Being asked to prepare for an interview presentation can be a daunting – and usually unexpected – task. We’re here to help you tackle this exercise and use it to your benefit.
Interview presentations are becoming an increasingly common occurrence during the hiring process. Sometimes they are alluded to during the application stage, where candidates are forewarned that they may be required to fulfil a certain task or present on a certain topic. Usually, however, it is only when the interview has been confirmed that the presentation bomb is dropped.
There are a few reasons that a business may ask a prospective employee to undertake a project like this. First and foremost, it’s a way to prove that you can do the job that you are applying for. It can be seen as a taster for the kind of tasks that you will have to perform if you land the job. According to Silicone Republic it’s also a way for the business to gauge your communication, organisational and research skills. A successful presentation during an interview also gives you an excellent opportunity to stand out from your competition.
The first thing you should do when you receive notice of the presentation is get to know your brief inside and out. Be sure that you know exactly what task you are being asked to complete, the time you have been allocated for the presentation, and the level of detail that you are expected to provide. Muse also suggests speaking to hiring managers in the business and asking who you will be presenting to, as the audience may differ from the interview panel.
Research forms a key part of the preparation stage. You should show an in-depth knowledge of your presentation topic and how it related to the business. If you feel that you are lacking certain information, contact the business or your recruitment consultant to request it early on, don’t leave this to the day before your interview.
Content and Structure
Your presentation should be able to communicate a clear message to your audience. You will most likely be using a slideshow software such as Powerpoint or Prezi. Visual aids can be helpful in slides, but should not overpower your content. Skillsyouneed.com recommends using the job description to approach your task. You might find that some of the job requirements are unique to the role/ business, and you can reference them in your presentation.
Of course, the task that you have been set will inform the content in your presentation. Being asked to redesign a website may require you to produce some mock-up images to convey your ideas, while financial roles may require examining budgets or utilising a more data-focused approach. It’s important to keep your information concise, and if possible, limited to 1-2 sentences in bullet-point format.
Practice your public speaking
Communication is key when giving a presentation. We have all heard that you shouldn’t simply read the content directly off your slides, but many people neglect to practice verbalizing their talking points at all. Practicing in front of an audience can be extremely beneficial, as can recording your delivery. This will help with your time management, and allow you to gauge whether what you have written makes sense when spoken aloud. The Irish Independent mentions that the way we write is not always the way that we speak, and you should be comfortable with the words that you are saying and try to come across as natural as possible.
Don’t forget to plan for things to go wrong during your presentation. Anticipate that if a laptop is provided, it may not work. If you are using a USB key, it might not be recognised by their I.T. system. Unfortunately, there is a myriad of problems that can occur.
We recommend bringing a hand-out of your presentation along to the interview, as well as emailing the presentation to yourself. Being comfortable in your public speaking skills will go a long way to adapting to unexpected circumstances such as these.
It’s important to remember that while they can be unnerving, interview presentations can be a good way to distinguish yourself during the hiring process. They are also invaluable for developing broader communication skills. Make sure that you approach your task with the right mindset, and give yourself plenty of time to gather information and structure your presentation.
At Achievers Resource Solutions, our consultants are always happy to help you through all the steps of the interview process.
Check out our Jobs List to see if we currently have a position which suits you, or simply contact us today. Always keep in mind that a well-written CV is an important first step of any job search. This article will help you to write a CV designed for the Irish job market.