These days, if you’ve made it to a final stage interview, you can expect to be asked to prepare a presentation. Organisations want to see hard proof of how hiring you will benefit the business, and an interview presentation is an easy and visual way to do this. Even beyond that, it’s a talent that will come in handy the more you progress in your career. That means it’s worth mastering early on, even though it’s a skill that rarely comes easily for most of us. Fortunately, it’s there are steps you can take to shake the nerves and become a pro at giving workplace presentations.
Don’t let your lack of presenting skills let you down. Here’s are five tips to keep in mind when you’re preparing your next interview presentation.
Yes, eerily like your school teachers preparing you for an exam. Although, you’d be surprised just how many people still misread these things, so give it careful consideration. Do you understand every single word used? Is it clear what you’re being asked to demonstrate? If there is any element you are unsure of, ask your recruiter. It’s far better to get it sorted at this early stage, rather than to get to the end of the presentation and discover you interpreted the brief incorrectly.
Research the topic, the company, the competition, and anything else that could be relevant. Leave no stone unturned or word unread. The answer to your brief could be out there and they want to see if you can find it. You also don’t want to get caught out making a glaring mistake. The less prepared you seem, the less interested they’ll think you are in the role.
Following on from the point above, also research your recruiters. If you’ve been told before-hand who you’ll be presenting to, then consider their job titles. Take a look at their profile on LinkedIn – don’t worry about them being notified you’ve viewed it, they’ll be glad you’re being thorough. Evaluate what their individual perspectives will be in regards to your topic; think about how you can address their particular interests.
Think about what is being asked of you in this interview presentation. The recruiter could want to see that you can carefully analyse data, if you’re able to come up with innovative ideas or whether you can think strategically. Whatever it is, they’re trying to figure out whether you possess the skills they’re looking for. So make sure you’re offering clarity on your topic, and doing it concisely.
Remember to go back and consider whether every single slide is relevant. Whilst your recruiter will love to see a thorough job, keep in mind they are not looking for information but how you demonstrate a particular skill in your presentation.
With so many good templates and tools out there, there’s no excuse for a messy looking presentation. Make sure the visual enhances rather than detracts from your overall idea. Too much text on the slides will make people concentrate on reading every line of instead of listening to what you have to say. If design is your thing and you can make the layout of the presentation match the brand, great! Incorporate the company logo, fonts and use the eyedropper tool to find the hex codes of the brand’s primary colours to utilise these in your presentation. Small things like this will show you have gone the extra mile.
After all your preparation, the last thing you want is for technology to let you down. So have your interview presentation saved in multiple places (a USB, your desktop, google drive) and email it to yourself. Don’t let a technological fault throw you off course!
Anticipate follow up questions. Try to answer them within your presentation, but also give thorough consideration to what else might arise and be prepared for objections to this. The questions at the end will be their lasting impression of you – make it a good one.
Practise, of course. And try to keep calm.
If you’ve followed the steps above then your presentation will be thorough, effective and clear. The recruiters have invited you to a final stage interview for a reason, they want you to do well almost as much as you do.