How To Succeed In Job Interview Presentations

Finding the right candidate for a role is often very hard to do.  The traditional job interview with one or a panel of several interviews is still by far the most common approach.

 

Realising the limitations of this, those making hiring decisions are looking to do a range of things to increase the likelihood of finding the right person.  Adding a presentation to the mix is a very easy way of adding a new variable.

 

For some the idea that they will have to give a presentation is enough for them to withdraw their application.  This might surprise you and it has happened to me when recruiting on several instances.

 

Yet there is good news.  When you approach it in the right way it becomes much easier.  Trouble is most don’t approach it in the right way and either struggle or lose it completely on the day.

 

The first thing you need to realise is that recruiters are not looking for perfection.  If they are not looking for perfection, what are they looking for?

 

There are actually several things they are looking for:

 

  1. They want to establish if you can take a topic which is pretty vague and demonstrate some knowledge.

 

  1. They want to know that you can take something that might be quite technically complex and communicate it simply.

 

  1. They want to know that you won’t get lost in detail (especially if it is a more senior role).

 

  1. They want to see how you handle being in the spotlight and under pressure.

 

  1. They want to see if you are creative or one dimensional

 

So how can you make sure that your job interview presentation is a success?  Actually it is not a whole lot different to any other type of presentation.  The essentials are:

 

  1. Be clear about what you want to achieve from your presentation (i.e. what are your goals?)

 

  1. Brainstorm all of the possible ideas for what you could include.

 

  1. Narrow down your content to few key themes.

 

  1. Practice on your own and in front of others.

 

  1. Ask for honest feedback

 

  1. Remember that less is more.  In a 10 minute presentation you can only ever hope to cover a few points.

 

  1. If using slides keep them professional and business like.

 

  1. Have a strong introduction, sin post what you are going to present, present it and summarise

 

  1. Keep calm whatever happens on the day.

 

The Bottom Line: Presentations will be a challenge.  A little bit of anxiety is useful to motivate.  Just make sure it is not a blocker to your success.

 

Duncan Brodie helps accountants achieve more career success.  Learn more here.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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