Skip to main content Site map

How to handle interview presentations

How to handle interview presentations

Just found out you need to do a presentation in your upcoming job interview? Feeling a bit worried? Let's use a different lens - let's reframe it as you just found out you get to do a presentation in your upcoming interview!

Did you know that public speaking is a skill highly valued by employers and can help super-boost your career opportunities? It's also one of the most common types of fears people have- it's called Glossophobia and can sometimes be career limiting.

Giving a presentation to a group of people can be challenging for anyone but let's think about strategies to help you really own it. In an interview presentation, you'll usually be given a topic to prepare such as for example What would you do in your first there months in the job? Or they will let you choose a topic that interests you. Here are 8 tips to bear in mind:

1.     Remember that you are in charge, you have the floor and are going to be the expert delivering this topic so prepare as much as you can and enjoy the experience.

2.     Practice and use visualisation techniques to see yourself successfully delivering a fantastic presentation. Remind yourself that the interviewers want you to succeed and are interested in and want to enjoy what you have to say. Record yourself giving a presentation beforehand and make notes of anything you could improve.

3.     Engage with your audience, smile, vary your tone of voice, make eye contact with as many people as you feel comfortable doing, but don't just focus on one person and ignore everyone else.

4.     In terms of content, it was Aristotle who once said about public speaking: - Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. Sound advice still to this day!

5.     Make the first 30 seconds of your presentation really count by hooking your audience and get your big idea out there right from the get-go.

6.     Less is more, keep it simple- avoid death by PowerPoint at all costs. Create a structure and story arc for your presentation and use visual aids rather than relying on lots of text. A picture paints a thousand words! Unless you have been told you can't have them, you could bring some basic notes as a visual cue but not as a script and practice, practice and practice some more.

7.     Use calming breath techniques to calm any nerves, have some water to drink, and focus on the presentation rather than yourself but be aware of your "stage" presence.

8.     Keep to the time you have been allotted for the presentation; you'll probably be asked to stop speaking once that is reached so practice pacing yourself.

Once finished, make sure no one is left thinking so what? Make the point and end with a compelling call to action, next step, or memorable quote. Make sure you understand and answer any questions you are asked at the end. TED Talks are a great way to learn from inspirational speakers, you'll find them on YouTube. If you wanted to hone your public speaking, communication, and leadership skills even further, you could join a local Toastmasters group for a nominal fee or look up free resources on Presentation experts' websites, such as Nancy Duarte's in Suggested Reading below.

Suggested Reading

> 11 Public Speaking Tips From the World's Best Speakers & Communication Experts
> 5 Science-Backed Ways to Give Better Presentations
> How to give a good presentation: 8 tips
> 9 Tips from Toastmasters
> 10 Tips for Giving a Great Presentation to an Audience
> Duarte : Resources

How to handle interview presentations

By Anna Gordon - Certified Business Coaching Psychologist ABP CBCP

How to handle interview presentations



More articles in this category:

University of Salford, Student Support

For more information and support on this topic from the University of Salford - please click here

University of Salford logo