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What is a presentation?

Interview Presentations

Rod Cornwell (International Director, Thomas International) gives expert video advice on: Why might I need to do a presentation?; What can I do to ensure a successful presentation? and more...

What is a presentation?

Sometimes you may be asked by your potential employer to actually complete a presentation for a job interview. The idea of this is to actually present facts, clearly and concisely, to one or even a group of people during the interview.

Why might I need to do a presentation?

Quite often, a job interview may require you to do presentations within a role. Your interviewer has every right to see how good you are at doing presentations. They might often get you to stand up in front of a group or audience during the interview and look at how well you can get across facts, figures, points of view and concepts.

Will I be told I have to do a presentation in advance?

All good interviewers, should they wish you to do a presentation, will write to you or send you an e-mail stipulating the type of format that they want you to present in and indeed they will give you plenty of time in advance to actually prepare it. They want to see how good you are at getting something together and really give you the opportunity to sell yourself.

What do I do if I'm told to prepare a presentation on something I know nothing about?

You may find that an interviewer will write to you or call you and ask that you do a presentation for a job interview on a subject you know nothing about. If they give you plenty of time to prepare before the interview, then the presentation is designed to determine whether you can actually do research and familiarise yourself with the project, and then deliver the content in a very credible and very convincing way.

What do I do if I'm told to do a presentation on the spot, on a subject I know nothing about?

You may be going through a job interview and you think it's going quite well, but all of a sudden the interviewer throws a spanner in the works. They ask you to do an on-the-spot presentation on a subject that you are totally unfamiliar with - like a French budgerigar. What do you do? What they're looking to measure is your level of creativity, how you cope under extreme pressure, what you're like at thinking on your feet and how spontaneous and creative you can be with the ideas you come up with.

What can I do to ensure a successful presentation?

One of the main things that you need to do when you do a presentation in an interview is engage your audience. It doesn't matter whether it's one person or six, you have to make sure that you maintain eye contact and maintain interaction with that group. It's absolutely vital for you to make an impression with everybody that you're presenting to. Another main thing that you need to consider is your voice, the way you talk, the way you say things. Make sure that you vary your tonality so that you are highlighting certain things or emphasizing certain key aspects of your presentation. Make sure that you don't move around too much in the presentation, or gesticulate too much. Make sure that you are rehearsed, you know exactly what you're talking about and you have a pace and level of confidence when you're talking about product or, indeed, the concept that you're trying to present. Be prepared for any questions that you may get. Be prepared to give lots and lots of answers that have clarity during the presentation.