As if interviews aren’t nerve-wracking enough, you’re now being asked to nail an interview presentation… Agh! Standing up in front of people you’ve never met, to present a solution to a business that you don’t even work with yet. It doesn’t get much scarier than this, does it?
One trend that we’ve noticed is that lots of employers these days are requiring candidates to make a presentation as part of their interview process. Would you agree that this puts you under even more pressure than normal, your nerves kick in and your chances of getting that dream job simply disappear before your eyes? You’re not alone, fear of public speaking is up there with fear of death and divorce!
We might assume that making an interview presentation is easier if you’re an extrovert but as Richard Tierney, author of The Introverted Presenter, explained to me recently, it’s tough at both ends of the spectrum.
Some extroverts can run the risk of being over-confident, even cocky. They may fail to plan properly and hope to just wing it on the day! Their presentations can lack gravitas and content.
Those candidates further along the scale towards introversion, on the other hand, can over-analyse what’s required. They may create too many slides for fear of missing out something important.
There’s clearly room for improvement for all of us if we want to nail that interview presentation and get hired!
what’s your personality type?
So, what personality type are you? Take a moment to reflect on how you would normally ‘prepare’ for an interview presentation.
A. Spend hours (days even) researching your content and perfecting dozens of slides? (You’ve heard of ‘Death by PowerPoint’ but you’re choosing to forget about it!)
B. Have a quick squizz at the job description and the company website the day before the interview and throw something together that looks OK in between making dinner and answering emails?
C. Work yourself up into such a tizz about the prospect of having to do this interview presentation that you wake up on the day having manifested a head-cold, stomach-ache or other unexpected disaster and have to cancel your interview?
These are all classic acts of self-sabotage. Examples of ways in which we manage to avoid doing (or screw-up) the scary thing which could lead to us landing the thing we want most!
It’s time to stop this and take a different approach, don’t you agree?
TOP TIPS TO NAIL YOUR INTERVIEW PRESENTATION
Here are some top tips to help you prepare for your next interview presentation:
1. Consider the pain or problem that the employer is trying to solve by hiring you. This should be the at the core of your presentation.
2. Imagine yourself being successful in the role. What would you be doing to alleviate that pain? This is your solution – the focus of your presentation.
3. Think of an example of a time when you have solved a similar pain or issue in your current or previous job. Referencing this in your presentation will reassure your employer that you can actually deliver!
4. Remember to end on a high! If you can make your interviewers smile at the end of your presentation, you will leave them with a positive impression of the kind of person you are to work with.
5. Keep your slides visual and don’t have too many! You don’t want to be reading to your interviewers – they are grown ups and can read for themselves. You also don’t want them reading your slides instead of listening to you! Use powerful visual images that support the points you are making and add impact.
6. Remember to speak clearly and concisely. When we’re nervous, we can tend to speak too quickly and/or too softly and our message gets lost. So, take a deep breath and make sure that your interviewers can hear and understand what you are saying.
7. Dress appropriately. You’re aiming to look professional and feel comfortable. As Richard says, this is not the time to be breaking in new shoes!
Feel free to ask questions in the comments below and to share this post with your friends and colleagues.
I wish you every success!
Louise Jenner is known as The Dream Job Coach and The Dream Biz Coach. She provides career coaching and business coaching, face-to-face in Gloucester and online via video link if you’re further afield.
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