Particularly for executive level positions, a presentation stage can be an integral part of the short-listing process.
Many employers opt for a presentation interview as it gives a better overview of your general aptitude when compared to (or combined with) a traditional question and answer interview. The presentation is your opportunity to showcase your knowledge, experience and communication skills as well as your general organisation and diligence.
Here are our tips on how you can ensure you deliver the best interview presentation possible.
Preparing your presentation for an interview
Keep each slide short and significant, aiming for no more than 10 slides. This ensures the information you deliver is memorable and will help you to stand out from other interviewees
Use a range of formats to help illustrate your points. Include graphs, statistics, diagrams, video clips, and images to help break up large volumes of text and maintain the attention of the interviewers
Include quotes from industry leaders and/or research pieces. This helps give your points authority and demonstrate your commercial awareness
Incorporate company colours or fonts in the design of your presentation. This will show you’ve done your research and highlight your brand awareness
Check spelling and grammar thoroughly – small mistakes can really undermine the content of your presentation
Present confidently and enthusiastically. Remember to speak clearly, make eye contact and use open body language
Practice, practice, practice. Ensure you are well rehearsed so that you are familiar with the structure and are able to deliver your presentation smoothly
Arrive early to give yourself time to set up the presentation and settle any nerves
Get comfortable with PowerPoint and presentation equipment. Make sure you know how to work the projector, visual screens or remote control before you begin to avoid any awkward stumbles or pauses
Have access to multiple sources of your presentation. Email the file to yourself and the recruiter, bring a copy on a USB stick and bring printed handouts. This way you are covered if anything goes wrong with the file you’re intending to use
Stay within the allocated time. If you have not been given a guidance on length, aim for the 10 minute mark. Time your presentation when you are practising to make sure it will fit within your allowed time slot. If you need to reduce the content of your presentation, cut out the least relevant or weakest points
Be prepared to adapt. You may have practiced your presentation in a certain way, but the interviewer might not respond accordingly. Be prepared to be stopped for questions or further discussion unexpectedly
10 minute interview presentation template
Below is an example for the structure of your interview presentation. Use this as a baseline and adapt or reorder where appropriate based on the task you have been set by the interviewer.
Slide 1: Introduction – Reiterate the objectives you have been set and lay out the structure of your presentation so that the interviewers know what to expect
Slide 2: About you – Detail your professional experience, skills and working style
Slide 3: Company history – Give a brief summary of the company history, any milestones or awards
Slides 4-7: Answering the brief – Give your responses to questions you’ve been asked to answer, the benefits and limitations of your suggestions
Slide 8: Question and answers – Include a slide titled ‘questions and answers’ as a cue to pause for interaction
Slide 9: Conclusion – Sum up the key points you have made, reach a decision and explain your reasoning
Slide 10: Personal achievements – End the interview on a high with a brief slide on achievements that show you will succeed in the role
Taking these steps should help you to succeed in your presentation interview.