For some of us, interview presentations are where we absolutely thrive. And for others, there’s nothing we dread more. But there’s no need to fear. Like everything else, with a little practice and proper preparation, you can take on that next interview presentation with ease. As recruiters, we know what employers really want to see at this stage of the interview process. So take heed of the advice below, and you’ll be ready to master any future interview presentations.
One of the easiest ways to begin planning for a presentation is to chat to someone else. Even if you believe them to have no knowledge of the subject matter, at least you have someone you can bounce ideas off of and get some early feedback. Sitting and chatting over your presentation ideas help you to understand what are the most important, and what might need some work. Who knows, your friends/family may just have a great example you can incorporate into your presentation!
This cannot be stressed enough. If for no other reason, setting a clear structure helps you to identify the aims of the presentation. Is it to present your ideas for the business? Or maybe to explore your skills and experience in relation to the job you’re applying for? Whatever the subject matter, setting a clear structure enables you to clarify your aims, and tie everything you talk about in your presentation back to those goals.
Arguably as important as the presentation itself, is your ability to answer questions. As part of any practice run through you do, it’s really valuable to consider what gaps there may be in the audience’s, and your own knowledge. Think about any questions you’d ask about the presentation and consider what your answer may be. The best way to prepare for these is to deliver your presentation to someone who knows nothing of the subject matter. This way, any and all potential questions that may come up in the actual presentation, you will have already heard and thus be prepared for.
Supposedly, only 7% of communication is your actual words, 38% is the tone of voice and 55% is body language. Whilst you may not have the time to actually master body language right before your presentation, there are a few things you can practice…
Open your chest and arms, keep your back straight: This will help you feel more confident, relaxed and will help you breathe more comfortably throughout your presentation.
Smile: As long as you smiling naturally and not constantly like a crazy person, this is the best body language tool you can use. Smiling helps to make the audience comfortable, helps to convey personality as well as make you feel more comfortable and confident.
Eye Contact: Look your audience in the eye to get them more engaged. People tend to naturally pay attention and like people who look them in the eye as they talk.
Gestures: Vary your gestures to emphasize what you say; using your hands, head and arms to convey part of your message. Doing so helps to keep your audience’s attention and by moving around, you’re less stiff, and so more relaxed in your speech.
This is arguably the most important aspect of interview presentation preparation; you must practice! Like with any skill, practice makes perfect. The more times you can run through it, the better. One of the most valuable parts of a practice run through is to get feedback. Either present to a friend and see what they think, or you can record yourself delivering the presentation; make sure you’re critical though, so you can improve! Whichever method you choose, either are 100x more effective than only running through in your head.
A common mistake made on presentations, is that people try to jam in as much information as possible into the slides, and end up reading them; something better known as ‘death by PowerPoint’. Slides should be considered as prompts or visual aids, and nothing else. All each slide needs is the key point/message of that segment of your presentation. More often than not, the audience are interested in your ability to deliver the presentation, rather than your ability to build a beautiful slide deck.
All of the above advice is to help you achieve one thing; to leave a lasting impression on your audience. So as long as you understand the subject matter, prepare properly and finish with a smile, you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting a job offer.
In today’s job market, you’ll need more than a good CV to stand out from the crowd; which is why so many hiring managers now make use of interview presentations. Having the ability to impress through an interview presentation can separate you from the rest. Part of our candidate service at Cute is to help coach people through this process. Because our recruiters take the time to really understand what makes a hiring manager tick, and learn exactly what it is they’re looking for, we’re perfectly positioned to help prepare you for interview presentations.
We pride ourselves on effectively preparing people for all stages of the interview process. So we can help you get the advantage against others and land that job offer!