You got through to final stage interviews you’re up against two other candidates, they ask you to deliver a 15 minute presentation, what are you going to do to ensure you seal the deal and knock your competitors out of the water? Use a generic presentation and change a couple of pictures? I sincerely hope not! Any Recruiter worth their salt will advise on the best approach for this presentation and what to expect.
Many of my candidates send me their presentation prior to their interview to have a quick look over sometimes for an additional proof reading eye or to assist in making suggestions as to the content in relation to the client.
I have devised a list of Do’s and Don’ts to assist you in your preparation.
Do stick to time – if you have been given 15 minutes then time yourself when preparing. There is nothing worse than being given a timescale and going way over your allotted slot
Do engage with your audience – make eye contact, smile and be passionate about the subject you are talking about. Do not read off slides or notes word for word. A presentation is exactly that, a test of how you would present so make sure you do.
Do be creative – PowerPoint has been over used in many presentations and as businesses are always looking for a different edge, it may help to make you stand out if you use a different medium. Take a look at these 5 Must Have Tools for a Killer Presentation You can use animation, video clips or bring in props to visually explain your thinking.
Do be yourself – Don’t do any of the above if you feel uncomfortable. It will make you more nervous! Your presentation style should reflect you. Some of the best presentations I have witnessed saw the candidate speaking and engaging with the panel, without any bells or whistles ultimately gaining the buy in as an individual, this being achieved by talking passionately and knowledgably about the topic. Remember to always play to your strengths.
Do prepare for the questions you could face – You compiled and delivered a fantastic presentation, make sure you are prepared for any questions sections which may come up at the end. Think about your presentation objectively. Have you made any statements that may need expansion? Any examples you will need to provide further detail on? Think of how you would answer these in advance.
Do rehearse your presentation before it is presented.
Don’t rely on technology – If you are delivering a formal presentation and have been asked to use Powerpoint or another application make sure you have hand-outs just in case your USB/Laptop fails on you.
Don’t go off Topic – If you have been given a certain question make sure you are answering it. Do not rely on generic answers or an old presentation you may have done at your last interview. Research the company and make it relevant to them. Use terminology that they use as a company to show you understand and relate to their culture.
Don’t think you won’t be asked any questions until the end – this can be difficult as you may be asked questions by the panel as you go through. (Usually when the answer may be coming on the next slide!) If you are asked questions this can be seen as a positive sign that you are gaining engagement from the panel, If however feel that it may distract or confuse you or add to your running time answer politely that you will be taking questions at the end or you will be moving onto this area in more detail.
Don’t pace around too much – We all have little quirks which only seem to happen in certain situations, rocking backward and forward, pacing up and down can be distracting, try to stay relatively still whilst ensuring your body language is open and interested.
Don’t mix up different styles through your presentation (e.g. if you start out using Title case in your headings keep this going throughout).
Don’t use difficult to read or uncommon fonts that might not be accessible on other computers. Use universally accepted fonts such as Arial, Verdana and Calibri.
Don’t put in meaningless slides, e.g. additional slide titles or agendas on a short presentations.
Gemma Thomason- is a Senior HR Recruitment Consultant for Yorkshire and the North West. She is a customer focused, HR Recruiter and a key member of our Northern team.
Gemma has had key success in filling roles in the Yorkshire and the North West area including several at Regional HR Manager level with a global distribution firm, HRBP’s for a national Not-for Profit organisation and also in the Professional Service sector. She enjoys recruiting in the specialist areas of HR and has had some great outcomes especially in the Reward area recently. If you require any assistance with recruitment please feel free to contact Gemma direct on 0114 221 8000 or email Gemma.firstname.lastname@example.org you are more than welcome to connect with Gemma on LinkedIn or follow her on twitter.