Tips for Giving a Powerful Interview Presentation
Covid-19 has overturned the hiring process, with most companies opting for virtual interviews rather than face-to-face ones. A recent hiring trend is the emerging popularity of interview presentations among hiring managers. Statistics show that 76% of hiring managers find attracting the right candidates their greatest challenge. So how do you find the right fit for your company among the hundreds of job applications? The best option is to give candidates an opportunity to pitch their skills through a presentation.
From the perspective of a candidate, this is a make-or-break moment. A well-crafted and unique presentation could be the key to landing your dream role, but a shoddy one can easily bring down your chances. If you are reading this, you are most likely looking for tips to create a presentation that will help you stand out from the crowd. You have come to the right place.
Read on for tips to avoid ‘death by powerpoint’ and ace that interview presentation round.
What is an interview presentation?
You probably know what an interview presentation already is. For the unversed, an interview presentation, as the name suggests, is a presentation that has to be put together on a particular topic as part of an interview or recruitment process. An interview presentation could range from being a simple one focused on pitching why you think you would be the best fit for the role to solving a specific business dilemma. In some cases, you may even be expected to create a blind presentation wherein you would only be given a limited amount of time to prepare. However, the expectations for any kind of presentation remain the same.
As mentioned earlier, interview presentations help the employer to find a candidate who stands out from the crowd and also fits into their company culture. It also helps interviewers to assess a wide range of skills such as communication skills, industry knowledge, attention to detail, creativity, organizational skills, ability to engage with the audience, and much more. A successful presentation will put these skills on display and help your potential employer understand if you have what it takes to be a part of their organization.
From doing adequate initial research to nailing the delivery, there are several steps involved in ensuring your presentation goes well.
Researching the Company and the Role
Consider your process of preparing for an interview presentation like that of painting a picture. You will naturally be starting with a blank canvas. Doing proper research about your potential employer and the role that you have been shortlisted for is the first brush stroke toward creating your masterpiece.
Your initial research should be centered around the industry vertical that the company is a part of, the key players in the industry, and the ranking of the company within the industry.
How to: A simple Google search will help you in finding this information.
Why: Not only does this help you understand your role in the company better, but it also helps you structure your presentation accordingly. This will also help you to answer any questions that emerge during/after the presentation with much more clarity.
Once you are done with the initial research, the next step is to look further into the company’s core values and mission. Also, look at the company’s past successes and read up on their performance.
How to: A company’s core values are often stated on its website. If not, take a look at their social media channels. To know more about the company, look at the case studies on its website and the news and PR articles.
Why: Having a clear understanding of the core values and the current standing of the company not only demonstrates your enthusiasm but also helps you to determine the direction of your presentation.
In some cases, candidates are privy to information regarding who would be part of the interview panel. If you are not, you could figure it out on your own by doing quick research about the team members and who is most likely to be a decision-maker. Either way, ensure that you take a look into their job profiles, their background, and their career progression.
How to: Most professionals are on platforms like LinkedIn, and you can find relevant information about them there.
Why: Knowing your audience will help you customize your presentation accordingly and also give you an idea about their expectations.
Planning and Organising Your Content
You have painted the background of your portrait. What next? The next logical step is to plan and organize the content in your presentation. A well-structured presentation is crucial to preventing ‘death by powerpoint’ and nailing the interview. Start by determining what you would like to convey and how you would like to do it. Setting clear objectives will ensure your presentation doesn’t deviate from the topic. Now you are ready to structure the content of your slide deck.
As with most content, your presentation will require an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Introduction: Keep in mind that you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. The opening of your presentation should hook the audience and intrigue them. However, also be careful not to make it too long and to keep it as short and precise as possible.
Body: This is where the majority of your content regarding the topic goes in. Try to back up your arguments with statistics or real-life examples to ensure credibility. You could also draw references from the core values of the company, if relevant.
Conclusion: A conclusion is as important as an introduction. Neatly wrap up what you discussed during the presentation and summarise the main points to jog the memory of your interviewers. You can also use the conclusion to highlight your profile and show them why they should hire you.
Designing your presentation
Humans are visual creatures; we remember 80% of what we see. Paying attention to the visual appeal of your presentation is a great way to engage the audience during your interview.
While designing an engaging presentation, choose a simple template and legible font. But how to stand apart from the rest when everyone shortlisted for the interview is using the same Powerpoint or Google Slides templates? One thing that you could do is to use a free online presentation maker to ensure that yours is unique from the other candidates. These editing tools also offer custom fonts and designs that can’t be found anywhere else, helping you stand out.
Here are a few top tips to keep in mind while designing your presentation for the interview.
Consistency is key: Try to incorporate the company theme into your presentation. Every company has a different brand identity, and hence it is important to spend some time researching the brand colors, fonts, and imagery they use. Keep it consistent throughout the presentation.
Create visually-appealing slides: Try to make your slides look aesthetically pleasing but not too crowded with information. Do not shy away from using lots of white space or bullet points. Also, ensure that the text is easy to read and maintain a contrast between the background and the text.
Use high-quality images: Images act as visual cues and are a great way to draw attention. However, pixelated images will leave a bad taste in the mouths of your interviewers. Thus, always try to use images that have a high resolution.
Use legible font: While choosing a font for your presentation, use one that is clear and legible. Illegible fonts will make it difficult for the interviewers to read the text on your slides.
Rehearsing and practicing your presentation
Practice indeed makes a man perfect, and it’s a good idea to practice your presentation over and over again. Job interviews are nerve-wracking, and practicing your presentation beforehand will help you gain confidence and avoid common presentation mistakes. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while rehearsing.
Firstly, practice speaking in front of a mirror so that you can see yourself from the point of view of an interviewer. You can also practice in front of your friends or family to get feedback.
Moreover, remember to time yourself to ensure that you do not exceed the time limit given to you. Running over time doesn’t leave a good impression!
Delivering your presentation
You have come to the end of the process of painting your masterpiece. All that requires now is the pièce de résistance, in other words, the delivery of your stunning presentation. All the work that has gone into creating your presentation would mean nothing if the delivery is not up to the mark. A few tips for nailing a good delivery are:
- Ensure that you speak slowly and clearly with confident and open body language.
- Maintain eye contact with the interview panel.
- Engage with the audience by addressing any questions or concerns that they may have.
For more details on impressing your audience with your presentation, check out these creative presentation ideas.
Create a winning presentation with Powtoon today
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