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Top tips for a stand-out interview presentation
7 tips for a stand-out interview presentation
It’s second-interview time, and they’ve asked you to present - but how do you show what you know without sending people to sleep with your slides? We asked a presentation expert, David Bliss, to reveal his top tips.
The phenomenon of ‘death by PowerPoint’ is one of those things that we all agree is a bad thing – but, when interview nerves strike, it can be all too easy to hide behind our decks. The result is usually some unpalatable combination of too many slides, tiny fonts and unimaginative imagery.
In the course of our daily work, where decks are produced often and on the fly, some of these excesses may be forgivable. But at an important job interview, where you need to perform at your very best, your presentation needs to be up to the mark too. We asked David Bliss, presentation guru and director of training company Edison Red, for his top tips on slide design and presenting at interview…
Keep the interviewer engaged, make them think and question.
This is as much about how you fit with them as them fitting with you. Think of your presentation as one half of a conversation that you will lead, rather than a monologue where you will bludgeon them with facts and statistics. You need to take your listener(s) with you, get them participating in the argument or story you are developing.
Always consider the 80/20 rule of engagement.
Of course, you want to create some impact and gain attention, but that needs to be backed up by substance. So, aim for 20% of your slides and talk to be thought-provoking and challenging, and the remaining 80% to be insightful or informative. Keep this balance all the way through so your audience keeps listening and is then rewarded for their attention with new knowledge. Remember that only when people are listening are they able to gain any understanding.
When you’re building slides, think simplicity.
You only have to look at Apple to see that true simplicity comes from real intelligence. It takes a lot of work to craft a simple idea – a lot of time thinking about what to leave out, and how to distil everything down to one great point or example rather than an under-confident handful. Use your imagination - no one wants to see another light bulb representing creative thinking!
Get them glancing.
A good slide should work on the principle of ‘glance technology’, just like a billboard. Essentially, you want your listener to glance, get interested, and then move to you, the speaker, for greater depth.
Less is more.
When it comes to slides, think ‘1 slide = 1 message’. This will give you greater control over the subject, and you can stay on each as little or as long as you like. Remember, too, that not every point needs to be backed up with a slide.
Never give away the story.
You’d be annoyed if the last chapter of the book you were reading was revealed on page three. This is why bullet points often hinder rather than help – your audience reads on and gets to the punchline ahead of you. Your slides should leave your listener wanting more.
Morph for impact.
Microsoft’s recent PowerPoint addition of the new transition tool Morph is a game changer. Morph allows you to move and enlarge, shapes, pictures and text with one simple movement. What used to take hours now takes minutes, making your slides look like the work of the marketing team - but take care not to overdo it.
Now that you’ve got your presentation sorted, find out how to maximise the first five minutes of your interview .
Download the Complete Interview Guide
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How to maximise the first five minutes of your interview
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5 Steps to Acing Your Interview Presentation
Hot jobs on the muse.
As if a job interview isn’t stressful enough , now you’ve been asked to give a presentation as part of the process.
Well, considering that an interview is a chance for your potential employer to fully assess your abilities, it’s no surprise. Giving a presentation allows you to share your public speaking skills, knowledge of a specific topic, ability to stay calm under pressure, and more. And this is a good thing! After all, a well-developed and delivered presentation can let you shine like nothing else.
The flip side, though, is that a poor presentation can have a tremendously damaging effect on your chances of landing the job. So, how do you make sure that your presentation is flawless?
Try these steps for interview presentation success.
1. Know What You’re Working With
As soon as you’re asked to give a presentation, start by asking the hiring manager a few questions. Learn more about the topics you should present on, see how much time you’ll have, and ask what technology, if any, you’ll have access to.
It’s particularly important to ask to whom you’ll be presenting. What is the knowledge or expertise level of the audience? Will they be your colleagues, your bosses, or your potential clients? Knowing this will help you determine how to pitch your presentation, what focus you should take, and what tone would be most appropriate.
2. Start With a Structure
Once you’ve identified the purpose and key message of your presentation, you can start to structure it. Developing a clear structure will help you stay on point and help your audience follow you.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have the basic components of a well-structured presentation, including a captivating introduction, a compelling argument in the body, and a memorable conclusion. But this is an interview, and you want to impress your audience. No matter what you’re talking about, weave in examples of your skills and abilities , recommendations of how you would tackle a project for the company, or some other way of connecting your experience with what the employer needs.
One of the best presentations I’ve seen tied all the above together. The candidate’s presentation was so well-organized that it felt like a story, and the hiring committee was along for the ride. The story included how she got started in her line of work and what her interest in the company was. It ended with the candidate sharing her vision for the department she was hoping to lead, complete with ideas for new programs and innovative ways to reach new clients.
3. Prepare Aids
No matter how exceptional a public speaker you are, most presentations benefit from a little help. Use a presentation tool (PowerPoint or Prezi are great tools to familiarize yourself with) to highlight the key points you want to get across. But don’t rely on these—it’s called “Death by PowerPoint” for a reason. Besides, you want your audience to be focusing on you and what you’re saying, not your PowerPoint design.
A good rule of thumb is to treat each slide as you would a sign on the highway—just enough information to catch someone’s attention, but not so much that you distract people.
Also consider preparing handouts for the audience to keep—they can serve as a reminder of you and your presentation. Similar to slides, your handouts should call back to your key concepts and points, giving audience members exactly the information you want them to remember.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Once your presentation is structured and written, rehearse it. Practice it often, in front of other people if you can, or record yourself practicing. Ask for feedback, and incorporate that feedback into your edits.
You’ll especially want to look out for nervous habits—saying “like” and “um,” for example, or fidgeting, which makes your audience nervous for you. While you don’t have to memorize your presentation, you should run through it enough times so that you’re comfortable with it and can consciously avoid these habits.
Another presentation that really sticks out in my mind was from a young woman who was so nervous she could barely get a full sentence out. She kept her eyes down, looking at her notes the entire time. And even then, she stumbled over her words and got lost in her presentation. It was uncomfortable, and it was clear that she had not spent much time becoming familiar with her presentation. She was certainly memorable—but for all the wrong reasons.
5. Ace the Delivery
A solid delivery of your presentation begins before you even walk in the room. In other words, don’t forget the interview basics: dressing professionally, carrying yourself with confidence, and wearing a smile on your face.
Also pay attention to your body language when giving your presentation. You should be standing, not sitting down, as you speak. A great way to stand out from other candidates is to step out from behind the podium or a desk, bringing yourself out in front of the audience so they can see you, your gestures, and your stance.
As you’re giving your presentation, speak with confidence and authority. Make eye contact with different members of the audience to draw them in and engage them in what you’re saying. Remind yourself to take a few deep breaths at various points—this will help you stay calm, and will also naturally slow your speech a bit (most people tend to speak quickly when giving a presentation).
Presentations are always nerve-wracking, but remember that the audience wants you to succeed. The hiring committee invited you in because they probably think you have something to offer, and they want to see more. Follow the steps above, and show them exactly what that is.
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How to Deliver a Winning Interview Presentation
Written by: Unenabasi Ekeruke
The average corporate job opening receives about 250 resumes . To find the most suitable candidates, many companies make interview presentations a decisive part of their hiring process.
Whether you're looking to switch jobs or move up the ladder in your organization, a well-crafted interview presentation might be the key to landing your next role.
Interview presentations give you a chance to pitch your skills and showcase your knowledge about the position. Delivering an exceptional presentation will put you a step ahead of other candidates.
But how do you make your interview presentation stand out?
In this article, we've rounded up the best tips for preparing and delivering a winning interview presentation that will help you stand out and land you the job.
Let's get to it.
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Table of Contents
What is an interview presentation, what employers look for in an interview presentation, how to prepare for your interview presentation.
- 11 Interview Presentation Tips to Help You Stand Out
In many industries, interview presentations help recruiters pick the best candidate for the job.
They also help managers gauge a candidate's presentation skills, especially if the job role involves pitching to clients or top management.
Interview presentations often involve presenting formal talks about subjects that interest recruiters. These subjects could be directly related to your job role or the industry your prospective organization operates in.
Your interview presentation could potentially revolve around topics like:
- Emerging trends and innovations in a particular industry
- Competitive landscape and future predictions
- Business, operations and marketing strategies
- Improving sales and customer retention
It could also be about pitching your work experience, ideas and why you're the best fit for the role.
Let's say you're interviewing for a high-level position in the sales and marketing department. You may be asked to pitch the company's product or services to prospects or do these things:
- Predict trends in the industry where the company operates
- Talk about how the current market trend may affect sales for a particular line of products
- Present a marketing plan for your prospective role
Below is an interview presentation template that you can edit and use.
Sometimes, prospective employers may give you specific topics in advance, giving you ample time to prepare.
At other times, you may have to make blind presentations. This means you'll get topics shortly before the presentation and may have limited time to prepare.
Whatever be the case, nailing your interview presentations will up your chances of landing your new role.
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Take a moment to think about your best job interview.
Why did your employer choose to hire you ahead of other candidates? You probably ticked all the right boxes in terms of skills, experiences, education, personality and other factors.
But most importantly, it's how you presented your skills, capabilities and knowledge about the role that probably blew their minds.
At every stage of the hiring process, employers look for outstanding candidates who measure up to their expectations. These expectations may differ based on the job role, industry and organizational structure.
However, on a general note, recruiters will readily opt for candidates who:
- Understand the organization and its line of business
- Know their job role and what's expected
- Understand the company mission and will fit into the company culture
- Show passion, ambition and leadership qualities
- Demonstrate the ability to use their skills and experience to drive the company forward
- Know how to communicate and present in front of a small or large group of people
What specific presentation skills do employers look for?
Excellent presentation skills are a must-have for most client-facing roles or high-level positions. Therefore, asking a candidate to make presentations during interviews can help companies assess whether they can deliver on the job.
Not only that, interview presentations provide deeper insight into your abilities and skills, such as:
- Presentation design skills
- Verbal and written communication style
- The ability to hook, engage and interact with your audiences
- Ability to deliver the message with clarity
- Diligence and attention to details
- Work experience and sector knowledge
- Ability to read and interpret the mindset of listeners
- Use of visual aids
- Time management and organization skills
For a blind presentation, the employer may want to feel your pulse or perspective on issues or take notice of things like:
- The ability to think on your feet
- How you perform under pressure
- How persuasive and creative you can be
Ultimately, the recruiter is also checking to see if you meet the core competencies for the job. Therefore, make sure to revisit them during the blind presentation.
Beyond landing the job, getting it right with your presentation can set the tone for further engagements with your colleagues and top management.
Preparation is one of the keys to delivering an excellent interview presentation.
Once you've received the details about the interview, don't leave your preparation till the last minute or assume you can wing it. Use the days leading up to the interview to put the necessary things in place.
Here's what you should know. Preparing for your interview presentation puts you in control and increases your chances of securing the job.
Unfortunately, knowing how to prepare for interviews may be a big challenge for many people.
But we've got you covered.
Use these tips below to get yourself interview-ready.
1. Ask the Right Questions
Whether you receive a phone call or email about your interview, ensure you're clear about the details. Rather than make sweeping assumptions, go ahead and do these things:
- Find out what your prospective employers expect from you.
- Ask if you'll get a topic before the presentation date or if it's a blind presentation. Also, find out if you'll be allowed to choose from a list of topics.
- Find out who your audience will be (recruitment agencies, HR, supervisors, top-level management).
- Ask how many people will be present at the interview.
- Make sure to ask how long the presentation will last. Having a timeframe will help you decide what to add or delete from the presentation.
- Find out if they have a preferred presentation style.
- Ask what technical equipment and presentation tools will be available.
- Find out whether there'll be provision for sound, audio and visuals.
By asking these questions, you'll know what recruiters expect from you and align your presentation to match their needs. Plus, they'll judge your suitability for the role based on how you pay attention to the finest details.
2. Research the Company and the Position Before the Interview
Now you have answers to the fundamental questions, go ahead and research the company and the position you've applied for.
That's not all. Find out the industry the company operates, the major players and where the company ranks within the industry.
Doing this will enable you to:
- Structure your presentation and
- Interpret your job role within the context of the industry where the company operates.
For example, if you're an accounting professional, it's not enough to understand general accounting principles.
You'll have to understand what your role entails within the context of the industry you'll be working in. It could be oil and gas, mining, tech, construction, health, finance or entertainment.
Here are other things you should find out during your research.
Company Vision, Mission and Goals
Find out the company's history, what they stand for and their area of interest. It's also a good idea to research their major competitors and how they've fared in the market.
But how do you find this valuable information?
The company's website and social media channels are good starting points. News, blogs and third-party sites can provide more information about what the company has been up to.
Having this essential info will help you:
- Determine subjects relevant to the company and the area you should focus on,
- Tailor your interview presentation to their needs and
- Impress your potential employers.
Not only that, but it also shows you're prepared to be part of that organization's culture.
Part of your research should be to find out who is going to be interviewing you. One way to get that information is by asking the company's HR or using your intuition.
For example, if you're applying for a sales and marketing position, the marketing, sales and HR managers will most likely be on the interview panel.
Next, find out their interests and job responsibilities. Platforms like LinkedIn , Meetup , Indeed and other job boards can come in handy.
You might want to take note of their experience levels.
Professionals with different experience levels have varying concerns.
For example, while top management may care about your administrative or leadership abilities, a team lead may be more interested in your technical or problem-solving skills.
If you focus on what matters most to your audience, you'll attract their interest and win them over.
3. Structure Your Interview Presentation
If you want to keep your audiences hooked to your slides, ensure your presentation is well-structured.
Doing this will keep you on track and prevent your audience from zoning out of your presentation.
Here's how to create an excellent presentation structure.
In its simplest form, a well-structured presentation should have an introduction, body and conclusion.
- Compelling introduction: Your introduction should briefly sum everything about you, your presentation objectives and why it's relevant to your audience. You can ask a question, tell a story, share facts or use humor to spark interest.
- Engaging body: This is where you present the main details of your topic. Make sure to back your argument with facts or a wealth of information that shows that you're the best candidate for the job. Talk about the company goals and how you'll help to achieve them.
- Memorable conclusion: Here, you should present your key takeaways about the topic. Likewise, briefly reiterate your skills, experience, expertise, past achievements and why they should hire you.
You can use presenter notes to ensure you stick to the structure. Throughout your presentation, keep your message clear. Plus, make sure every part of your presentation relates to the topic.
Check out this article for more tips on how to structure your presentation .
Structure your interview presentation to make it appealing and impactful like the one below.
4. Pay Attention to Design
Remember, first impressions count. And your interview presentation isn't an exception to this rule. Excellent presentation designs help you create an impactful first impression on your interviewers.
Think of your design as the aesthetic element that etches your presentation in your viewer's minds and sways them in your favor.
Whether you're pitching the company's product or your resume, having flawless interview presentation designs will help you tell stories better.
Not only does it create a memorable impression, but it also makes your presentation pack a punch.
You can start from scratch or jumpstart your creativity with interview presentation examples like the one below.
While creating your presentation slides , here are some things you should keep in mind:
Keep It On-Brand
Try to tailor your presentation design (font, color scheme, background, image) to the company's identity and visual language. Companies like Starbucks, Skype, Spotify and Netflix provide brand guidelines on their website.
Brand guidelines generally contain a set of rules on using the company’s branding elements. If the company doesn't have a brand guide, you can use the colors on their logo or website for your slide design.
Interviewers will most likely focus on a presentation designed in their organization's brand format. And doing this will show you've done your research about the company.
Pro Tip: Use Visme's Brand Design Tool to automatically generate a branded presentation template with your employer's logo, colors and fonts. Simply enter in the URL to their website and watch the magic happen!
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Use Lots of White Space
Avoid cluttering your interview presentation slides with too many ideas, text or images. This could overwhelm your audience and make your presentation a pain in the eyes.
When designing a clean and effective presentation, it's important to use lots of white space. Don't use more than six words per slide . Stick to one idea and a minimum of two images per slide.
Use High-Quality Images
Be sure to use high-quality visuals that drive an emotional appeal.
Better yet, every visual you use should have a purpose behind it. If you're presenting an overview of yourself, it makes sense to use a nice, high-quality headshot of yourself. Take a cue from the interview presentation sample to create yours.
Even if you're using stock photos to spice up your slides, make sure the images are carefully selected to balance the text on each slide and are relevant to the topic that's being discussed.
Using low-quality, irrelevant or pixelated images can not only make your presentation boring, but it can also negatively impact your image and make you come across as careless or lazy.
Make Your Slides Easy to Read
When selecting fonts and sizing them, use fonts that are readable on small and large screens. Stick a font size of 36 pixels for titles and at least 30 pixels for body text.
Additionally, to make your message pop, maintain a solid contrast between your text and background. If you use a dark background, use a white font color and vice versa. You can grab inspiration from the job interview presentation sample below.
In the template above, notice how the dark text color pops vibrantly on the white background. Additionally, the fonts are legible enough for readers to digest the message in the slide.
If you want to learn more about making your slide designs shine, read our in-depth article on how to create good presentation design .
5. Use Charts and Graphs to Visualize Data
As mentioned before, sprawling text and bullets aren't enough to drive visual appeal. You need to use visual aids to break up text and boost visual appeal.
By using a range of formats like graphs, statistics, diagrams , video clips and images, you can easily maintain audience attention and get your points across.
Notice how the job interview presentation sample below uses data visualization to present information.
Are you looking for high-resolution visuals for your interview presentations?
If the answer is yes, Visme's presentation maker has everything you need. The tool has a robust library of free and premium stock images, elegant fonts, icons, graphs, charts, infographics and other visual aids.
6. Keep Your Presentation Clear, Unique and Impactful
When it comes to making presentations, less is more.
As a presenter, you want recruiters to glance at your slide, gain interest and listen to you. Hence it's best to keep your slide short and simple, aiming for ten slides or less.
Be careful not to load too much information on your slides or break off tangents that don't support your topic.
Just like you, other applicants are looking to give an impressive presentation. Make your presentation memorable and unique. This will convince your employer that you are the ideal candidate for the job.
One way to make your presentation unique is by:
- Creating a simulated project or demo
- Using case studies related to the company's operations
- Creating a strategic plan for your intended role or department
- Depicting how you would use your skills to achieve the desired project goals
If you're doing a job presentation for a marketing position, for example, you can create a detailed strategic plan that wins the heart and minds of your interviewers using the template below.
7. Practice Your Delivery
Your interview presentation is a critical stage in the recruiting process. And having an excellent delivery will solidify your chances of getting the job.
However, having a flawless delivery starts with practice, practice and more practice.
For example, Steve Jobs was one of the most phenomenal speakers of his time. His keynotes and demos were compelling and filled with passion and energy.
But if you pull back the curtain, you'll realize why presentations were magical. What seemed spontaneous took hours and hours of practice.
Here's the thing. Rehearsing your presentation beforehand will help avoid babbling or being caught off guard.
Not only that, practice will make you become confident, familiar with the outline or structure and deliver your presentation smoothly.
How do you practice your interview presentation?
First off, deliver your presentation in front of a mirror and record yourself while you're at it. Repeat this as many times as possible and watch out for mistakes that could hurt your presentation.
Next, practice your presentation before your friends and ask them to take notes. Doing this will enable you to get feedback or work on areas that require improvements.
Encourage them to provide detailed feedback rather than general feedback like: "you did well" or "great design".
Before presenting his first TED Talk, author and business podcaster Tim Ferriss practiced his presentation with a group of friends and strangers. He went ahead to incorporate their feedback and suggestions in his next rehearsal.
During practice, go ahead and do these things:
- Time yourself to ensure your presentation falls within the allowed time
- Keep your shoulder and head high up
- Maintain eye contact with your audience (friends, family or professional colleagues)
- Be expressive and articulate your words with confidence.
- Take deep breaths and pauses in between your presentation
- Be audible and avoid speaking too fast
As you practice repeatedly, you'll have your points at your fingertips. Plus, you'll become more confident about your interview.
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor practiced her 18-minute TED Talk about 200 times before getting on stage. Her speech below, “ My Stroke of Insight,” has amassed well over 25 million views on the TED site alone.
8. Follow Presentation Guidelines
While preparing for your big day, adhere to the employer's rules for the interview presentation.
The interview rules could include:
- Interview arrival time
- Document required
- The focus of the presentation and allotted time
For instance, if your interviewer says candidates must complete their presentation in 10 minutes, don't exceed the allocated time.
If you've not been given a time limit, keep your presentation between 10-20 minutes. Remember — people have short attention spans.
When you adhere to the guidelines, employers will believe you're reliable and can work with available resources.
9. Use the Right Presentation Tool
The tool you use to prepare your presentation is as important as the content. You'll find tons of presentation software out there, including PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, Visme, Prezi and more.
Sometimes, your potential employer may favor a particular platform for your interview presentation. But more often than not, they'll leave you to make a choice.
In this case, it's advisable to build your presentations using a tool that's not only familiar but has everything you need to make your content shine. We strongly recommend a feature-rich tool like Visme .
Whether you're a novice or expert, Visme is precisely made to help you craft beautiful presentations and nail your delivery. The tool has 500+ templates, animations, fonts, and design themes that match your style and any niche you can think of.
You can also check out our quick video on how to create beautiful and professional interview presentations in Visme.
10. Have a Backup Plan
Keep in mind that complications could arise. Having a backup plan can help you put things back on track and complete your presentation successfully.
Your employer will mainly provide a screen, laptop, USB and other equipment.
Still, it would help to bring along your laptop and USB drive. They could come in handy if you want to quickly make some adjustments to your slide or review them before the presentation.
In addition, make sure to:
- Have duplicate copies of your presentation. You can save a copy on a USB stick, external drive or cloud drive.
- Email the file to yourself and the interviewers.
- Bring along a few printed handouts or copies of your slides, which you'll share with your audience.
Taking these steps can save the day if anything goes wrong such as computer breakdown, corrupt files, power disruption and other technical glitches.
11. Determine Follow-up Questions and Provide Answers
Now your preparation is in top gear. But wait, there's one more thing.
After creating your presentation, review the content and check for readability and spelling errors.
Then think up questions your audience might ask after your delivery. You'll want to brace up for questions that are both related and not related to the topic.
Here is a list of the common interview presentation questions that you can expect:
- What solutions do you recommend in light of the current realities and trends?
- Why do you recommend this solution?
- What strategy do we use to solve this problem?
- How do we convince investors to buy into this project?
- What resources do we need to execute these projects?
- What processes can we put in place to ensure the success of this project
- How do you plan to minimize the risks of this project?
- How does your recommendation align with the company's short-term and long-term goals?
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11 Interview Presentation Tips
You've put in the work to prepare your interview presentation. Great job! Now the day and time of your presentation have arrived.
These 11 interview presentation tips will help you win your employers over.
1. Pick the Right Outfit
There's no hard and fast rule to picking the right interview outfit. And that’s because different companies and industries have preferred dress codes.
So your best bet will be to ask the hiring manager before the interview date. This will enable you to align your attire with the company culture.
Whether the acceptable dress code is formal or casual, wear something that makes you appear smart and confident. But when in doubt, stick to formal and smart business attire.
2. Arrive Early and Settle In
Whether you have an online or physical interview or presentation, this is a no-brainer. Showing up late doesn't only leave a bad impression, but it could cost you the job.
Arriving early to your interview will give you enough time to settle your nerves and tie loose ends.
A good rule of thumb is to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before your presentation. You'll have ample time to get comfortable with the equipment and the environment.
3. Start Strong and Build Rapport
The opening part of your interview presentation is where you set the mood for the rest of the presentation.
Here, you have to draw your audience in and convince them to listen to you. So aim to make it impactful and enthralling.
Once you get on the stage, build rapport with your audience.
Start by introducing yourself, professional experience, skills and educational background. Then, highlight your career achievements, records, awards and portfolio like the example interview presentation slide below.
The goal is to impress and attract your audience's attention. This is the moment where you convince recruiters that you’re worth listening to.
When it comes to your presenting your topics, you can kick off your presentation with the following techniques:
- Use captivating quotes
- Mention compelling statistics about the organization, industry or subject
- Tell an interesting story about yourself or the subject
- Talk about a trending news topic
Not only will this help draw your interviewers in, but it will engross them and set the mood for the rest of the presentation.
4. Be Confident
You've worked so hard to get to this point. Be confident that you've got this. Projecting confidence is also as important as having an incredible resume.
Recruiters love to listen to confident candidates. And developing this mindset will help you inspire trust and build connections with your potential employer.
If you're looking to keep your confidence high, do these things:
- Speak with authority and make eye contact with your audience: This is you selling yourself and reiterating that you've got all it takes to do the job.
- Pay attention to your body language: That's the first thing people notice. The way you carry yourself says a lot about how confident you are. Do your best to maintain the right body posture, smile, keep your head up and appear comfortable.
- Use hand gestures: Utilizing strong hand gestures adds personality to your speech and makes you expressive. For example, moving your hand in an upward motion can describe growth rate or increase. Likewise, opening or closing your hands depicts sizes.
5. Deliver Like a Pro
While making your presentation, ensure your delivery is crisp and clear.
Whether you're using your voice or microphone, command attention by enunciating words clearly and projecting them to the back of the room. Otherwise, you'll come across as timid or unsure of your assertions.
Resist the temptation to use a dull tone or communicate without facial expressions.
Instead, deliver your speech with passion and vary your pitch to convey feelings and different emotional intensities. Delivering your message with emotion and liveliness will keep your audience hooked.
Most people tend to speak fast when they're nervous. Well, if this happens, your interviewer may miss out on important points.
Thus, maintain a reasonable pace and have occasional pauses in between. This will give you time to catch your breath, collect your thoughts and let your messages sink in.
Remember your slide is supposed to support your presentation, so avoid reading your slides or notes. Doing this will bore your audience and give them the impression that you're inept on the subject.
Showcase your expertise with the help of the presentation interview template below.
6. Tell a Compelling Story
Storytelling is one the most effective ways to structure your interview presentation.
Whether you're simulating a project, discussing a technical topic or pitching your skills, storytelling is the key to winning audience interest.
Top business leaders are making the most of it. You should make it the foundation of your interview presentation.
For example, in the video below, Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, leverages storytelling to explain how she built a successful product.
One of the reasons why Steve Jobs stood out during presentations is his ability to tell captivating stories. He used storytelling during his keynote addresses, pitches and notably during the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.
Here's the thing. Telling stories engages your audience and helps understand your points. Also, it makes your presentation more impactful and memorable.
Here's how to use storytelling during your interview presentation
- Plot: Select an area of focus and make it resonate with your audiences
- Characters: Highlight the major players in your story. It could be you, the company, the industry, competitors, etc.
- Opposition: Present a problem and why it matters to the organization or audience
- Journey: Discuss what you bring to the table regarding the solution, planning, execution, monitoring, problem-solving and management
- Conclusion: End with a strong resolution
What's more? To make your presentation cohesive and well-thought-out, use practical examples.
For example, the slide below highlights current gaps or problems.
Then, the next slide suggests practical steps to address the gaps or solve the problems.
7. Use Visual Aids
We discussed this during the preparation phase. And you've got to make it count while delivering your presentation.
Adding visuals to your story is a winning formula that works all the time.
Why? Interestingly about 65% of people are visual learners. Plus, our brains are wired to pay more attention to visual content.
But those are not the only reasons you should incorporate visuals into your presentation.
- Visuals attract audience attention and enhance your delivery
- With visuals, your audiences can quickly understand complex ideas
- They appeal to your viewer's imagination and drive an emotional connection
- Visual add power to your words and keeps your speech on track
You can use video, images, infographics and symbols to describe ideas or concepts. Map charts or statistical maps can help visualize geographical information.
You can visualize numbers using graphs, line charts, pie charts, bar charts and maps like in the slide template below.
8. Use Speaker Notes
While creating your slides, you can store essential talking points in your presenter notes. These notes are visible to you but aren't visible to your audience.
They help you recall key points like quotes, stats or ideas as you present.
Visme makes it super easy to add presenter notes to your slides. You can view your notes for the current and next slides as you present.
The tool also comes with a timer that helps you stay within the allocated time. If you're pressed for time, cut out the least relevant points and move the most important ones. Ultimately make sure you don't exceed the allotted time.
9. Be Prepared To Adapt
We get it. You've practiced your presentation and put other things in the right place.
However, keep in mind that things don't always go as planned. So you have to be willing to adapt to changes.
For example, you may have prepared a 10 minute presentation for interview and you’re given less than five minutes. Also, you may have planned to deliver your presentation and then take questions. But your interview may commence with questions or ask questions while you’re presenting.
Whatever the case, be prepared to pause for questions or switch to further discussion unexpectedly.
10. Have a Strong Closing
Your conclusion is as important as the intro. It determines what your audiences will walk away with and how they will feel about you.
Generally, it should be a summary of everything you discussed earlier. Therefore you have to bring it full circle and make it connected to the rest of your presentation.
Most importantly, make it convincing and memorable.
If your interviewer can remember the key takeaways from your presentation, you'll have the edge over other candidates.
Here's how to end your interview presentation in a memorable way:
- Ask your audience questions about the topic that sparks curiosity and gets them thinking.
- End with key takeaways that highlight the main points of your presentation.
- Double down on the problems and how you can help solve them.
- Mention how your recommended solution can help the company grow and increase their competitive edge
- Tie your message to an interesting quote that aligns with the company vision, mission and goals
- Highlight intriguing milestones and figures you can help the company achieve like profit margins, growth rate, market valuation, increased productivity, revenue growth, etc.
- Demonstrate that you are open to feedback, questions and further discussion about the topic
Use the job interview presentation example below to craft a striking conclusion that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.
11. Take Questions and Feedback at the End
After you've concluded your presentation, get ready for questions and feedback from interviewers.
Keep in mind that the questions may differ from what you rehearsed. Still, make sure you answer the question with confidence and demonstrate expertise.
If the question is challenging, take a moment to compose your thoughts before responding. Also, if the question isn't clear, don't be afraid to ask for clarification.
In any case, the panel will judge your suitability for the role based on what you say, how you present yourself and how you approach questions.
Ace Your Interview Presentations with Visme
Creating an effective interview presentation can be your weapon to launch or advance your career. With a winning interview, you can outperform other candidates and convince your prospective employers that you're the right fit for the job.
But it all starts with setting aside hours to prepare for your presentations. In addition, make sure you follow all the tips we've shared for delivering your presentation.
Looking to create a presentation that will land you that new role? Then you need to use intuitive presentation software like Visme.
Whether you're a learner or an expert, Visme is easy to use. We guarantee that it will pay off more than you can imagine. The tool offers hundreds of pre-built presentation templates, built-in graphics, multimedia, design elements and more.
Beyond creating stunning presentations, you'll be able to share your presentation live. You can also embed it to your website or download it as a video or editable file formats like PDF, PPTX and more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you start an interview presentation.
There are a few great ways to start your presentation with style, immediately grabbing your audience’s attention:
- Start with a provocative question or statement.
- Tell a story.
- Quote an influential person.
- Ask a question.
- Tell a joke.
What is a good presentation topic for an interview?
When creating a presentation as a part of a job interview, you want to choose a topic that will help to sell yourself and your knowledge. This might mean a prior project you worked on, some new tech in your industry, new industry trends, etc.
What is the point of an interview presentation?
An interview presentation helps potential employers understand your actual knowledge level in the industry. If you’re able to give an in-depth presentation showcasing how well you know about something related to your field, they’re much more likely to want you on their team.
How do you improve your interview presentation skills?
Looking to improve your presentation skills ? A few key interview presentation ideas and tips include:
- Keep your slides short and sweet.
- Practice before you present.
- Don’t read off your slides.
- Create a visually appealing presentation design .
- Show off your personality.
Easily put together winning interview presentations in Visme
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Interview presentation preparation tips
The interview presentation is becoming more common in the hiring process. It gives employers a better overview of your general aptitude and provides you with an opportunity to showcase your skills, knowledge, and experience. But how should you prepare for an interview presentation? What should you include? What if it goes wrong?
4th Jun, 2021
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What is an interview presentation?
As you progress further in your career, particularly to executive level, you may be asked to give a presentation for interview. Perhaps you’ve been asked to conduct research and present your findings to a panel, complete a task and show how you approached it, put together a business plan and present your ideas, or even give a presentation about yourself and how you would excel in the role. Whatever you are presenting about, how you approach it should remain the same.
Many people find giving presentations intimidating, especially during an interview when you’re already nervous, but it’s something that you may have to do throughout your career – the sooner you tackle this skill, the better.
Why are you being asked to do a presentation for a job interview?
Many employers opt for a presentation-style interview as it gives a better overview of your general aptitude when compared to, or combined with, a traditional question and answer interview, like a competency-based interview . The interviewer is looking for proof that you can do the job and that you possess the required skills and traits.
Additionally, if you put time and effort into your presentation, this will highlight to the hiring manager that you are committed to the role and enthusiastic about joining the company. How many times have you been asked in an interview ‘Why do you want this position?’ or ‘What is it about this role that attracted you to it?’. They want to know how much you want this position, rather than just any position.
How to prepare a presentation for an interview
Where do you start? What should you include? The presentation is your opportunity to showcase your knowledge, experience, and communication skills as well as your organisational skills and diligence – so start with the job description and person specification and pick out key skills and traits that the company is looking for. Then you can prepare your presentation around what they want to see.
For example, if the business is looking for someone creative, pay great attention to the style of your presentation. If it is looking for someone who is a confident public speaker, spend more time perfecting your speech. If attention to detail is paramount in the role, double and triple check your spelling and grammar. This is a great starting point and gives you something to build your presentation around.
What to include in an interview presentation
Although you may be tempted to go all out and show your potential employer that you are committed to the job, don’t fall into the trap of creating a 30-slide presentation with reams of text. Try to keep each slide short and significant and aim for no more than 10 slides. This ensures the information you deliver is memorable and will help you to stand out from other interviewees. Some interviewers may even give you a specific amount of time for your presentation, make sure you factor this in and don’t go over the time limit – otherwise you may appear to have poor time management skills.
Another way to make sure your presentation engages hiring managers is to include a range of formats to help you illustrate your points. Include graphs, statistics, diagrams, video clips, and images to help break up large volumes of text and maintain the attention of the interviewers.
If you are conducting research as part of your presentation, include quotes from industry leaders and/or research pieces. This gives your points authority and demonstrates your commercial awareness.
You should also try to incorporate the company’s colours, fonts, or style in your presentation. This will show that you have done your research and highlights your brand awareness.
Finally, check your spelling and grammar thoroughly! Small mistakes can really undermine the content of your presentation.
Tips for presenting at the interview
Presenting is a skill which can be learnt. Even if you are not a confident public speaker, the more you practice, the better you will become.
Present confidently and enthusiastically. Remember to speak clearly, make eye contact, and use open body language.
Don’t just read the slides. There is nothing worse than watching a presentation where the presenter has their back to you the whole time just reading reams of text from their PowerPoint notes.
Try not to talk too fast, make sure you breathe, and take your time.
Practice, practice, practice. Ensure you are well rehearsed so that you are familiar with the structure of your presentation and are able to deliver it smoothly. If possible, practice your presentation with family members or friends to get used to speaking in front of other people.
Arrive early to give yourself time to set up the presentation and settle any nerves. Get comfortable with PowerPoint and presentation equipment. Make sure you know how to work any projectors, screens, or remote controls before you begin to avoid any awkward stumbles or pauses.
Stay within the allocated time. If you have not been given guidance on length, aim for the 10-minute mark. Time your presentation when you are practising to make sure it will fit within the time limit. If you need to reduce the content of your presentation, cut out the least relevant or weakest points.
Be prepared to adapt. You may have practised your presentation in a certain way, but the interviewer might not respond accordingly. Be prepared to be interrupted by questions or further discussion unexpectedly.
Breathe and try to enjoy it. By relaxing, you will find yourself presenting better and, if you enjoy it, your interviewers will respond to that and be better engaged with what you are saying.
Tips for keeping the interview presentation simple
It can take a lot of work to make something simple, yet effective, and when it comes to interview presentations less is often more. Keep it short - As previously mentioned, try to keep each slide short and aim for no more than 10 slides in total.
One idea per slide - To make sure your presentation is clear and concise, each slide should represent a different point/idea you want to make.
Stick to the important bits only - If you don’t think it’s important enough to spend time on, don’t have it on your slide.
Use the 4x6 rule - Aim for either four bullet points with six words per bullet point, or six bullet points with four words per bullet point. This way, your slides won’t look too busy.
Minimal text - Instead of writing paragraphs of text, use bullet points and a minimum font size of 24.
What's better for your interview presentation? Cue cards or presenting from memory?
Should you use cue cards in your presentation for interview or try to present from memory?
The answer to this question depends on what you feel most comfortable doing. If you find that having cue cards will help ease your nerves and ensure that you don’t forget your speech, then there is nothing wrong with that.
However, if you choose to use cue cards, you should not rely too heavily on them. You shouldn’t stand in front of the interviewers and look down at the cards continuously, neither should you write your whole speech out on the cards and read directly from them. They are cue cards for a reason and should only give you prompts on what to talk about. If your interview presentation has a lot of statistics on, using cue cards to remember the figures if you are unable to memorise them all is an excellent strategy.
What to do when things go wrong
You can practice your interview presentation as much as possible, but something may still go wrong and it’s important to be prepared for this eventuality. Here are some things that could go wrong and how to deal with them: Technical issues
There is not a lot you can do to prevent technical issues, especially if you are using someone else’s computer. But there are ways you can prepare just in case. Ensuring you have access to multiple sources of your presentation is key. Email the file to yourself and the recruiter, bring a copy on a USB stick and printed handouts. This way you are covered if anything goes wrong with the file you’re intending to use.
Your mind goes blank
Even those who are pros at presenting can sometimes lose their train of thought and find that their mind goes blank. The key here is not to panic. If possible, take a bottle or glass of water in with you and use this chance to take a sip, breathe and try to relax. Then look at your presentation slide or your cue cards and pick up where you left off. It may be helpful to repeat the last point you made as saying it out loud could spark your memory for your next point.
You are asked a question that you don’t know how to respond to
If you have allotted time at the end of your presentation to allow the interviewer to ask any questions (which is recommended), don’t worry if someone asks a question that you are not sure on. It may be that the interviewer is looking to see how you respond to a challenging question, so how you react is often more important than the answer itself.
If you do not understand the question, ask the person to explain. There is nothing wrong with doing this and shows more confidence than just saying that you don’t know. If you understand the question but are not sure of the answer, then admit that you don’t have the full answer, provide what information you do have, and offer to come back to them at a later date with a complete answer.
10-minute interview presentation template
Below is a presentation for interview example. Use this as a baseline and adapt or reorder where appropriate based on the task you have been set by the interviewer. Slide 1 : Introduction – Reiterate the objectives you have been set and lay out the structure of your presentation so that the interviewers know what to expect. Slide 2 : About you – Detail your professional experience, skills and working style. Slide 3 : Company history – Give a brief summary of the company history, any milestones or awards. Slides 4-7 : Answering the brief – Give your responses to questions you’ve been asked to answer, the benefits and limitations of your suggestions. Slide 8 : Question and answers – Include a slide titled ‘questions and answers’ as a cue to pause for interaction. Slide 9 : Conclusion – Sum up the key points you have made, reach a decision, and explain your reasoning. Slide 10 : Personal achievements – End the interview on a high with a brief slide highlighting achievements that show how you will succeed in the role.
For more information on how to ace your interview, download our free guide, ‘ Getting the best from your interview: Candidate interview tips and tricks ’, or contact your local recruitment specialist today.
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Frequently Asked Questions
A job interview presentation is all about selling yourself. Be confident, speak clearly, and make eye contact with the interviewer. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself and highlight your achievements. This is your chance to really show the interviewer that you are capable and have the necessary skills to do the job. By putting time and effort into your presentation, you can show them how dedicated you are to the role and the company. For more information on how to ace your interview, download our free guide, ‘ Getting the best from your interview: Candidate interview tips and tricks ’.
Using cue cards can support you with your interview presentation, as long as you use them for their intended purpose. Do not write your entire presentation for interview out on cards and read from them word for word or constantly hold them in your hand and fail to make eye contact with the interviewer. Use them only to prompt you or for remembering key facts and figures. For more tips, read our article on ‘interview tips & questions’ .
If you have been sent a presentation brief that you do not understand – don’t panic. If there are words that you are not sure about, do some research and try your best to figure out what the organisation is asking of you. If you are still unsure, you could ask your recruiter as they may have seen this brief before and can give you an idea. If you are dealing directly with the hiring manager, then it may be worth checking that your interpretation of the brief is correct.
It is better to ask the question than present on something completely different to what the interviewer has asked. However, instead of saying to them that you don’t understand the brief and leaving it at that, tell them your understanding of it and ask if this is correct. This will show that even though you are unsure, you have taken the time to try to come to a conclusion yourself before asking for help. Download our free interviewing guide for more tips and advice.
How long your job interview presentation should last depends on what guidance you have been given. Thoroughly read the brief, as the recruiter or hiring manager may have specified the length of time you have for your presentation. If they haven’t given any indication, you should aim for 10 minutes, including time for questions and answers. For more tips on interviewing, read our article on ‘interview tips & questions’ .
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How to Nail Your Next Job Interview Presentation
What would you do if your next job required you to give a Job interview presentation?
Do you know how to prepare?
Do you know what to say?
Do you know what to talk about?
You have to start thinking and preparing for it before it happens. Because the higher your position in an organization, the more likely you will be asked to present during your interview.
Working with hundreds of professionals over the years ( Professionals from Rosetta Stone, Genentech, SalesForce.com, Coiler, City of San Francisco, Chronicle Books, etc.) to help them prepare for their job interview presentations, I came up with a list of 5 tips to help you do well and get the job.
1 – Focus
Don’t talk about everything; Talk about one thing (maybe two). It’s important to stay “on message” so that your audience does not get confused.
It’s very tempting to talk about everything you know because you want to show your skills and knowledge. I once worked with a senior scientist who interviewed for a job and in the first draft of her presentation; she had included a list of all the techniques she knew instead of keeping the relevant ones. That’s normal; I see it all the time with clients. However, once you finish the first draft, you want to become brutal with scraping to maintain a tight focus.
The main purpose of the presentation interview is to see how well you communicate your ideas. So pick something you can communicate well and stay on point.
The main purpose of the presentation interview is to see how well you communicate your ideas!
- Instead of talking about all your x-projects, talk about one of them.
- Instead of talking about 5 experiments, talk about one or two experiments to support one point.
- Instead of having multiple lessons, have “one” take-home message.
- Instead of having 10 ideas to flesh out, just have one.
2 – Set the context
Before you start talking about the details, make sure your audience knows the background of your topic. This is especially important if you speak on previous projects or technologies you worked on.
You are interviewing at a new company who might not know about your previous company or position. So it’s important to give them some background to set the stage.
One of my clients was interviewing with a medical device company and in her previous work experience was on a vaccine for Prostate Cancer. When speaking about her past job, if she had started talking about the complex technology she used for her previous work without giving context, most of the audience would have been lost.
Instead, she dedicated 2 minutes in her introduction to cover the background of Cancer Vaccine Technology (At a very high level). Also, during the presentation, she linked what she was talking about to medical devices.
Always give context even if you think it is evident.
If you are going to talk about a software update for your previous employer, then make sure your audience knows why you were doing the update in the first place. Mention and explain the problem you were trying to solve and tell them why that was important.
Setting the context in the “introduction” of your talk is crucial. It is so important that we spend a big portion in the Magnetic Presentations Boot Camp showing participants how to do it the right way – this part could make or break your presentation.
3- Ideas for interview presentation topics:
Unless you are doing a sales presentation for a company like Salesforce.com (Which gives you a case study to use for your presentation), you are usually free to pick your topic.
Here are some ideas to help you select a topic:
- A previous project you worked on
- New technology in your field
- Technology that could be helpful in your field
- Industry trends (no more than 3)
- Explore a published paper (yours or someone else’s)
- New or old process you have worked on or helped improve
- New or old product you have worked on
- Portfolio of your work
- State of the economy/ industry/ technology etc
- Sales presentation example
The list above should give you some ideas of what you need to talk about.
4- Think outside the box for presentation topics
Most professionals will do a presentation on a project they have done with their previous employer. That’s OK.
However, if you want to stand out, it’s a good idea to think outside the box. A client of mine once did a presentation on “Three Industry Trends For Social Media Marketing,” as she interviewed for a senior marketing position.
That was outside the box (because her competition talked about a previous company project) My client ended up getting the job – She stood out as a competent leader of industry trends (She did a lot of research for the presentation and weaved in her personal experience as well).
5- Toot your own horn
No one likes a show-off, yet, you have to do it a little in a job interview presentation. You have to share what you did, and how you contributed. In most circumstances, that’s shied away from but in a job interview , it is required and expected.
A recent study conducted at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln demonstrated that people who “self-promote” at the job interview presentation were rated as more superior, more capable, and more hireable than those who did not self-promote.
Regardless of what you are presenting on, you are introducing yourself, so you need to toot your own horn throughout the presentation.
Regardless of what you are presenting on, you are introducing yourself
Ok now here are some things to avoid.
Things to avoid in an interview presentation
- Avoid critiquing the company you are interviewing for (unless they specifically request it).
- Avoid bad-mouthing previous employers.
- Avoid making recommendations for the company regarding their processes unless you are sure this is what they want.
- Avoid ending your presentation on a bad note.
- Avoid making the whole presenting about you. Tooting your horn is a good few times during the presentation but not all the way through.
- Avoid looking too prepared or not prepared: you should come across natural and authentic.
- Avoid overwhelming your audience with data dumps .
- Avoid rambling
These were just four tips. There are more of course, but using them will help you stand out from almost everyone who interviews for the same position.
I see that a lot of companies start to require presentation as part of the interview process, and the trend will keep rising – are you ready for it?
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Interview presentations are becoming a regular part of hiring practice. They are especially common for senior positions, or in industries that need strong communication skills.
An interview presentation is a short persuasive talk as part of an interview or assessment day . The employer will ask you to prepare a presentation on a specific topic in advance, or to present a blind presentation.
For a marketing position, you could be asked to market or sell a product, or to predict a market trend. Higher-level positions may require you to present a strategic outlook for the industry.
With blind presentations , a lot of the expectations are the same. The difference is that instead of preparing in advance, you will be given a topic on the day of the interview and will be given a limited time (maybe half an hour) to prepare.
In this situation, it is very important that you show the ability to think on your feet.
What Is the Employer Looking for in an Interview Presentation?
In every stage of the recruitment process, the employer is looking for a candidate who stands out .
They want an employee who knows their job and someone who will fit into the company culture.
Asking a candidate to give a presentation is another tool to help them assess whether that person is suitable for the role.
Interview presentations allow your employer to see the following key skills:
- Your communication style (verbal and written)
- Your ability to engage with your audience
- Your job and sector knowledge
- Your ability to follow a brief
- Your organisational skills
- Your attention to detail
For a blind presentation, the employer can also observe:
- How you perform under stress
- How creative you can be
Ultimately, the employer is also checking if you meet the core competencies in the job description, so be sure to revisit it during your preparation.
How to Prepare for Your Interview Presentation
When you receive a phone call or email with information about your interview presentation, it is always a good idea to ask some or all of these key questions:
Ask whether the presentation has a topic or if it is a blind presentation.
Find out who your audience will be (and how many people you will be presenting to).
Ensure you know how long the presentation should be.
Ask whether you should prepare visual aids, and find out what IT equipment will be available.
During your presentation, you will be scrutinised by the interviewer, or by a panel of interviewers, and they will be judging your suitability for the role, based on what you talk about and how you present yourself.
It is therefore critical to be fully prepared, so that you can relax and do your best on the day.
Step 1. research.
The first thing you should do is research the company . This includes checking its media presence, recent news articles and social media posts.
You should also research the application process for the organisation. For larger companies, there will be online forum discussions about interview presentations. You could even post your own questions to find out more.
Finally, research the assigned topic thoroughly and fact-check all your content. Make sure everything you say is your own work.
Step 2. Make Notes to Bring with You
If you are doing a blind presentation, you will likely be asked to present something about the industry or organisation. The best preparation is knowing plenty of information about the company and the latest industry news.
It is a good idea to put together some general notes , so that you can review these once you know the actual presentation topic.
On the day, you will have a set amount of time to prepare. This is usually less than thirty minutes, so accessible notes are key to performing well. Visual aids are not usually needed for a blind presentation.
Step 3. Practise Your Delivery
Practise your presentation in front of an audience to make sure you are speaking slowly, clearly and confidently. Also time yourself, so you know you won’t run over time on the day.
Ask your test audience to give you feedback on whether your argument was clear and easy to understand, and to ask you some questions at the end.
Step 4. Know Your Audience
The audience will be different depending on the position you are interviewing for.
Entry-level marketing or sales positions will most likely have members of the sales management team and someone from human resources. A higher-level position might have executives, company partners and board members.
If you have access to the names of people in your audience, it is always good to research their online presence . This will provide you with some guidance on their opinions, interests, knowledge level and status, and will be helpful when you are structuring your presentation.
For presentations with both technical and non-technical audience members, make sure your delivery interests both parties equally and is sufficiently easy to understand.
What Makes a Great Presentation?
For a successful presentation:
Give information to the audience in a clear, concise and confident manner.
Keep things engaging with anecdotes and examples.
Support your ideas with statistics and facts.
Use short notes or bullet points on cue cards. Don't memorise and recite the entire presentation, or read from a prepared sheet.
Anticipate and prepare for questions you might be asked after you finish.
The content of your presentation should be straightforward and easy to understand ; resist using too much industry jargon and avoid slang.
Don’t try too hard to seem funny or clever, as it will probably backfire. Keep things sharp, succinct and to the point.
Don't over-elaborate or waffle for the sake of using up time.
It is a good idea to use quotes to back up your points, especially if you will also be using slides. Be careful of plagiarism; have sources and copyright links for any third-party content and images you use.
And ensure you keep track of time . Giving an overly short presentation looks like a candidate is under-prepared. Giving a long presentation runs the risk of boring or agitating your assessors.
Your presentation should have a clear structure . Make sure the beginning and end are strong, as that is when the audience will pay the most attention.
Here are some tips on the best way to structure your presentation:
Introduction – Make sure you begin with a confident and friendly welcome. Introduce yourself and give a quick overview of the topic you have been asked to discuss and your expected goals. It is a good idea to mention that you will leave plenty of time for questions at the end; this will help to avoid any interruptions.
Sections or themes – Separate the different areas within your presentation into key points for a clearer and more memorable delivery. Back up your arguments with evidence.
Summary and conclusion – Summarise your arguments and provide recommendations. Reiterate the topic and address how your presentation has met the expected goal. Make sure you end by thanking the audience and inviting questions.
You could even use the STAR interview technique for your presentation.
- Situation – the issue or topic.
- Task – what you hope to achieve or what the planned outcomes are.
- Action – what you did, how you achieved it and the alternative options.
- Results – outcomes, results and conclusion.
How to Deliver Your Presentation
The most important part of your presentation is how you present .
Interviewers are looking for candidates who are naturally professional. Someone who is confident, articulate and presentable.
Your delivery should be conversational but professional. The best way to practise this is to present to a trusted friend or relative, rehearse in the mirror or record yourself on camera.
When delivering your presentation, take note of the following:
Step . Voice
Speak clearly and use a varied tone during your presentation. Don't speak too fast and be confident enough to pause often, especially between your key points.
Step . Eyes
Maintain eye contact with your audience throughout your presentation. Look from person to person as you talk, to seem more relaxed and keep everyone engaged.
Step . Smile
Be positive throughout your presentation. Smile when you begin, keep smiling as you talk and conclude with a smile.
Step . Stance
When presenting, stand up straight with your shoulders back. Have open body language and use your hands to emphasise what you are saying, but not excessively.
Visual Aids for an Interview Presentation
If you have been asked to pre-prepare your presentation, it is worth asking if you can present with visual aids .
Visual aids can help to keep your presentation on track, highlight key information and provide interest for your audience.
They are usually slides (PowerPoint, Prezi) or a poster. Some content-heavy presentations may need a handout, but this is rarely the case for an interview.
Here are some top tips for great visual aids:
Make sure your slides aren’t too text-heavy or cluttered . Give the headlines: just enough information to grab their attention, but not detract from the message you are trying to deliver.
Use clear and professional fonts that can be read easily from a distance.
Use different communication formats such as graphs, video clips and professional images , but don’t go overboard. Avoid busy themes or animations, especially swirly slide transitions.
Use quotes and references from industry leaders or related research. However, make sure you provide references for anything you use that belongs to a third-party source.
Incorporate a few company colours or themes for brand awareness (but keep the main background colour of your slides white). Check out the company website for its communication style and company branding; try to match your visuals to that style.
Make sure all visuals are proofread and double-checked by someone else as well. The last thing you want is a glaring typo on the wall behind you.
Tips for the Day of Your Presentation
Dress comfortably but professionally . Dress like you belong in the organisation.
Have your material organised and ensure that it is easily accessible.
Have multiple copies of your presentation with you. If you are bringing a laptop or digital content, bring a few backups on USB sticks or email your slides to yourself, just in case.
Get to your interview a little before your allocated time , especially if you need to set up your laptop before you start.
If you need to share presentation slides or other visual aids, have them ready to go and check that everything works before you start.
If it is a blind presentation, read the assigned topic a few times and then spend a few moments organising your thoughts . Use your notes for your presentation structure.
Before you start, take a deep breath and remember – Voice. Eyes. Smile. Stance .
Be sure to breathe, pace yourself and speak clearly (we tend to speed up when nervous).
If you get nervous, take a moment and a sip of water before you continue.
Answer questions in a measured manner ; defend your opinion but avoid arguments.
After you finish, thank everyone for listening.
Key takeaways for a good presentation are research; following the instructions you are given; writing a well structured and concise presentation; and, above all, presenting confidently and with a smile.
During your presentation, be open to discussion and answer questions professionally.
Remember, your audience is already interested in you: your CV stood out and they want you to do well. Use your interview presentation as an opportunity to show them why you should be hired.
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