In some fields, being asked to give a brief presentation to a group of interviewers isn’t uncommon when you apply for a job. This is usually part of the final interview, after you have had a phone interview and at least one traditional, in-person interview.
While the thought of presenting in front of a potential employer can be daunting, look at it as an opportunity to impress the panel and prove why you are the perfect fit for the job.
These five tips will help you prepare so you will be confident and your presentation will go well, increasing your odds of landing your dream job.
Follow Directions Exactly
First, you’ve likely been given some instructions for your presentation. Review these carefully and make sure you are following them exactly.
In most cases, you will be assigned a topic to present about. Stick to this topic and be sure to cover it thoroughly and completely. If you are asked to answer specific questions, make sure you do so. While it can be okay to branch out and discuss related topics, don’t get distracted, which could take your presentation completely off track.
Make sure you know what kind of presentation you are being asked to give. Should you be prepared with visual aids like slides or a flip chart? Should you bring a handout to give panelists? Will you be standing and giving a formal presentation or will you be seated at a table with panelists in a more informal setting?
You will likely be given this information but if you have questions, ask your contact at the business.
Always stick to your allotted time. Interviewers are busy and in most cases, they will be interviewing several people. Being able to present with a time limit is also a good skill to have and doing so will demonstrate you are capable of this.
The only way to know for sure if you are within your time limit is to practice your presentation. Write a script or some bullet points, prepare your visual aids, and then practice with a timer. Keep in mind that you should come close to your time limit, avoiding an extremely short presentation.
Nail Down your Message and make it Clear
Remember that you are at the interview to say something. You want to tell the panelists what you know about a topic, highlight your skills or share your industry experience.
Depending on the topic you were given, decide what your message will be. Then, make sure you are saying it loud and clear in your presentation. When your presentation is over, you want each of your interviewers to know what you came to tell them.
For example, if your message is that you are a talented project manager, relate your topic to this and back up your message by showing examples of previous work or talking about projects you have successfully managed in the past.
Appeal to your Audience
As you work your message into your presentation, make sure you are appealing to your audience. To do this, you need to know who your interviewers will be. Find out the names and titles of each panelist in advance.
Then, think about why each person is there. The human resources representative wants to see if you will be a good fit for the company culture while the team manager wants to see if your skills are up to par.
Use examples and talking points that will be attractive to these people and will illustrate to them why you are the right candidate for the job. You can also consider previous interviews and the questions you’ve answered throughout the process and build on those to make sure you are portraying the information your panel is looking for.
Anticipate and Plan for Questions
Just as you would with any interview, it’s important to anticipate and plan for potential questions you may get during your presentation. The best way to do this is to think about who will be on the panel and the nature of your presentation.
Make a list of potential questions and then prepare some answers for them. If you can, practice with a friend who can ask you the questions so you can practice giving answers out loud.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Finally, practice, practice, practice! The best way to prepare for an interview presentation is to run through it several times until you are very comfortable with it. Use notes to make sure you are covering your talking points and practice using your visual aids so things will go smoothly.
As you practice, time yourself to ensure you are within your time limit. In most cases, you will tweak your presentation a few times until you are ready with your final version. This is part of the process and will help you refine your presentation.
Interview presentations don’t have to be stressful, especially if you are well prepared. Use these tips and your interview will go smoothly and you’ll stand out among other candidates, impressing your interviewers.
For more advice please call one our consultants on 0113 245 3338 or 0161 831 6890