Presenting at Interview
Interviews can be nerve-wracking enough. Whether it’s a Skype interview, face-to-face meeting or interview presentation. A lot of candidates are often asked to produce and deliver a presentation. It is usually required as one of the last stages in the interview process. If clear communication and presenting are part of the job role, there is a strong chance that you may be asked to prepare an interview presentation.
Why bother with a presentation?
If you must take part in an interview presentation, this is a good thing! Why are you being asked to deliver a presentation? It shows you can communicate, are organised and diligent, and demonstrates your commitment to the role.
We understand delivering a presentation can be a daunting task. We have compiled some top tips on how to do well in an interview presentation.
Before the Interview Presentation
Understand the Task
Before you begin compiling your presentation, make sure you understand the task. Know exactly what you are required to answer. Double check if there are any questions or queries about the interview presentation.
Revisit the job description and make sure you are demonstrating all the key requirements within your presentation. Have a look at the company as well to tailor your presentation to suit their objectives and goals.
Structure the Presentation
Structure is the most important thing to get right if you want to keep the interviewer’s attention. But the good news is, it can be simple to do. The key thing is not to waffle on. The first slide of the should give an overview of the interview presentation. Include attention-grabbers such as an interesting fact or quote relating to your topic. They layout should be clear and easy to read. Use bullet points and great visuals throughout. Ensure you have a clear conclusion to your presentation.
Write the presentation out, learn it and time it. Unless they tell you otherwise, a job interview presentation lasts around 10 minutes.
Although it is great to include a lot of information, try not to overpower your presentation with text. It is a good idea to put a few points on each slide and elaborate on them verbally. Produce a handout for the interviewers if you need to provide more information.
It’s vital that you do as much preparation as possible to conquer any nerves. If you need to do an interview presentation, you'll be given plenty of time to prepare in advance. You must make the most of it. Write notes, learn as much as you can by heart, practise the tone of your voice, etc.
Worried you might lose your words once you’re in interview? Ask someone to help you practise your presentation until you’re completely confident. Get them to double check the contents to ensure what you are trying to communicate is clear.
Dress the Part
Get your appearance right. Find your smartest outfit, give your hair a brush and look your best. After all, you don’t want a scruffy appearance to leave more of an impact than your presentation.
Overcome Your Fear of Presenting
If you get nervous about public speaking, even in very small groups, you are not alone. Yet, when at an interview presentation you need to appear calm and collected. Not everyone can speak easily without preparation. The ability to speak is a talent that can go a long way in advancing a career.
Read out blog on How to Calm Interview Nerves for more information.
At the Interview Presentation
Presenting the Presentation
Once you have got everything set up and ready to go it’s now your time to shine. Open the presentation and make your introduction. Start off with a basic opening and provide a brief overview of what your presentation is going to be about.
Click through each of your slides and elaborate on the content. On your presentation slides should be the main points of the topic you’re talking about. You should use these points as guidance to talk the interviewers through in more detail
When finishing off the presentation, keep it concise. A short summary concludes the presentation and leaves time for any questions.
We know you are nervous and want to get the presentation over with as fast as possible. But resist the temptation to talk too fast. Take a deep breath and speak clearly. You don’t want to be interrupted by the panel asking for you to repeat what you’re saying.
If someone did nothing but talk at you for an hour, chances are you’d soon start daydreaming out of sheer boredom. Keep the interviewer’s attention by being as visual as possible. For example:
- Use a PowerPoint Presentation
- Give out hand-outs of your presentation
- Don’t be afraid to gesture
- Have open body language
Keep Eye Contact
Nobody likes being ignored. If this was a face-to-face interview, you’d make sure your body language was perfect and that you maintained eye contact. This doesn’t change because you’re doing a presentation. In fact, it’s more important in this scenario. Keep shifting eye contact to make sure you keep everyone engaged with what you're saying.
Just because you’re doing a presentation, don’t think that you have avoided the interviewer’s questions. The interviewers will likely have questions about your interview presentation. Prepare for these by thinking ahead what questions they could ask. Ask a colleague or friend to see what questions they come up with. Prepare some answers so you are not completely taken off guard.
Read our blog on How to Impress at Interview for more information.
Interview Presentation Tips
Interviews are not always a smooth process. Plan ahead to deter any incidents that could affect your interview presentation:
- Technology - Choose a mode of presentation that you are comfortable using. Whether it is a PowerPoint Presentation or Google Slide, as long as you are familiar with using it. What device are you presenting on? Do you know how to use it? Set up your presentation on the device beforehand. Make sure it will work during the interview presentation. Take a backup presentation with you, whether it’s on email, USB or paper. Bring printed copies for the interviewers so you can still deliver your presentation.
Interview Presentation Tips
- Check the Time - An interview presentation usually lasts 10 minutes. Check your presentation is within the time-limit. Remember there may be questions at the end.
- Branding - When creating your presentation, look at the company’s brand. Use their colours and fonts to match their businesses appearance. If they have any current documentation (e.g. existing presentation or webinars) use these for inspiration.