Artwork by: Ivan Globin
Presentations are not just limited to schools and colleges. Some employers require job applicants to prepare a presentation as part of a job interview. Here’s what you need to know about interview presentations and how to ace them.
Not every company out there has a straightforward hiring process. Some require multiple rounds of conversational interviews, while others may ask you to prepare a presentation as part of your interview. If you’ve been asked to prepare an interview presentation, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll discuss a few tips and tricks to help you get ready for your big day and keep those jitters at bay!
The first step towards preparing any presentation is to identify the purpose and key message of your presentation. It’s also important to figure out who you will be addressing in your presentation.
Your initial presentation outline should be well-structured and it must contain a catchy introductory statement, a compelling argument in the body, and an impactful conclusion. At the end of the day, it is still an interview. So, you’ll want to mention your skills and abilities during the interview and talk about how they can prove useful in solving complex problems at work.
The outline should take into consideration the company’s vision, mission, and values, and your tone should align with these. To improve your chances of getting hired, try to mention how you will contribute to the growth of the company and what you will bring to the table.
If the hiring manager asks you to prepare an interview presentation, make sure to ask them lots of questions before you get started. Typical questions include:
Who am I preparing this presentation for?
What topics am I supposed to cover?
How much time will I get to speak?
Will there be a Q&A section at the end of the presentation?
What type of tools will you need for the presentation (e.g. PowerPoint, Prezi, Visio)?
Just like a carefully-worded argumentative essay that combines statistics with an emotional appeal, your presentation should be both insightful and thought-provoking. As a general rule, you would want to keep 80% of your slides informative and 20% of the slides thought-provoking.
If you’re wondering why interviewers ask for presentations, here’s your answer. A presentation gives your employer the chance to assess your confidence and candor and your ability to engage and entice an audience. As long as you’re striking a balance between being factual and intellectual, you’re keeping your audience engaged and attentive.
If you’re preparing a presentation on PowerPoint, then think of the content on each slide as one of those billboards you see along the freeway. The content should be impactful enough to capture the reader’s attention, but it shouldn’t be elaborate enough to distract them.
During the presentation, your interviewers are assessing your public-speaking skills. As such, you’d want to keep your content short. Instead of creating large paragraphs of content, you’d want to stick to bulleted and numbered lists.
On the same note, don’t spend too much time adding graphics and colors to your presentation. Sure, a little bit of finesse goes a long way, but don’t overload it. After all, you want your interviewers to focus on your material and your ability to communicate ideas, rather than getting distracted by all the bright colors.
Consider preparing handouts for your presentation and distributing them among your interviewers. This way, your interviewers will have some context on your presentation, and they’ll likely remember you after the presentation is over.
According to research, the average concentration span in human beings is about 8 seconds. This simple statistic highlights the need to get to the point as soon as possible and keep your audience engaged.
When it comes to preparing your presentation outline, you should consider dedicating each page, slide, or diagram dedicated to one idea. Take one step at a time when walking your interviewers through your presentation. Break down a complex idea into a series of smaller, simpler ideas. Alternatively, you can use a storytelling approach to keep the presentation engaging.
After creating your presentation, the final step is to practice it as much as you can. Consider standing in front of a mirror, and then delivering your presentation. You can also ask your friends and family members to act as an audience, do a dry run for the presentation, and obtain their feedback. An honest critique goes a long way in helping you perfect your presentation and public speaking skills.
When practicing your presentation, look for signs of nervousness. Try not to use the word ‘like’ too much. Keep your ‘uhms’ to a minimum. Don’t try to talk too fast to rush through important ideas. Also, keep a timer with you when practicing so that you know when to stop.
Delivering a presentation during a job interview is one of the best ways to showcase your skills, competence, and enthusiasm for the job. It also allows you to display your confidence and the ability to engage your audience.
Preparing a presentation for a job interview can be a challenging task. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can ace even the toughest of all interviews and land that job you’ve been dreaming of.
Presentations are nerve-wracking for a lot of people, but you must remember that the hiring manager wants you to succeed in this task. Your employer likely thinks you have something amazing to offer, which is why they want you to share your ideas via presentation.
The more you practice, the better prepared you will be for the interview.
Asad's writing expertise lies in the fields of HR and marketing—putting him in the unique position of understanding the job-search process: both from the side of the applicant, and the side of the hiring managers. With this valuable blend of perspectives, he’s able to help his clients position themselves as top candidates for their desired roles.