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How to Deliver a Winning Interview Presentation
Written by: Unenabasi Ekeruke
The average corporate job opening receives about 250 resumes . To find the most suitable candidates, many companies make interview presentations a decisive part of their hiring process.
Whether you're looking to switch jobs or move up the ladder in your organization, a well-crafted interview presentation might be the key to landing your next role.
Interview presentations give you a chance to pitch your skills and showcase your knowledge about the position. Delivering an exceptional presentation will put you a step ahead of other candidates.
But how do you make your interview presentation stand out?
In this article, we've rounded up the best tips for preparing and delivering a winning interview presentation that will help you stand out and land you the job.
Let's get to it.
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Table of Contents
What is an interview presentation, what employers look for in an interview presentation, how to prepare for your interview presentation.
- 11 Interview Presentation Tips to Help You Stand Out
In many industries, interview presentations help recruiters pick the best candidate for the job.
They also help managers gauge a candidate's presentation skills, especially if the job role involves pitching to clients or top management.
Interview presentations often involve presenting formal talks about subjects that interest recruiters. These subjects could be directly related to your job role or the industry your prospective organization operates in.
Your interview presentation could potentially revolve around topics like:
- Emerging trends and innovations in a particular industry
- Competitive landscape and future predictions
- Business, operations and marketing strategies
- Improving sales and customer retention
It could also be about pitching your work experience, ideas and why you're the best fit for the role.
Let's say you're interviewing for a high-level position in the sales and marketing department. You may be asked to pitch the company's product or services to prospects or do these things:
- Predict trends in the industry where the company operates
- Talk about how the current market trend may affect sales for a particular line of products
- Present a marketing plan for your prospective role
Below is an interview presentation template that you can edit and use.
Sometimes, prospective employers may give you specific topics in advance, giving you ample time to prepare.
At other times, you may have to make blind presentations. This means you'll get topics shortly before the presentation and may have limited time to prepare.
Whatever be the case, nailing your interview presentations will up your chances of landing your new role.
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Take a moment to think about your best job interview.
Why did your employer choose to hire you ahead of other candidates? You probably ticked all the right boxes in terms of skills, experiences, education, personality and other factors.
But most importantly, it's how you presented your skills, capabilities and knowledge about the role that probably blew their minds.
At every stage of the hiring process, employers look for outstanding candidates who measure up to their expectations. These expectations may differ based on the job role, industry and organizational structure.
However, on a general note, recruiters will readily opt for candidates who:
- Understand the organization and its line of business
- Know their job role and what's expected
- Understand the company mission and will fit into the company culture
- Show passion, ambition and leadership qualities
- Demonstrate the ability to use their skills and experience to drive the company forward
- Know how to communicate and present in front of a small or large group of people
What specific presentation skills do employers look for?
Excellent presentation skills are a must-have for most client-facing roles or high-level positions. Therefore, asking a candidate to make presentations during interviews can help companies assess whether they can deliver on the job.
Not only that, interview presentations provide deeper insight into your abilities and skills, such as:
- Presentation design skills
- Verbal and written communication style
- The ability to hook, engage and interact with your audiences
- Ability to deliver the message with clarity
- Diligence and attention to details
- Work experience and sector knowledge
- Ability to read and interpret the mindset of listeners
- Use of visual aids
- Time management and organization skills
For a blind presentation, the employer may want to feel your pulse or perspective on issues or take notice of things like:
- The ability to think on your feet
- How you perform under pressure
- How persuasive and creative you can be
Ultimately, the recruiter is also checking to see if you meet the core competencies for the job. Therefore, make sure to revisit them during the blind presentation.
Beyond landing the job, getting it right with your presentation can set the tone for further engagements with your colleagues and top management.
Preparation is one of the keys to delivering an excellent interview presentation.
Once you've received the details about the interview, don't leave your preparation till the last minute or assume you can wing it. Use the days leading up to the interview to put the necessary things in place.
Here's what you should know. Preparing for your interview presentation puts you in control and increases your chances of securing the job.
Unfortunately, knowing how to prepare for interviews may be a big challenge for many people.
But we've got you covered.
Use these tips below to get yourself interview-ready.
1. Ask the Right Questions
Whether you receive a phone call or email about your interview, ensure you're clear about the details. Rather than make sweeping assumptions, go ahead and do these things:
- Find out what your prospective employers expect from you.
- Ask if you'll get a topic before the presentation date or if it's a blind presentation. Also, find out if you'll be allowed to choose from a list of topics.
- Find out who your audience will be (recruitment agencies, HR, supervisors, top-level management).
- Ask how many people will be present at the interview.
- Make sure to ask how long the presentation will last. Having a timeframe will help you decide what to add or delete from the presentation.
- Find out if they have a preferred presentation style.
- Ask what technical equipment and presentation tools will be available.
- Find out whether there'll be provision for sound, audio and visuals.
By asking these questions, you'll know what recruiters expect from you and align your presentation to match their needs. Plus, they'll judge your suitability for the role based on how you pay attention to the finest details.
2. Research the Company and the Position Before the Interview
Now you have answers to the fundamental questions, go ahead and research the company and the position you've applied for.
That's not all. Find out the industry the company operates, the major players and where the company ranks within the industry.
Doing this will enable you to:
- Structure your presentation and
- Interpret your job role within the context of the industry where the company operates.
For example, if you're an accounting professional, it's not enough to understand general accounting principles.
You'll have to understand what your role entails within the context of the industry you'll be working in. It could be oil and gas, mining, tech, construction, health, finance or entertainment.
Here are other things you should find out during your research.
Company Vision, Mission and Goals
Find out the company's history, what they stand for and their area of interest. It's also a good idea to research their major competitors and how they've fared in the market.
But how do you find this valuable information?
The company's website and social media channels are good starting points. News, blogs and third-party sites can provide more information about what the company has been up to.
Having this essential info will help you:
- Determine subjects relevant to the company and the area you should focus on,
- Tailor your interview presentation to their needs and
- Impress your potential employers.
Not only that, but it also shows you're prepared to be part of that organization's culture.
Part of your research should be to find out who is going to be interviewing you. One way to get that information is by asking the company's HR or using your intuition.
For example, if you're applying for a sales and marketing position, the marketing, sales and HR managers will most likely be on the interview panel.
Next, find out their interests and job responsibilities. Platforms like LinkedIn , Meetup , Indeed and other job boards can come in handy.
You might want to take note of their experience levels.
Professionals with different experience levels have varying concerns.
For example, while top management may care about your administrative or leadership abilities, a team lead may be more interested in your technical or problem-solving skills.
If you focus on what matters most to your audience, you'll attract their interest and win them over.
3. Structure Your Interview Presentation
If you want to keep your audiences hooked to your slides, ensure your presentation is well-structured.
Doing this will keep you on track and prevent your audience from zoning out of your presentation.
Here's how to create an excellent presentation structure.
In its simplest form, a well-structured presentation should have an introduction, body and conclusion.
- Compelling introduction: Your introduction should briefly sum everything about you, your presentation objectives and why it's relevant to your audience. You can ask a question, tell a story, share facts or use humor to spark interest.
- Engaging body: This is where you present the main details of your topic. Make sure to back your argument with facts or a wealth of information that shows that you're the best candidate for the job. Talk about the company goals and how you'll help to achieve them.
- Memorable conclusion: Here, you should present your key takeaways about the topic. Likewise, briefly reiterate your skills, experience, expertise, past achievements and why they should hire you.
You can use presenter notes to ensure you stick to the structure. Throughout your presentation, keep your message clear. Plus, make sure every part of your presentation relates to the topic.
Check out this article for more tips on how to structure your presentation .
Structure your interview presentation to make it appealing and impactful like the one below.
4. Pay Attention to Design
Remember, first impressions count. And your interview presentation isn't an exception to this rule. Excellent presentation designs help you create an impactful first impression on your interviewers.
Think of your design as the aesthetic element that etches your presentation in your viewer's minds and sways them in your favor.
Whether you're pitching the company's product or your resume, having flawless interview presentation designs will help you tell stories better.
Not only does it create a memorable impression, but it also makes your presentation pack a punch.
You can start from scratch or jumpstart your creativity with interview presentation examples like the one below.
While creating your presentation slides , here are some things you should keep in mind:
Keep It On-Brand
Try to tailor your presentation design (font, color scheme, background, image) to the company's identity and visual language. Companies like Starbucks, Skype, Spotify and Netflix provide brand guidelines on their website.
Brand guidelines generally contain a set of rules on using the company’s branding elements. If the company doesn't have a brand guide, you can use the colors on their logo or website for your slide design.
Interviewers will most likely focus on a presentation designed in their organization's brand format. And doing this will show you've done your research about the company.
Pro Tip: Use Visme's Brand Design Tool to automatically generate a branded presentation template with your employer's logo, colors and fonts. Simply enter in the URL to their website and watch the magic happen!
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Use Lots of White Space
Avoid cluttering your interview presentation slides with too many ideas, text or images. This could overwhelm your audience and make your presentation a pain in the eyes.
When designing a clean and effective presentation, it's important to use lots of white space. Don't use more than six words per slide . Stick to one idea and a minimum of two images per slide.
Use High-Quality Images
Be sure to use high-quality visuals that drive an emotional appeal.
Better yet, every visual you use should have a purpose behind it. If you're presenting an overview of yourself, it makes sense to use a nice, high-quality headshot of yourself. Take a cue from the interview presentation sample to create yours.
Even if you're using stock photos to spice up your slides, make sure the images are carefully selected to balance the text on each slide and are relevant to the topic that's being discussed.
Using low-quality, irrelevant or pixelated images can not only make your presentation boring, but it can also negatively impact your image and make you come across as careless or lazy.
Make Your Slides Easy to Read
When selecting fonts and sizing them, use fonts that are readable on small and large screens. Stick a font size of 36 pixels for titles and at least 30 pixels for body text.
Additionally, to make your message pop, maintain a solid contrast between your text and background. If you use a dark background, use a white font color and vice versa. You can grab inspiration from the job interview presentation sample below.
In the template above, notice how the dark text color pops vibrantly on the white background. Additionally, the fonts are legible enough for readers to digest the message in the slide.
If you want to learn more about making your slide designs shine, read our in-depth article on how to create good presentation design .
5. Use Charts and Graphs to Visualize Data
As mentioned before, sprawling text and bullets aren't enough to drive visual appeal. You need to use visual aids to break up text and boost visual appeal.
By using a range of formats like graphs, statistics, diagrams , video clips and images, you can easily maintain audience attention and get your points across.
Notice how the job interview presentation sample below uses data visualization to present information.
Are you looking for high-resolution visuals for your interview presentations?
If the answer is yes, Visme's presentation maker has everything you need. The tool has a robust library of free and premium stock images, elegant fonts, icons, graphs, charts, infographics and other visual aids.
6. Keep Your Presentation Clear, Unique and Impactful
When it comes to making presentations, less is more.
As a presenter, you want recruiters to glance at your slide, gain interest and listen to you. Hence it's best to keep your slide short and simple, aiming for ten slides or less.
Be careful not to load too much information on your slides or break off tangents that don't support your topic.
Just like you, other applicants are looking to give an impressive presentation. Make your presentation memorable and unique. This will convince your employer that you are the ideal candidate for the job.
One way to make your presentation unique is by:
- Creating a simulated project or demo
- Using case studies related to the company's operations
- Creating a strategic plan for your intended role or department
- Depicting how you would use your skills to achieve the desired project goals
If you're doing a job presentation for a marketing position, for example, you can create a detailed strategic plan that wins the heart and minds of your interviewers using the template below.
7. Practice Your Delivery
Your interview presentation is a critical stage in the recruiting process. And having an excellent delivery will solidify your chances of getting the job.
However, having a flawless delivery starts with practice, practice and more practice.
For example, Steve Jobs was one of the most phenomenal speakers of his time. His keynotes and demos were compelling and filled with passion and energy.
But if you pull back the curtain, you'll realize why presentations were magical. What seemed spontaneous took hours and hours of practice.
Here's the thing. Rehearsing your presentation beforehand will help avoid babbling or being caught off guard.
Not only that, practice will make you become confident, familiar with the outline or structure and deliver your presentation smoothly.
How do you practice your interview presentation?
First off, deliver your presentation in front of a mirror and record yourself while you're at it. Repeat this as many times as possible and watch out for mistakes that could hurt your presentation.
Next, practice your presentation before your friends and ask them to take notes. Doing this will enable you to get feedback or work on areas that require improvements.
Encourage them to provide detailed feedback rather than general feedback like: "you did well" or "great design".
Before presenting his first TED Talk, author and business podcaster Tim Ferriss practiced his presentation with a group of friends and strangers. He went ahead to incorporate their feedback and suggestions in his next rehearsal.
During practice, go ahead and do these things:
- Time yourself to ensure your presentation falls within the allowed time
- Keep your shoulder and head high up
- Maintain eye contact with your audience (friends, family or professional colleagues)
- Be expressive and articulate your words with confidence.
- Take deep breaths and pauses in between your presentation
- Be audible and avoid speaking too fast
As you practice repeatedly, you'll have your points at your fingertips. Plus, you'll become more confident about your interview.
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor practiced her 18-minute TED Talk about 200 times before getting on stage. Her speech below, “ My Stroke of Insight,” has amassed well over 25 million views on the TED site alone.
8. Follow Presentation Guidelines
While preparing for your big day, adhere to the employer's rules for the interview presentation.
The interview rules could include:
- Interview arrival time
- Document required
- The focus of the presentation and allotted time
For instance, if your interviewer says candidates must complete their presentation in 10 minutes, don't exceed the allocated time.
If you've not been given a time limit, keep your presentation between 10-20 minutes. Remember — people have short attention spans.
When you adhere to the guidelines, employers will believe you're reliable and can work with available resources.
9. Use the Right Presentation Tool
The tool you use to prepare your presentation is as important as the content. You'll find tons of presentation software out there, including PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, Visme, Prezi and more.
Sometimes, your potential employer may favor a particular platform for your interview presentation. But more often than not, they'll leave you to make a choice.
In this case, it's advisable to build your presentations using a tool that's not only familiar but has everything you need to make your content shine. We strongly recommend a feature-rich tool like Visme .
Whether you're a novice or expert, Visme is precisely made to help you craft beautiful presentations and nail your delivery. The tool has 500+ templates, animations, fonts, and design themes that match your style and any niche you can think of.
You can also check out our quick video on how to create beautiful and professional interview presentations in Visme.
10. Have a Backup Plan
Keep in mind that complications could arise. Having a backup plan can help you put things back on track and complete your presentation successfully.
Your employer will mainly provide a screen, laptop, USB and other equipment.
Still, it would help to bring along your laptop and USB drive. They could come in handy if you want to quickly make some adjustments to your slide or review them before the presentation.
In addition, make sure to:
- Have duplicate copies of your presentation. You can save a copy on a USB stick, external drive or cloud drive.
- Email the file to yourself and the interviewers.
- Bring along a few printed handouts or copies of your slides, which you'll share with your audience.
Taking these steps can save the day if anything goes wrong such as computer breakdown, corrupt files, power disruption and other technical glitches.
11. Determine Follow-up Questions and Provide Answers
Now your preparation is in top gear. But wait, there's one more thing.
After creating your presentation, review the content and check for readability and spelling errors.
Then think up questions your audience might ask after your delivery. You'll want to brace up for questions that are both related and not related to the topic.
Here is a list of the common interview presentation questions that you can expect:
- What solutions do you recommend in light of the current realities and trends?
- Why do you recommend this solution?
- What strategy do we use to solve this problem?
- How do we convince investors to buy into this project?
- What resources do we need to execute these projects?
- What processes can we put in place to ensure the success of this project
- How do you plan to minimize the risks of this project?
- How does your recommendation align with the company's short-term and long-term goals?
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11 Interview Presentation Tips
You've put in the work to prepare your interview presentation. Great job! Now the day and time of your presentation have arrived.
These 11 interview presentation tips will help you win your employers over.
1. Pick the Right Outfit
There's no hard and fast rule to picking the right interview outfit. And that’s because different companies and industries have preferred dress codes.
So your best bet will be to ask the hiring manager before the interview date. This will enable you to align your attire with the company culture.
Whether the acceptable dress code is formal or casual, wear something that makes you appear smart and confident. But when in doubt, stick to formal and smart business attire.
2. Arrive Early and Settle In
Whether you have an online or physical interview or presentation, this is a no-brainer. Showing up late doesn't only leave a bad impression, but it could cost you the job.
Arriving early to your interview will give you enough time to settle your nerves and tie loose ends.
A good rule of thumb is to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before your presentation. You'll have ample time to get comfortable with the equipment and the environment.
3. Start Strong and Build Rapport
The opening part of your interview presentation is where you set the mood for the rest of the presentation.
Here, you have to draw your audience in and convince them to listen to you. So aim to make it impactful and enthralling.
Once you get on the stage, build rapport with your audience.
Start by introducing yourself, professional experience, skills and educational background. Then, highlight your career achievements, records, awards and portfolio like the example interview presentation slide below.
The goal is to impress and attract your audience's attention. This is the moment where you convince recruiters that you’re worth listening to.
When it comes to your presenting your topics, you can kick off your presentation with the following techniques:
- Use captivating quotes
- Mention compelling statistics about the organization, industry or subject
- Tell an interesting story about yourself or the subject
- Talk about a trending news topic
Not only will this help draw your interviewers in, but it will engross them and set the mood for the rest of the presentation.
4. Be Confident
You've worked so hard to get to this point. Be confident that you've got this. Projecting confidence is also as important as having an incredible resume.
Recruiters love to listen to confident candidates. And developing this mindset will help you inspire trust and build connections with your potential employer.
If you're looking to keep your confidence high, do these things:
- Speak with authority and make eye contact with your audience: This is you selling yourself and reiterating that you've got all it takes to do the job.
- Pay attention to your body language: That's the first thing people notice. The way you carry yourself says a lot about how confident you are. Do your best to maintain the right body posture, smile, keep your head up and appear comfortable.
- Use hand gestures: Utilizing strong hand gestures adds personality to your speech and makes you expressive. For example, moving your hand in an upward motion can describe growth rate or increase. Likewise, opening or closing your hands depicts sizes.
5. Deliver Like a Pro
While making your presentation, ensure your delivery is crisp and clear.
Whether you're using your voice or microphone, command attention by enunciating words clearly and projecting them to the back of the room. Otherwise, you'll come across as timid or unsure of your assertions.
Resist the temptation to use a dull tone or communicate without facial expressions.
Instead, deliver your speech with passion and vary your pitch to convey feelings and different emotional intensities. Delivering your message with emotion and liveliness will keep your audience hooked.
Most people tend to speak fast when they're nervous. Well, if this happens, your interviewer may miss out on important points.
Thus, maintain a reasonable pace and have occasional pauses in between. This will give you time to catch your breath, collect your thoughts and let your messages sink in.
Remember your slide is supposed to support your presentation, so avoid reading your slides or notes. Doing this will bore your audience and give them the impression that you're inept on the subject.
Showcase your expertise with the help of the presentation interview template below.
6. Tell a Compelling Story
Storytelling is one the most effective ways to structure your interview presentation.
Whether you're simulating a project, discussing a technical topic or pitching your skills, storytelling is the key to winning audience interest.
Top business leaders are making the most of it. You should make it the foundation of your interview presentation.
For example, in the video below, Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, leverages storytelling to explain how she built a successful product.
One of the reasons why Steve Jobs stood out during presentations is his ability to tell captivating stories. He used storytelling during his keynote addresses, pitches and notably during the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.
Here's the thing. Telling stories engages your audience and helps understand your points. Also, it makes your presentation more impactful and memorable.
Here's how to use storytelling during your interview presentation
- Plot: Select an area of focus and make it resonate with your audiences
- Characters: Highlight the major players in your story. It could be you, the company, the industry, competitors, etc.
- Opposition: Present a problem and why it matters to the organization or audience
- Journey: Discuss what you bring to the table regarding the solution, planning, execution, monitoring, problem-solving and management
- Conclusion: End with a strong resolution
What's more? To make your presentation cohesive and well-thought-out, use practical examples.
For example, the slide below highlights current gaps or problems.
Then, the next slide suggests practical steps to address the gaps or solve the problems.
7. Use Visual Aids
We discussed this during the preparation phase. And you've got to make it count while delivering your presentation.
Adding visuals to your story is a winning formula that works all the time.
Why? Interestingly about 65% of people are visual learners. Plus, our brains are wired to pay more attention to visual content.
But those are not the only reasons you should incorporate visuals into your presentation.
- Visuals attract audience attention and enhance your delivery
- With visuals, your audiences can quickly understand complex ideas
- They appeal to your viewer's imagination and drive an emotional connection
- Visual add power to your words and keeps your speech on track
You can use video, images, infographics and symbols to describe ideas or concepts. Map charts or statistical maps can help visualize geographical information.
You can visualize numbers using graphs, line charts, pie charts, bar charts and maps like in the slide template below.
8. Use Speaker Notes
While creating your slides, you can store essential talking points in your presenter notes. These notes are visible to you but aren't visible to your audience.
They help you recall key points like quotes, stats or ideas as you present.
Visme makes it super easy to add presenter notes to your slides. You can view your notes for the current and next slides as you present.
The tool also comes with a timer that helps you stay within the allocated time. If you're pressed for time, cut out the least relevant points and move the most important ones. Ultimately make sure you don't exceed the allotted time.
9. Be Prepared To Adapt
We get it. You've practiced your presentation and put other things in the right place.
However, keep in mind that things don't always go as planned. So you have to be willing to adapt to changes.
For example, you may have prepared a 10 minute presentation for interview and you’re given less than five minutes. Also, you may have planned to deliver your presentation and then take questions. But your interview may commence with questions or ask questions while you’re presenting.
Whatever the case, be prepared to pause for questions or switch to further discussion unexpectedly.
10. Have a Strong Closing
Your conclusion is as important as the intro. It determines what your audiences will walk away with and how they will feel about you.
Generally, it should be a summary of everything you discussed earlier. Therefore you have to bring it full circle and make it connected to the rest of your presentation.
Most importantly, make it convincing and memorable.
If your interviewer can remember the key takeaways from your presentation, you'll have the edge over other candidates.
Here's how to end your interview presentation in a memorable way:
- Ask your audience questions about the topic that sparks curiosity and gets them thinking.
- End with key takeaways that highlight the main points of your presentation.
- Double down on the problems and how you can help solve them.
- Mention how your recommended solution can help the company grow and increase their competitive edge
- Tie your message to an interesting quote that aligns with the company vision, mission and goals
- Highlight intriguing milestones and figures you can help the company achieve like profit margins, growth rate, market valuation, increased productivity, revenue growth, etc.
- Demonstrate that you are open to feedback, questions and further discussion about the topic
Use the job interview presentation example below to craft a striking conclusion that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.
11. Take Questions and Feedback at the End
After you've concluded your presentation, get ready for questions and feedback from interviewers.
Keep in mind that the questions may differ from what you rehearsed. Still, make sure you answer the question with confidence and demonstrate expertise.
If the question is challenging, take a moment to compose your thoughts before responding. Also, if the question isn't clear, don't be afraid to ask for clarification.
In any case, the panel will judge your suitability for the role based on what you say, how you present yourself and how you approach questions.
Ace Your Interview Presentations with Visme
Creating an effective interview presentation can be your weapon to launch or advance your career. With a winning interview, you can outperform other candidates and convince your prospective employers that you're the right fit for the job.
But it all starts with setting aside hours to prepare for your presentations. In addition, make sure you follow all the tips we've shared for delivering your presentation.
Looking to create a presentation that will land you that new role? Then you need to use intuitive presentation software like Visme.
Whether you're a learner or an expert, Visme is easy to use. We guarantee that it will pay off more than you can imagine. The tool offers hundreds of pre-built presentation templates, built-in graphics, multimedia, design elements and more.
Beyond creating stunning presentations, you'll be able to share your presentation live. You can also embed it to your website or download it as a video or editable file formats like PDF, PPTX and more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you start an interview presentation.
There are a few great ways to start your presentation with style, immediately grabbing your audience’s attention:
- Start with a provocative question or statement.
- Tell a story.
- Quote an influential person.
- Ask a question.
- Tell a joke.
What is a good presentation topic for an interview?
When creating a presentation as a part of a job interview, you want to choose a topic that will help to sell yourself and your knowledge. This might mean a prior project you worked on, some new tech in your industry, new industry trends, etc.
What is the point of an interview presentation?
An interview presentation helps potential employers understand your actual knowledge level in the industry. If you’re able to give an in-depth presentation showcasing how well you know about something related to your field, they’re much more likely to want you on their team.
How do you improve your interview presentation skills?
Looking to improve your presentation skills ? A few key interview presentation ideas and tips include:
- Keep your slides short and sweet.
- Practice before you present.
- Don’t read off your slides.
- Create a visually appealing presentation design .
- Show off your personality.
Easily put together winning interview presentations in Visme
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5 Steps to Acing Your Interview Presentation
Hot jobs on the muse.
As if a job interview isn’t stressful enough , now you’ve been asked to give a presentation as part of the process.
Well, considering that an interview is a chance for your potential employer to fully assess your abilities, it’s no surprise. Giving a presentation allows you to share your public speaking skills, knowledge of a specific topic, ability to stay calm under pressure, and more. And this is a good thing! After all, a well-developed and delivered presentation can let you shine like nothing else.
The flip side, though, is that a poor presentation can have a tremendously damaging effect on your chances of landing the job. So, how do you make sure that your presentation is flawless?
Try these steps for interview presentation success.
1. Know What You’re Working With
As soon as you’re asked to give a presentation, start by asking the hiring manager a few questions. Learn more about the topics you should present on, see how much time you’ll have, and ask what technology, if any, you’ll have access to.
It’s particularly important to ask to whom you’ll be presenting. What is the knowledge or expertise level of the audience? Will they be your colleagues, your bosses, or your potential clients? Knowing this will help you determine how to pitch your presentation, what focus you should take, and what tone would be most appropriate.
2. Start With a Structure
Once you’ve identified the purpose and key message of your presentation, you can start to structure it. Developing a clear structure will help you stay on point and help your audience follow you.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have the basic components of a well-structured presentation, including a captivating introduction, a compelling argument in the body, and a memorable conclusion. But this is an interview, and you want to impress your audience. No matter what you’re talking about, weave in examples of your skills and abilities , recommendations of how you would tackle a project for the company, or some other way of connecting your experience with what the employer needs.
One of the best presentations I’ve seen tied all the above together. The candidate’s presentation was so well-organized that it felt like a story, and the hiring committee was along for the ride. The story included how she got started in her line of work and what her interest in the company was. It ended with the candidate sharing her vision for the department she was hoping to lead, complete with ideas for new programs and innovative ways to reach new clients.
3. Prepare Aids
No matter how exceptional a public speaker you are, most presentations benefit from a little help. Use a presentation tool (PowerPoint or Prezi are great tools to familiarize yourself with) to highlight the key points you want to get across. But don’t rely on these—it’s called “Death by PowerPoint” for a reason. Besides, you want your audience to be focusing on you and what you’re saying, not your PowerPoint design.
A good rule of thumb is to treat each slide as you would a sign on the highway—just enough information to catch someone’s attention, but not so much that you distract people.
Also consider preparing handouts for the audience to keep—they can serve as a reminder of you and your presentation. Similar to slides, your handouts should call back to your key concepts and points, giving audience members exactly the information you want them to remember.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Once your presentation is structured and written, rehearse it. Practice it often, in front of other people if you can, or record yourself practicing. Ask for feedback, and incorporate that feedback into your edits.
You’ll especially want to look out for nervous habits—saying “like” and “um,” for example, or fidgeting, which makes your audience nervous for you. While you don’t have to memorize your presentation, you should run through it enough times so that you’re comfortable with it and can consciously avoid these habits.
Another presentation that really sticks out in my mind was from a young woman who was so nervous she could barely get a full sentence out. She kept her eyes down, looking at her notes the entire time. And even then, she stumbled over her words and got lost in her presentation. It was uncomfortable, and it was clear that she had not spent much time becoming familiar with her presentation. She was certainly memorable—but for all the wrong reasons.
5. Ace the Delivery
A solid delivery of your presentation begins before you even walk in the room. In other words, don’t forget the interview basics: dressing professionally, carrying yourself with confidence, and wearing a smile on your face.
Also pay attention to your body language when giving your presentation. You should be standing, not sitting down, as you speak. A great way to stand out from other candidates is to step out from behind the podium or a desk, bringing yourself out in front of the audience so they can see you, your gestures, and your stance.
As you’re giving your presentation, speak with confidence and authority. 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).
Presentations are always nerve-wracking, but remember that the audience wants you to succeed. The hiring committee invited you in because they probably think you have something to offer, and they want to see more. Follow the steps above, and show them exactly what that is.
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Top tips for a stand-out interview presentation
7 tips for a stand-out interview presentation
It’s second-interview time, and they’ve asked you to present - but how do you show what you know without sending people to sleep with your slides? We asked a presentation expert, David Bliss, to reveal his top tips.
The phenomenon of ‘death by PowerPoint’ is one of those things that we all agree is a bad thing – but, when interview nerves strike, it can be all too easy to hide behind our decks. The result is usually some unpalatable combination of too many slides, tiny fonts and unimaginative imagery.
In the course of our daily work, where decks are produced often and on the fly, some of these excesses may be forgivable. But at an important job interview, where you need to perform at your very best, your presentation needs to be up to the mark too. We asked David Bliss, presentation guru and director of training company Edison Red, for his top tips on slide design and presenting at interview…
Keep the interviewer engaged, make them think and question.
This is as much about how you fit with them as them fitting with you. Think of your presentation as one half of a conversation that you will lead, rather than a monologue where you will bludgeon them with facts and statistics. You need to take your listener(s) with you, get them participating in the argument or story you are developing.
Always consider the 80/20 rule of engagement.
Of course, you want to create some impact and gain attention, but that needs to be backed up by substance. So, aim for 20% of your slides and talk to be thought-provoking and challenging, and the remaining 80% to be insightful or informative. Keep this balance all the way through so your audience keeps listening and is then rewarded for their attention with new knowledge. Remember that only when people are listening are they able to gain any understanding.
When you’re building slides, think simplicity.
You only have to look at Apple to see that true simplicity comes from real intelligence. It takes a lot of work to craft a simple idea – a lot of time thinking about what to leave out, and how to distil everything down to one great point or example rather than an under-confident handful. Use your imagination - no one wants to see another light bulb representing creative thinking!
Get them glancing.
A good slide should work on the principle of ‘glance technology’, just like a billboard. Essentially, you want your listener to glance, get interested, and then move to you, the speaker, for greater depth.
Less is more.
When it comes to slides, think ‘1 slide = 1 message’. This will give you greater control over the subject, and you can stay on each as little or as long as you like. Remember, too, that not every point needs to be backed up with a slide.
Never give away the story.
You’d be annoyed if the last chapter of the book you were reading was revealed on page three. This is why bullet points often hinder rather than help – your audience reads on and gets to the punchline ahead of you. Your slides should leave your listener wanting more.
Morph for impact.
Microsoft’s recent PowerPoint addition of the new transition tool Morph is a game changer. Morph allows you to move and enlarge, shapes, pictures and text with one simple movement. What used to take hours now takes minutes, making your slides look like the work of the marketing team - but take care not to overdo it.
Now that you’ve got your presentation sorted, find out how to maximise the first five minutes of your interview .
Download the Complete Interview Guide
Other blog posts, how to answer competency questions.
How to maximise the first five minutes of your interview
8 classic interview mistakes to avoid
7 ways to stand out from the crowd
How to calm pre-interview nerves
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How to make a video job application
With digital technologies being used more in the hiring and selection of new employees, it’s becoming more common for recruiters and employers to request that candidates submit a video as part of their job application.
A video job applications is a way for employers to get an idea of your personality and whether you’ll be a good cultural fit in the organisation, and is often used when managers are located in another city or are on the road to help streamline the process.
For you, it’s an opportunity to sell yourself and demonstrate your communication skills and creative flair in a way that’s not necessarily available through a traditional resume. The video application should be used to compliment your regular resume however, not replace it.
The thought of creating a video job application can be daunting – not only what you’ll say, but also how you’ll present on camera and all the technical aspects to think about.
However, with some planning, you can create a professional-looking video resume that leaves a lasting impression for all the right reasons.
Step one: Decide the format
Before you start filming, consider what’s being asked of you and how you can best present your case through video. Just as you would tailor a resume to suit a job listing, you should also make sure your video is suited to the job you’re applying for.
It’s all about creating something that fits the job description and company. For most industries, a simple video presented to camera, filmed at home on a phone or computer will fit the bill. For others, a more visually creative video where you don’t feature at all, but let your talents speak for themselves would impress:
Nathaly Junnit’s video creatively showcases her personality, skills and experience in a simple and visually appealing way which is great for creative industries.
Step two: Write your script
A potential employer may not have time to watch each video application from start to finish, so it’s important to make an impression as quickly as possible. Start by introducing yourself and sum up in a sentence or two why you’re the best person for the job.
You should also aim to keep the entire length of your video less than a minute – in which time you can go into further detail about your relevant experience and accomplishments.
What you include will be dependent on the job and your industry, but generally should include the following:
- A short and persuasive opening statement – your elevator pitch
- Your quantifiable achievements
- Your skills and experience, tailored for the role you’re applying for
- A little bit of personality and tactful humour, if appropriate
Emily Doty’s professional video resume has a strong opening statement and sums up her achievements in just 45 seconds.
Step three: Rehearse
While it’s important to know what you’re going to say in your video, it shouldn’t seem as though you’re reading directly from a script, so rehearse beforehand until you’re completely comfortable. You may want to enlist the help of a friend or family member. Make sure to speak clearly and slowly, smile, and let your personality shine through.
Be aware of your body language . Avoid crossing your arms or shifting on the spot, as you want to present yourself as confident and open. Address the camera so that you’re maintaining eye contact, like you would in an in-person interview.
The way you dress should also reflect the role you’re applying for, so choose an outfit that you would wear to a face-to-face interview .
Aleksandra Szejnoga’s video job application showcases her personality and uses humour to make her stand out from the crowd.
Step four: Shoot your video
You don’t need to buy or hire expensive equipment to create a video job application. It’s possible to film a great video CV using only the camera on your smartphone (although you will need a tripod) or computer.
Set aside a few hours so there’s no time pressure – you’ll want to do as many takes as necessary to get it right.
You should always film in a well-lit, indoor location with as little background noise as possible. Don’t film against a window; rather use it as natural side lighting. Do some test runs first to make sure the lighting is bright enough and the audio is clear on speakers and headphones – it can also be invaluable to have a friend record with you to get an alternative perspective.
Make sure you focus the camera on your face; usually it’s as simple as tapping on your face on the screen.
If you want an even more professional video, it may be worth investing in a videographer, who will have the proper film, lighting and audio equipment. They will also be able to edit your video for you, which can be a hidden time cost.
Sajita Nair’s video application communicates her unique value proposition and uses simple editing to create interest and tell her story.
Step five: Edit your video
Many computers come with pre-installed video editing software, such as iMovie, so you shouldn’t have to purchase expensive or professional-grade software if you’re doing your own editing. However, bear in mind that for a beginner it can be a time-consuming task.
If you’re not a confident editor, avoid using too many graphics or animations – although a title with your name and contact details is a good idea. The aim should be to create a coherent video without detracting from your message. Remember, you’re being judged on your skills, personality and presentation, not your video editing skills.
Finally, seek out honest feedback from a trusted friend or mentor.
Step six: Submit your video application
Once you’ve saved your video in a common format such as MOV, MP4 or AVI, uploading to YouTube or Vimeo will likely be the most convenient way to share with a potential employer.
You can choose to keep your video private (so that only people with the link can see it) or you can make it public. If you want your video to be seen publicly, be sure to use appropriate general tags such as “video CV”, “video job application”, as well as tags to suit your role – “marketing manager resume”, for example.
Job interviews are usually stressful. After all, you’re selling yourself to a prospective employer, and a great first impression is critical. But interviews can become even more awkward when the discussion turns to money.
Good things to say during a job interview also include statements about how exciting the position would be for the interviewee.
Basic job interview questions include topics such as weaknesses and strengths, why the candidate is leaving or has left a position, and his professional goals. Job candidates are often asked about their salary requirements.
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How to Give a Presentation in a Job Interview FREE DOWNLOAD: Ace Your Job Interview: Master on the best answers to the 14 most effective
The job interview PowerPoint presentation example that I'm going to show you today is based on the sector where I work which is AML and
In today's video, I'll be teaching you my top strategy on how to ... a copy of my 10 Ultimate Resume Hacks to Land more Interviews and Job
But with a bit of preparation and the tips in this video, you'll know what to do when you have to give a presentation at a job interview.
You can grab inspiration from the job interview presentation sample below. ... statistics, diagrams, video clips and images, you can easily
Dress like you're at an in-person interview. Start your video with a friendly greeting, a smile and an introduction while looking directly into
Have to give a presentation as part of your next round interview? These five tips will set you up for success—and help you land the job.
But at an important job interview, where you need to perform at your very best, your presentation needs to be up to the mark too. We asked David Bliss
so choose an outfit that you would wear to a face-to-face interview.