s a list of questions whose answers become evident during an interview presentation:
Wow! This is why it’s so important to do an excellent job if you are asked to give a presentation in support of your job application.
Remember the following three points: preparation, practice and delivery. When it comes to smashing an interview presentation, these three aspects are your best friends. We’ve put together a guide to help you make the most of your presentation.
It’s always easier to tackle a project when you have all of the facts. When you are given the presentation requirements, write them down and clarify anything you’re unsure of. Find out who is going to be in the room, too.
Your competitors will also be doing a presentation. So, yours needs to stand out (for the right reasons). Try to think creatively about what you want to say and how to sell yourself during your presentation. Get ideas from friends or relatives, too!
Once you know what you want to say, it’s time to figure out how you want to put your key points across. How will you give the presentation? How are you going to structure it? How will you use this as an opportunity to show that you’re THE person for the job?
The interviewer will be able to tell how much time and effort you put into your presentation. Take the time to do all of the research you need and to make any slideshows or other visual aids look polished. Ensure your presentation has a clear introduction, main body and conclusion. Don’t let anyone in the interview question your preparation or commitment.
Rehearse delivering your presentation to make sure that you walk into the interview ready to go. There’s nothing worse than a presentation being given by someone who clearly has no idea what’s in it! Practicing in front of others beforehand is a great way to boost your confidence. However, avoid learning a script as this can come across as awkward or unnatural.
However you choose to present, it needs to look good. That being said, make sure it’s relevant. Unless you’re applying for an IT/creative role, your slideshow doesn’t need to be a technological masterpiece. No over-animated extravaganzas with theme music, please! A professional, polished and uncomplicated approach to any slideshow or other visual aid is often best.
Nerves can make us do some funny things! In a presentation, they can cause you to speak too fast, use too many gestures and avoid eye contact. In some cases, certain individuals try to overcompensate by being a little too confident. If you’re nervous, remember that the interviewers want you to do well. You got to this stage because they think you could be the person for the job, you’re just there to prove them right!
No one wants to hire a robot. (Well, not yet anyway.) So, it’s important to connect with everybody in the room during your interview presentation. Your body language says it all; smile, make regular eye contact and stand tall! If the room’s engaged and like you, that’s half the battle won.
Acing interviews is all about making people remember you. Providing a handout or something physical that your audience can keep is a great way to do that. This helps you to build a connection, too, because the interviewer(s) will feel like you’ve given them something.
Try to anticipate any questions you may be asked. Although this is hard, knowing your facts and your material well will help you to tackle anything that’s thrown at you. If you’re asked questions during or at the end of your presentation, answer them confidently, honestly and concisely.
An interview presentation doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, if you’re confident that you know what you’re doing, such a presentation can be the perfect opportunity to show your interviewer what you’ve got!