With an increasing level of competition within the job market, employers are faced with the challenge of sifting through a pool of candidates with a variety of assessments to test your skills, knowledge and fit for the role and organisation. Whether it’s a test of your ability to think on your feet, deal with conflicting personalities or firefighting last minute, reactive problems in a stressful sales environment, companies can afford to put candidates through their paces.
So, time to prepare yourself for more than the standard, sit-down interview.
Faced with a presentation? Well, remember the delivery of that presentation is like a business pitch, promoting nothing but brand you.
Make sure you’re brand-ready for one of the most important pitches you might make this year:
- Read, read…and digest
Read the presentation question or topic; break it down and ask yourself ‘what exactly are they asking?’
How would you market an SME selling sweat-resistant sports socks throughout the Olympics?
Remember – this is a chance for you to showcase your knowledge, skills and creativity- go all out!
- Great plan Batman
Plan your presentation; write down the main points you want to cover and order in which you want to get them out.
I like to follow this sandwich format:
Top layer of organic rye (Introduction)- Interview topic or question
Cheese slice, pickles, sauce, sauce, sauce – Introduce the main points you will discuss
Meat! (Middle)- Go through each point in detail, explain your choices, your reasoning, motivations, etc.
Final layer of rye (final piece, I promise!)- Summarise the end results, conclusions, recommendations and your thoughts
- How many slides?
Don’t have too many slides, or too much content; it will distract your audience and divert their attention away from you. No-one wants a death by Powerpoint before you’ve got the job! Take a look at Guy Kawasaki and his 10/20/30 Rule of Powerpoint
- Keep it visual
Include relevant visuals, diagrams, consider using photos, screenshots, examples of your work- everyone likes authenticity.
If you’ve been set a time limit, stick to it. This gives the interview panel an indication of your ability to follow instructions and more importantly stick to timeframes.
Practice makes perfect. Rehearse that pitch in front of the mirror, in front of friends, your harshest critic, etc.
- Be memorable
Printed copies of your slides are great idea to leave with the interview panel to remind them of the content of your presentation in case they missed any important points you discussed.
Also, more importantly, remember to print out a set of presentation notes to prompt you whilst talking through your presentation.