Overview of preparing for an interview presentation
There are many ways interviewers can test your suitability for their role, one of which is an interview presentation. Presenting at an interview can help your employer gauge your communications skills, confidence, and professionalism, which makes it vital to prepare adequately to impress your audience. We will discuss how to deliver a powerful interview presentation that will increase your chances of getting the job.
How to prepare for an interview presentation
Here are the steps you need to take to improve your chances at an interview presentation:
1. Research the company and the position ahead of the presentation
Before the date of the presentation, research the company and the position you are applying for. Doing this will help you determine the type of pitch to create for your presentation. Here’s a list of essential questions you should prepare to ask your employer during your research:
- What topics are most relevant to the company? Knowing the company’s areas of interest will help you fit your presentation content to the organization’s needs.
- How long should the presentation last? A timeframe will help you decide what content to add or delete from the presentation.
- Who is the audience? Discover the interests and job responsibilities of your interviewers. You can use several online tools, including their Glassdoor profiles, to conduct research on professionals.
Determine their experience levels. People on different experience levels have varying concerns. For instance, while a manager may care about your administrative abilities, a team leader may be more interested in your collaboration skills. If you focus on what your interviewer can easily relate to, you will impress them easily.
2. Use a logical structure
Your presentation should be well-structured. Using a structure keeps you on track in your interview presentation and prevents your audience from getting bored. A structured presentation has an engaging introduction, a compelling argument in the body, and a noteworthy conclusion. While an engaging introduction sparks their interest, a powerful argument convinces the audience you are a good candidate for the job. A remarkable conclusion can secure your chances of getting the job by reiterating your job-specific skills and experiences. An excellent idea for a structured presentation is to create a project that demonstrates how you can use your skills to produce impressive results. You can use presentation aids like PowerPoint to maintain the structure of your presentation during the interview. Each PowerPoint slide should be a summary of a key point in the presentation. You may also try distributing printed versions of the slides to the interview panel to keep your presentation memorable even after the interview.
3. Practice your delivery
In most cases, an interview presentation is the application stage that solidifies your chances of getting the job. So, you want to avoid babbling or appearing unprepared while delivering your presentation. If you want to stay confident throughout the interview, you should probably practice the presentation several times beforehand. Record yourself with a camera or deliver the simulated presentation before your friends. This way, it’s easier to get feedback on your presentation and work on the areas that need improvement. If you decide to record your presentation, pay attention to your body language. Interviewers build their impression of you from both your words and non-verbal cues. Here are some tips on the appropriate body language for interview presentations:
- Deliver the entire presentation standing up.
- Keep your head high and your shoulders upright while delivering the presentation.
- Maintain eye contact with your interviewers. If you are standing behind a table or a podium, step out in front so that your employers can see your expression clearly.
- Articulate your words with confidence and authority.
- Take deep breaths in between your presentation.
No matter how much you’ve prepared for the interview, you may still feel nervous about the actual interview date. Nervous people tend to speak faster than usual. However, taking deep breaths during the presentation will help you reduce the speed of your speech.
4. Observe the rules of the presentation
While building your presentation, follow the employer’s rules for the interview. If your employers state that all candidates must complete their presentation in eight minutes, don’t exceed one minute beyond the mark. Employers are likely to believe that any applicant who doesn’t follow instructions is unreliable. So, always do your best to work with the available resources.
5. Be unique
Just like you, other job applicants are searching on the internet for ways to give an impressive presentation. You need to show your uniqueness to convince your employer that you are the ideal candidate for the position. You can differentiate yourself by creating a simulated minor project and demonstrating how you would use your skills to achieve the desired project goals.
6. Use a familiar technology
Today, there is a lot of presentation software on the internet. It’s easy to get distracted by the dynamic features of the newest presentation software. That’s why it is advisable to skip learning how to operate new presentation software and focus on building your presentation on familiar tools. Your content is the most important part of the presentation.
7. Have a backup plan
Your prospective employer will probably supply a projector and USB-compatible device to help you give your presentation. Still, it helps to have a backup plan. Having a backup plan will ensure that you complete your presentation successfully, irrespective of any complications that may arise. Even if the company promises to provide a projector for your presentation, bring your laptop. Your interviewers will likely be few, so they’ll be able to see the screen clearly even if you use a personal computer. A few printed copies of your slides, which you’ll share among your audience, can also save the day when your computer breaks down.
8. Use brand format in your presentation
Interviewers are more likely to focus on a presentation designed in their organization’s brand colors than any other presentation. You can find your employer’s brand colors and formats on their website. If the firm has posted sample presentations on the internet, you can study them and use a similar format.
9. Determine follow-up questions and provide answers
After you have finished creating your presentation, look through the content and determine any follow-up questions your audience might ask. Here is a list of common follow-up questions that employers ask at interview presentations:
- Why are you recommending this solution?
- What resources can we use to implement these processes?
- How do we convince our partners to invest in this initiative?
- How do you plan to minimize the risks of this project?
- How is this project connected to our company’s vision?
Simple interview presentation template for beginners
If you are having problems creating your first interview presentation, we have designed an interview presentation template to guide you. Every interview presentation should have the following sections:
State the objectives of your presentation and highlight the structure to give your audience a general idea of your presentation.
2. About me
Share your work experience and any relevant skills you possess.
3. About the company
Reiterate the company’s objectives, vision, and milestones. If you have to complete your presentation in a limited time, share only its goals relevant to your ideas.
4. Answering the brief
In this section, you discuss your ideas with your interviewers. If your employer has requested that you answer some questions in the presentation, provide your answers here. You should also share the merits and limitations of your recommendations here.
5. Questions and answers
You may dedicate some time for your audience to ask follow-up questions and receive their answers from you.
Summarize your key points, make a rational conclusion, and explain your decisions to the interview panel.
7. Past achievements/deliverables
Highlight your previous successes to convince your audience that you can do the job.
Best interview presentation software
Here are some of the best software you can use to deliver a professional interview presentation:
PowerPoint is the most common presentation software. Anyone with a working laptop can access PowerPoint easily. The latest version of this presentation software offers pre-designed visuals and lets users add and edit video and audio directly on the slides. However, the software may overwhelm beginners. Also, interview applicants may find it challenging to illustrate complex ideas on the software.
Prezi transforms drab slides into interactive presentations. This presentation software is free to use. That said, users tend to get lost in the attractive visual options that Prezi offers, neglecting their content. Also, you cannot add audio files to your Prezi presentation.
The Keynote presentation software is only available for Mac users. Despite its impressive aesthetics, Keynote allows for free usage and offline access. The software is user-friendly. With a few hours of practice, beginners can produce remarkable presentations on Keynote. If you are an entry-level applicant with no experience creating presentations, consider developing your presentation skills with this software.
Google Slides is impressive presentation software that allows users to import animations and videos into their slides. Nevertheless, it has fewer themes than Prezi and PowerPoint. Unlike PowerPoint, this software is free for every user, as long as they have a Google account. Beginners who do not have a Mac can learn how to build presentations with Google Slides. Delivering a convincing presentation at an interview can help you showcase your job-relevant skills and personal qualities that make you an ideal candidate for a role. Use this guide to learn how to deliver a powerful interview presentation that will impress your interviewers and improve your chances of getting the job.