7 Top Tips on How to Prepare for Interview Presentations

7 Top Tips on How to Prepare for Interview Presentations

I was delighted to run a presentation skills workshop recently with Engage Executive Jobs.  We focused on how to prepare for interview presentations.

Summary of the 7 Top Tips

  1. Make it easy for them to know, like and trust you.
  2. Engage the audience and demonstrate excellent presentation skills.
  3. Let your personality shine through (appropriately!).
  4. Consider your content carefully.
  5. Consider your presentation style relative to the role and company.
  6. Research the company and market thoroughly.
  7. Know how you are going to structure any presentation before you do it.

One of the things I asked participants to consider was the purpose of the presentation in an interview but from the interviewers perspective.   The interviewer isn’t just looking for the content of a presentation – they are also observing your personality and likability. They want to know that you are the kind of person that will fit into the company.  They also want to see that you are trustworthy and they can build rapport with you easily: But this can only be done if you are natural and yourself. If you avoid eye contact, and appear nervous (or suffer from the Public Speaking Monkeys, as I call them) it is less easy for the interviewers to get that trust and likability factor.

An Interviewer is also looking to see that you have an ability to engage an audience and can communicate a clear message – not always easy under pressure perhaps.   They want to see how you manage on your feet, that you have a variety of communication skills available; its not just about creating a PowerPoint deck.  You need to show that you can be engaging with stories, use relevant props, overhead projectors or flipcharts if those tools are appropriate to the role and company.

Obviously, the interviewer or panel are looking to see that you have skills in your specialist area but also it may be important to experience what your presentation skills are like – especially in leadership roles.  Of course your body language will be important, you need to convey that you are calm and confident and be relaxed enough to let your personality shine through.

The other thing people sometimes forget is that they are looking at your presentation style to see that it is appropriate to your individual personality and to the company, brand or role.

  • If you are a thinker use your pauses and thoughtfulness – allow your strengths to shine through in the presentation. But of course you’ll want a role that suits your style anyway – so just be yourself. (Unless that’s scared & nervous of presenting!)
  • Different companies will want different things; Lush Cosmetics might be looking for a very different style of presentation than Liverpool Victoria insurance company.
  • You also need to consider your style of presentation and the role you are applying for – a Finance Director role will have hugely different requirements from a creative or innovation type position.
  • I remember an interview presentation I was on the panel for – a Marketing Director’s interview and I remember “Jeff” had visited several of the companies’ sites and done a “mystery shopper” style video presentation. It was great and he stood out from the crowd. (He also got in a bit of trouble for not asking permission to film – but he got the job!)

Finally, an Interviewer will be looking to see that you have done your research on the company.  They may be interested to see how much time you spent researching them, as your research demonstrates your commitment.  They might want to see the depth of your research; have you only done website research or have you spoken to people and formulated views?  It is worth checking what the Press has to say about them, they may be looking for solutions to problems that they are experiencing, and they may be looking to you to identify any gaps in the company strategy, following the research that you’ve done.

When it comes to considering the content and structure of your interview presentation I have shared many presentation tips on those topics already so please read these blogs too to help you prepare:

If you would like to learn how to master these and other business presentation skills then take a look at our presentation training courses or contact us today to talk through any questions you may have. We work with companies (and individuals) that want to see fast results and a step-change in their teams’ presentation skills. We help marketing, sales and executive teams with our award-winning approach so that they can communicate more effectively.

Posted by Dee Clayton on 3 Jul 2013

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