Interview presentation preparation

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Eleven Team Candidate resources, Candidate toolkit

We are seeing presentations becoming a requirement during interviews more and more. If it’s been a little while since you’ve had to do this, you may well have to practise your technique before your next interview.

But why do interviewers like to set this task? Presenting gives interviewers a greater insight into your skillset, for example:

  • Your communication style
  • Your ability to engage the audience
  • Your ability to follow a brief
  • Your ability to enhance a brief with creative elements

Presentation preparation

To truly demonstrate your skillset, make sure you are fully prepared by following our top tips.

  1. Question brief briefs

If the brief for the presentation gives you very little to go on, then make sure to clarify any points that are unclear to you.

Some questions that you could ask your consultant include the objective of the presentation, who you will be delivering it to and how long it should be. By asking these questions you are also demonstrating to the consultant and interviewer that you are taking the task seriously, and ultimately want to do the best you can.

  1. Knowledge is power

Once you understand the topic/brief, allow yourself time for research.

As well as giving you the information that you need to present, delving into research can help to establish your background knowledge on the topic, and this sense of understanding will confidently shine through during your presentation. A good knowledge will also help you to confidently answer any questions that you may be asked.

  1. Straightforward structure

Structuring your presentation is beneficial for two reasons. The first is that your interviewer will be able to see a logical thought process and the second is that the structure will help to keep you on track and prompt you if you forget what you should be saying next.

In the most simple way, always start by introducing the topic and give a brief overview of what your presentation will involve. This part doesn’t need to be detailed. The majority of your time should be spent highlighting your findings.  

Always allocate around 5 minutes at the end for questions and take a few seconds to think about each question asked before answering.

  1. Delivery is in the detail

We won’t bore you with advice to speak clearly etc – you already know this, but we will share some other great techniques for perfecting your public speaking.

  • Don’t stand still – use the space that you are given to move a little during your presentation. This will help to keep you at ease, rather than feeling rooted to the spot, and will also help you to gesticulate, so you don’t need to worry about what to do with your hands
  • Eye contact – scan the room as you speak and make 1-2 seconds of eye contact with the interviewers. This helps to give you an air of confidence and also helps to keep the audience engaged.
  • Use visuals – If everyone is given the same brief, you must make your presentation stand out. Make your slides as visual as possible, limiting text to just a few bullet points or a single paragraph with short sentences.
  • Have a drink of water to hand – this allows you to pause and collect your thoughts, as well as eliminating dry mouth
  • Utilise prompts – if you lose your place, glance at the slides or at your notes to remind you. Interviewers would prefer to give you a moment to compose yourself than see you struggle
  • Time yourself – if you are worried about falling short of, or going over the stipulated time, put a stopwatch on your phone so that you can monitor your speed of delivery. It’s better to keep the phone out of your audience’s view, and make sure it cannot go off in the middle of your presentation
  • Honesty is the best policy – following your presentation, if you are asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, be honest and say that you don’t know, but are willing to find out and get back to them – this demonstrates an interest in the topic, and willingness to go the extra mile

We hope that these tips have helped you in your preparation. Remember that being nervous is a good thing – it helps to keep you on your toes and can facilitate quick thinking! We will leave you with some presentation 101 tips to take away with you.

Presentation 101

  • Bring a backup copy of your slides on a stick – technology can be a fickle friend
  • Show diligence by using company branding – see what colours/font/tone they use
  • Have limited text and use diagrams or other visuals where possible
  • Don’t read from a script – your slides should act as supporting roles to your dialogue
  • Speak calmly and don’t rush – you’ll soon find your rhythm

If you would like any further advice on preparing for your interview presentation, get in touch with our team of experienced consultants today.