Your recruitment agency has found you your dream role. You aced the phone interview, breezed your way through the first round and have reached the next round of interviews. But then the message comes through… you’ve been asked to put together a presentation as part of your interview and your palms suddenly get clammy…
We are increasingly finding that candidates are being asked to prepare and deliver a presentation as part of their interview and while it can be a daunting prospect, with good preparation you can treat it as an opportunity to share your knowledge of a specific topic, your public speaking skills, your 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. With this in mind, how can you deliver the best interview presentation possible?
1. Prove you can do the job
One of the reasons you have been asked to give a presentation in your interview is so that the interviewer can feel confident in your ability to do the job at hand. You, therefore, need to use the presentation to demonstrate just that.
To do this effectively you need to make sure you are absolutely clear on what you are being asked to do and what question(s) you are required to answer via the presentation.
Use the presentation to demonstrate your skills. Revisit the job description, highlight the required skills and make sure you incorporate these into your presentation.
Do your research and tailor your presentation around what you can find out about the business objectives of the company to clearly demonstrate how you can add value and become an indispensable part of the organisation for many years to come.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that if you are presenting on a company’s products, your audience will know far more than you, so be careful when referencing literature and make sure you’re 100% accurate in any claims you make.
2. Demonstrate your written communication skills
Once you know what you want to say during your interview presentation, think about how you are going to say it and, if you have the opportunity, use presentation software such as PowerPoint or Prezi 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!
Structure your presentation with a starting overview, then the content, followed by a clear conclusion or summary to end.
Keep it concise. Presentation slides should be like road signs – they should contain enough information to get your audience’s attention, but not so much that they are distracted!
Know your audience. You may be presenting to an interview panel with different areas of expertise, so research what these areas are and make sure that what you have written is relevant and engaging for all.
Consider preparing handouts for the audience to keep—they can serve as a reminder of you and your presentation.
3. Deliver with confidence
To deliver a great presentation, you need to speak with confidence. If you are hesitant and tentative, you will not be particularly convincing or credible. Fear is a normal part of presenting and being fearful or nervous does not mean you cannot be confident.
The most important thing you can do to present with confidence is to create a strong, well researched, well structured presentation. Only then can you have the confidence required to present to the best of your ability.
Practise, practise and practise some more! 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.
If you’re nervous before your presentation, pretending not to be can actually make things worse. Instead, Reframe your nervousness as excitement.
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.
4. Show that you are diligent and prepared for anything
Check and double-check the contents of your presentation. Make sure any facts you include are accurate and that there are no spelling errors, grammatical mistakes or formatting faux pas.
Plan for the technology and know in advance whether you be using their devices or one of your own and know how to use it.
Bring a back-up with you. Even if you are presenting this slide deck on your own device, take a backup copy on a USB and email it to both yourself and to your recruitment consultant to pass onto the client. It’s also a good idea to bring printed copies so that in the worst scenario you have a Plan B and could still deliver and share your presentation effectively.
Stay conscious of time. Find out how long the presentation needs to be and make sure you don’t run over. When practicing your presentation, remember to time it and leave room for questions at the end.
Try to be on brand. Look at the fonts and colours on the company website and use these in your presentation. You could also try to find existing presentations and webinars on their website and match the format.
Preparing for and delivering a top-class interview presentation takes time and effort. But it’s time worth taking and effort worth making. In taking the time to plan a well-researched, tailored and strongly delivered interview presentation, you demonstrate to the interviewer just how passionate you are about this role. Moreover, you demonstrate why they should be just as passionate about you!
Wishing you the best of success in your future career! If you would like any free and confidential advice on achieving the career of your dreams in the Animal Health, Agricultural, Equine or Pet industries, please do get in touch.