by Adam Noar
As if a job interview isn’t stressful enough, you’ve been asked to give a PRESENTATION to a whole panel of interviewers.
Seriously?!? Who thought of this brilliant idea? (insert sarcastic voice here)
But when you think about it, it’s pretty normal nowadays to have to give a presentation when you go to a job interview.
I’ve been in a lot of interview presentations over the years and I can tell you that if you prepare well and come in with an awesome-looking presentation not only will your presentation go great but your ENTIRE interview will be 10x times easier!
So, how do you go about creating a beautiful presentation that knocks the socks of your interview panel?
It’s actually quite simple!
Just follow these FIVE job interview presentation tips and you will crush your interview presentation faster than you can say “you’re hired!”
Interview Presentation Tip #1: Do Plenty of Research on the Company You’re Interviewing For
Before you even open up PowerPoint you first need to do some extensive research on the company you are interviewing for.
This means it’s time to put on your Sherlock Holme’s hat and start your investigation …
Here you really need to know what your company’s industry is all about including things like:
- The latest trends
- The latest news
- The latest challenges or issues
You also want to know what is going on within the company as well:
- What kind of products do they sell?
- What are their services?
- Who are their customers?
- What have they achieved?
- What are the problems or issues they are dealing with?
The goal here is to know as much about the company as possible.
You want to come across as knowledgeable about the company and the reason why you want to know all that stuff above is that when give the presentation you have to talk about guess what … the company!
Remember, when you’re doing an interview the focus should really be on the company and what value you will add to the company.
It’s also a good idea to find out the knowledge or expertise level of your audience. Your HR contact should be able to provide you with that info. Will your audience consist of your colleagues, bosses, or potential clients? Knowing this will help you determine how to pitch your presentation, what focus you should take, and what tone will be most appropriate.
Interview Presentation Tip #2: Present Your Strengths That Are Related to the Company
Beyond doing your homework on the company your next challenge is to know your own strengths that are related to the company.
The big question you need to answer here is:
What can you do that will help the company to either improve or get over those problems or challenges that you identified in your research?
You may want to consider adding a slide or two (like the slide above from our professional “Influencer” presentation Template) that talks about your background and previous roles that relate to job description.
Interview Presentation Tip #3: Structure Your Presentation Using the “PCS Format”
Once you’ve identified the purpose and key message of your presentation, you then need to structure it.
Developing a clear structure will help you stay on point and help your audience follow you.
The best way to structure your interview presentation is to use the “PCS” format:
P – Stands for problem
C – Stands for consequences
S – Stands for solution
So let’s start with the problem:
When you give your presentation to your potential employer you want to begin by identifying a problem or challenge that the company is currently facing or maybe a problem that they will face in the future as they move forward with one of their goals.
Next you want to talk about the consequences:
Here you want to talk about what happens if a particular goal is not achieved or the consequences of failing in some way. In other words, you want to show them that if they don’t do/achieve _____ then _____ is what could happen.
The final part is to talk about a solution:
Here you want to outline very clearly what you think the company should do.
Keep in mind that when you talk about your solution it doesn’t have to be right. In other words, it doesn’t have to be a perfect solution that you guarantee is going to work.
Instead, what you are trying to show here is that you are CREATIVE and a PROBLEM SOLVER. You want to show the company that you know what they are going through and what they will go through if they don’t solve the problem and how they could possibly achieve the result that they want.
Interview Presentation Tip #4: Make a Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation
If you have been following our weekly presentation tips, you have been presented with a ton of design tips to create awesome slides.
No matter how exceptional a public speaker you are, almost all presentations benefit tremendously from awesome-looking slides. All of these slides can be created directly in PowerPoint.
To save tons of time and make sure your design looks awesome you may want to invest in a professional presentation template.
Most of the PowerPoint templates available on the internet are pretty lousy. Fortunately, there are some good resources available for finding good ones such as Graphic River.
Regardless of whether you are going to download a professional PowerPoint template or make your own keep in mind that your presentation’s design needs to be SIMPLE. In other words, the template should not distract the audience in any way. Here are three important things to keep in mind:
1) Consistency is key. Make sure all of your colors, fonts, font sizes, and graphical treatment stays consistent throughout the entire slide deck.
2) Delete or hide distracting elements that are not essential to the key point you are making on the slide.
3) Less is more. Enough said!
Of course, these are just a few tips. For a complete arsenal of presentation design tips and resources that will turn you into a PowerPoint pro click here.
Interview Presentation Tip #5: Nail the Delivery of Your Presentation
A great delivery of your presentation begins before you even walk in the room. Here are some great tips for making sure your delivery goes well:
1) Don’t forget the interview basics – dress professionally, carry yourself with confidence, and wear a smile on your face.
2) Pay attention to your body language – You should ideally be standing as you speak. This way your audience can see your gestures, stance, and confidence.
4) Speak with confidence – Make eye contact with different members of the audience to draw them in and engage them in what you’re saying. Remind yourself to take a few deep breaths at various points—this will help you stay calm, and will also naturally slow your speech a bit (most people tend to speak quickly when giving a presentation).
3) Start your presentation with a bang – make sure start your presentation like a pro so that you audience is engaged and excited right from the beginning.
4) Know your audience – are you presenting to senior executives or lower level managers? For both audiences your presentation has to rock but senior executives will want your key points driven home even faster!
So those were my five tips for doing great in your next job interview presentation.
Presentations are always nerve-wracking, but it’s important to keep in mind that your interview panel wants you to succeed. They invited you to the interview because they think you have something to offer, and they want to see more. Follow the presentation tips above and show them exactly what you can bring to the table!
Here’s my question for you …
What has worked really well for you with an interview that has involved a presentation?
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from how to succeed with an interview presentation? If so, email them the link to this post.
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