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How to Prepare for an Interview Presentation

October 8, 2014 / Blog, Features, Insight, Presentation interview presentations, presentation tips, Presentations

First impressions are extremely important, especially in the world of business. Whether you’re a fresh graduate looking to score your first job, or an experienced employee looking to land your big break, interview presentations are among those crucial moments. Recruiters often request an interview presentation to test your ability to communicate in a clear and confident manner. In doing so, you’re expected to do more than just talk about your experience and qualifications. When you’re given an opportunity to present to potential employers, you’ll need to show the best version of yourself.

An interview presentation is a rare chance to showcase your personality, capability, and professionalism. In order to leave the best impression, you will have to bravely face your interviewers and knock them off their feet.To help in that task, here are some tips you can use to guide your interview presentation:

1.) Ask the right questions 

Before starting your preparations, gather crucial details asking the hiring manager some key questions. Find out as much as you can about the topic you will be presenting on, and determine the technical requirements of your presentation. Most importantly, you should also ask about the people expected to sit in your audience. The audience will be the most crucial part of your interview presentation. They will be the ones to determine whether or not you’re fit for the role you’re eyeing. If you can, try to find the answer to these questions:

  • What is their professional background?
  • What is their knowledge or level of expertise?
  • What roles do they play in the company?
  • What questions might they ask based on their expertise?

2.) Develop well-structured content

Once you’ve set a clear direction for your presentation, you can start building a strong foundation. Plan your presentation following a structure that connects your ideas in a logical and compelling manner. Research has proven that a specific, story-driven structure is effective in eliciting powerful emotional response. However, you can also go for a more traditional structure: a fascinating introduction, an engrossing in-depth discussion, ending with an insightful conclusion.

3.) Work on your visuals 

If the presentation calls for it, you should also spend time building an effective PowerPoint deck. Visuals have the power to make your arguments more memorable and compelling. Use your PowerPoint deck to highlight the main points in your speech. Emphasize the most important parts by using images and illustrations.

4.) Plan what you’re going to wear 

Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of appearance. Like it or not, first impressions are largely formed based on physical characteristics. In an interview presentation, there is absolutely no excuse for careless grooming. Take the time to plan your outfit accordingly. Again, it will help if you do some research to learn more about company culture. This will help you determine the dress code that’s appropriate for the occasion.

5.) Practice your presentation skills

Lastly, take the time to rehearse your entire presentation. As the old adage says, “practice makes perfect.” Try to practice in the same way that a concert pianist would. Focus on specific parts of your presentation. Practice how to deliver each passage and how you plan to move around the stage. Rehearse your presentation in clusters until you get everything right.

The stakes are high for an interview presentation, and it’s normal to feel nervous going into a room of potential employers. Think of it as an opportunity to flaunt your skills and show that you’re the perfect person for the job.


Featured Image: Alex France via Flickr