How to Nail the Job Interview Presentation

How to Nail the Job Interview Presentation

Most job interviews include some element of presentation.
Makes sense as most jobs above the grunt level require you to present these days.

Often regarded as a cheeky way for the interviewing company to get free strategy input; 
it’s a chance for you to show you are able to make valuable inputs to the business. 
This is the key to success.

It’s often said that a good idea badly presented is still a good idea, whereas a bad idea well presented is just a slick sales job. It’s much easier to succeed at the former.

Most interviewees make the mistake of attempting to be slick, rather than relevant. 

I have yet to find the business which can’t be improved. Often by considering the product from an unusual customer perspective. Give the business some insight into the actual customer journey and you’ll usually find some nugget. The larger the interviewing company, the more distant the leadership from the customer, and the greater the chance for you to shine.

Of course, if you have a better idea: an insight in a changing market, a possible line extension, an efficiency or anything else - then go for it. 

Once you have your insight, this needs to be turned into a story. 

 I get a lot of questions about this part - as if storytelling is some mystical art. It’s not. It’s a craft for sure and there are some brilliant storytellers out there, but it’s mostly an innate human skill. We all know how to tell stories, we do it many times each day.  Don’t lay facts out in order, tell the story as if you were talking to a friend over a drink. 

Now: write it down. A lot of people think you can skip this step. Don’t.

Now we get to the part where most of the uninitiated start, building the presentation.

If you are using slides, you need four. Yes, just four.

     Slide One - Your title and name
  Slide Two - A provocative opener
  Slide Three - (up to) 3 supporting statements 
  Slide Four - Your One conclusion

If you have a really good reason you can add more. Do so gratuitously at your peril.
(these can also be drawn on a flip chart if that’s your style)

Next - Rehearsal. 

Start by reading the page you wrote out loud. 
  Do it over and over taking out anything which feels repetitive 
  Take; out anything which is a tongue twister
  Take out anything which does not lead inexorably to your conclusion.

As you read it you’ll become less and less dependant on the written page. 
You’ll become more and more fluid in your delivery. 
This is why stand-up comedians do try out gigs.

Find a loving friend and do it to them. Listen to what they say but make your own mind up. This is your presentation, not theirs.

Finally, type up a neat version of your script. In a font size which you can read even if you forget your glasses - if you need them.

Learn by heart your opening and closing sentences. 
(Then, rehearse some more)

Good luck!

Richard Tierney is the author of The Introverted Presenter


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