You might think that an interview is nerve wracking enough without the concern of preparing and delivering a presentation as part of the interview. A presentation however is an excellent opportunity for you to show off your enthusiasm and knowledge for the job or internship that you have applied for. Delivering a presentation is a valuable addition to your interview since it breaks away from the boundaries of generic interview questions.
Interview presentations are becoming increasingly common as they a good way for employers to test candidate communication skills and enthusiasm for the role. Like a normal interview, you must research the company and get a good understanding of the role to ensure that the presentation material is relevant. If possible, find out who you will be presenting to and if possible view their pictures online through LinkedIn. You will then know their skills and expertise and can tailor your presentation to suit this information. Additionally, you will know who to expect at the interview and the less surprises on the day, the better!
The planning which goes in to your presentation is crucial with PowerPoint being the most common presentation platform. Be careful to give your material a clear structure with a concise message running through it. Your opening should captivate the audience immediately, outlining the main points of your argument. The main part of the presentation should be split up in to small sections, four at the most, each clearly explaining a point which builds on your argument. Each point should have some research to emphasise it and a conclusion should follow. In this conclusion it is important that you reflect on the points that you have made and do not address anything new.
It may be the case that there is a time limit on your presentation. It is vital therefore that you time it on several occasions when practicing to ensure that it meets the criteria. Regardless of any time limit, practice is key to success. Practice as much as possible in front of family and friends. It is also useful to practice in front of a mirror to observe your body language and facial expressions; ensure that you are giving off the right vibe.
When it is time to give the presentation, take a moment to introduce yourself to the panel and explain what you are going to talk about before you begin using the presentation slides. This ensures that the audience does not get distracted from you and gives you a moment to get ready and deliver. Throughout your presentation, be sure to use simple, short sentences without any waffling. When speaking, try not to lose focus on the point you are trying to get across and make regular eye contact with you audience.
The key is to enjoy your presentation and smile, causing the audience to relax. This is your moment to shine!