Present your way to a job offer
Nine top tips to excel in a presentation
Increasingly, as part of an interview process, a presentation might be called upon by the hiring organisation to test a number of your characteristics.
This part of their armoury is designed to examine the candidate’s credentials and to view (depending on the context of the interview subject matter) their thought processes, planning and delivery of information and communication/stakeholder management skills.
In this piece, we offer some useful advice on how to excel in an interview where a presentation is part of the requirement. This advice is all designed to help you leave a positive reminder by being engaging, communicative and professional.
- Answer the question!
If a presentation is required, plan out your answer but don’t forget to answer the question. In your willingness to shine and show your aptitude, often candidates totally miss the point of a presentation! Don’t fall into this trap. This means having a clear structure that underlines your narrative.
- Plan before you build
Plan your presentation before you rush into building it. Talk to friends and colleagues to see what they think. With their endorsement ringing in your ears, you can build a presentation that allows you to stand out. See the point above regarding focus.
Think about the method you are choosing to present; PowerPoint? Prezi? Check with the interview organiser if you need to bring a laptop with the presentation on a USB memory stick or if you need to email it in advance.
Usually, the hiring organisation will provide the technology including projector connecting cables etc, but don’t assume. Ask.
- Less is definitely more
When writing a presentation, it is advisable not to write your entire contents onto the screen. Be choosy with what you put on the slides. Bullet point a couple of words and then elaborate when you present it.
So, you’ve built your presentation and you have time to spare. Run through it and adjust where necessary. This time gives you the opportunity to adjust your language and how loud you speak – the details do matter.
- Take control
This is your presentation, so if you’d prefer questions at the end or if you don’t mind being interrupted, it’s wise to set this out at the outset.
- Be engaging
When you are standing in front of your audience, do make sure you make regular eye contact. You are a professional and you want the recipients to understand you know exactly what you’re talking about. This is one way of doing that.
- Be concise
When it comes to questions, be alert, illustrative yet concise. Do not waffle – this shows a nervousness (which is understandable) but also a lack of confidence in the subject matter. Like the content of the presentation – keep your answers focused on the question.
At MRK Associates, we’re here to help grow your career.
Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.
MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.
For more information, please telephone 01442 894555 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org