Many employers, especially those hiring for sales or managerial roles, require candidates to give a presentation as part of their job interview. The presentation could be on a topic provided by the employer or something chosen by the candidate.
This technique is used because the employer is able to gauge not only the candidate’s presentation skills, but also see how they perform under pressure, all while getting an idea of their personality and how the individual puts themselves across in a professional scenario. We use this technique ourselves when interviewing for Recruitment Consultants!
As nerve-wracking as a giving a presentation in front of a group of strangers may seem, it really is a fantastic way to prove your knowledge and skills – packing in lots of the research you have done about the company during your preparation and showcasing your passion and communication skills. Here’s what employers are looking for…
1. Showcasing Your Knowledge
An employer is always looking for a well researched presentation. You will have been given prior warning of the presentation and it’s topic, so the interviewer will expect top-notch knowledge of the chosen or provided subject. It is therefore key to do plenty of research and make sure that your presentation is well structured and that you are confident, not only to present on the topic, but also to answer any questions on it.
2. Quick Creative Thinking
An employer will most likely ask you challenging questions. This could be a curveball – something that you may well have not researched. This is how they will test you to see if you have you have creative mind-set and are able to think on your feet. Never answer ‘I don’t know’ – there is always an alternative – check out our tips on What to do When you go Blank in an Interview.
3. Engaging the Audience
The employer wants to assess your ability to engage an audience. Before you start, take deep breaths and compose yourself. While presenting, speak slowly and clearly – it is all too common for presenters to rush and mumble their words. Avoid standing still, try talking with your hands (just not too much!), make occasional eye-contact and make the stage yours – this is your chance to shine! This will show the employer that you are confident and comfortable doing presentations – and this could be the deciding factor in securing the role.
4. Keeping Your Cool and Staying Focused
Remember to keep calm throughout. If you lose your way mid-way through your presentation, don’t worry… it happens to the best of us and it certainly isn’t the end of the world. If this does happen, then the interviewer will be looking to see how you pick yourself back up and get going again. Try to remember the subject you are supposed to be presenting on – if you find yourself straying away from the main point during the presentation, steer things back to a relevant subject – “But going back to my main point”.
We hope you find this information useful and can implement them into your presentations… good luck!