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Interview presentations: do’s and don’ts

29th May 2018

Interviews can be daunting enough, let alone if you’re asked to present to a group of people you’ve only just met. Usually, these will take place during a second interview and will require you to prepare a presentation in advance on a topic that’s related to the role you’re applying for.

But, while you may shudder at the thought of having to present in an interview, it doesn’t actually need to be as scary as you think. With careful preparation and practise, you’ll be able to master your presentation skills and make a winning impression.

To help you out, Augusta Henning from job board CV Library has pulled together a key list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to interview presentations: 

Do familiarise yourself with the brief

Before you start pulling together your presentation, it’s vital that you fully understand what is expected of you. Read the brief a few times and note down any areas that you’re unsure of. Remember, you can always ask the recruiter or hiring manager to clarify something for you.

Once you’re sure that you know what you need to prepare, it’s time to do your research. The presentation will likely be in relation to the business and its current position, so taking the time to understand the company and its goals is extremely important.

Don’t go overboard

If the interviewer has given you a set amount of time to deliver your presentation, it’s important that you stick within these limits. Therefore, if you only have five minutes to present, you shouldn’t pull together a document which has 30 odd slides to go through.

It’s always best to keep your presentation succinct and to the point, rather than bombarding the interviewer with information. Ideally, around three to four slides should work for a five-minute presentation and you can double this amount for a 10-minute one.

Don’t forget to demonstrate your suitability for the job

Remember, the interviewer will be looking to see how suitable you are for their company and the role in question. Therefore, it’s important to refer back to the original job description and see how you can demonstrate that you’re capable in any key areas.

For example, if the company requires someone with strong analytical skills, your presentation should show that you’ve conducted a piece of analysis and have come to conclusions based on this. Think about what skills you can showcase and go from there.

Do practise and brush up on your presentation skills

Practise certainly makes perfect, so ensure that you complete your presentation in a timely manner ahead of the interview. This will allow you more time to read it through in advance and prepare what you want to say.

Ideally, you want to know as much of the content as possible off by heart, so you can confidently walk the recipient through your ideas, while also maintaining eye contact and building up a strong rapport.

Don’t forget that things can go wrong

It’s important not to rest on your laurels. Technology can play up and things can be forgotten or go wrong. Ask the employer in advance what you’ll be using to present on and whether you need to bring your own laptop with you.

Alongside this, if they ask you to email the presentation over ahead of the interview, you should always bring it along on a USB, just in case it doesn’t open on their computer. Finally, consider bringing along a couple of printouts of your presentation, as this can be useful for the interviewer(s) to refer to.

Do be on brand

One final way to make a great impression during an interview is to go the extra mile and ensure that your presentation is on brand. Take a look at the company’s website for inspiration on its colour palette – you can also easily take their logo from the site too.

Familiarise yourself with the language they use and their tone of voice – if you’re able to mirror it effectively, they’ll find it easier to imagine you working in their business.

Don’t be scared

Finally, it’s important not to let any nerves or fears overwhelm you. If you’ve been asked to present, it usually means the employer is keen to know more about you and see how you can fit within their company.

Presenting is often deemed as a daunting task for many, but it doesn’t need to be. Even if you’re not a very confident person, as long as you do enough preparation and take on board the above advice, you’ll be sure to make a great impression and land yourself an exciting new job.

CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board and boasts a range of vacancies across the country: from Sheffield, to London. It also owns a selection of sector-specific sites, including Engineering Jobs.

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