The Job interview presentation is a typical, but difficult part of the interview process. The presentation you have to give can differ massively to someone who is applying to a different role. For example, for a junior SEO or content writing position, you may have to do a written task beforehand, and then present on it.
But in a PPC or Paid ads position, you may be asked to conduct some data analysis and report on your findings and what your actionable outputs would be.
But despite this variety, there are a few universal rules for your job interview presentation that you should be aware of: From the key things to remember during a presentation, to common mistakes to avoid.
A job interview presentation is a task, set by the interviewer, to assess your knowledge of a certain skill or skills, usually one that is incredibly important to the position you’re applying for.
While job interviews primarily consist of interview questions (and you definitely should prepare for the typical digital marketing interview questions you’re likely to face), you are likely to have to complete a job interview presentation as well.
These interview presentations can range from technical tasks and presenting your results and how you found the task, to giving a mock pitch or presentation for a client, or even presenting about yourself and why you are a great fit for the job.
And while there are a wide variety of job interview presentations you can be asked to give, your approach should stay the same.
Employers primarily use a job interview presentation to gain a deeper understanding of your skills or experience: An area that will be crucial in your new role.
An interview presentation or task gives an interviewer a stronger sense of your ability than traditional interview questions. Which is why it’s essential to get it right.
But getting it right, depends on the role you’re applying for. So it’s important to identify which skills the task is asking you to show.
For example, if you’re going into a data heavy role, then a business will be eager to see how well you can work with large datasets and Microsoft Excel. Or in a client-facing, account management role, you’ll need to show you’re confident presenting and in high-pressure situations.
Recognising what the interviewer is looking for lets you know where to focus your efforts for your presentation.
When completing your job interview presentation, there are a few key things that the interviewers will be looking for from your presentation that you need to remember:
These are the biggest points to remember during your interview presentation, but they’re not the only ones. You can always be up front with the interviewer or hiring manager you have been working with and ask them what they want to see from the interview.
Something to ask yourself is, how long should your interview presentation be? Unfortunately, the answer is “it depends”. A presentation should be as long as it needs to be, to concisely and clearly convey the subject matter.
Many interviewers often give an outline of how long your interview presentation should take. And you can always ask the interviewer how long they would like the presentation to be: After all, they will have had multiple people complete this presentation for them before, and should know roughly how long it should take.
Your interview presentation should engage the interviewer, but without boring them.So you should aim to make it visually appealing: Which means more than just slides filled with text after text.
Instead of having fields of data, use graphs, diagrams and charts to make these more digestible and visually interactive.
We generally advise only having one idea or point per slide. You want your presentation to be easily digestible, without bombarding your interviewer with too much information at once.
After all, you should use the slides to highlight the most important parts of your presentation, and then go into more detail and expand on them yourself.
A small touch for your job interview presentation to impress the interviewer, is to match the branding of the company you’re looking to join.
This simply entails looking at the company website, perhaps even downloading some of their downloadable assets, and copying their brand feel and style.
While not a make or break for your presentation, it does show that you’re putting in the extra effort, and recognise how important the company brand is.
When you’re finished with putting together your presentation, it’s time to double and triple-check it. Because there’s nothing more embarrassing than going to present and noticing a spelling mistake that throws you off your game. Or even worse, having it pointed out by the interviewer.
Whether you practise on your own or with others, it’s crucial that you practise your presentation beforehand. This allows you to:
And if you’re not a natural presenter, rehearsing and ensuring that you’re as practised as you can be is a great way to increase your confidence.
Just as important as the content of your presentation, is how you present it. Your job interview presentation could be full of information and be beautifully written and presented. But if you can’t present with confidence and clarity, the interviewer isn’t going to have much faith in your ability to work cohesively with others.
This is especially important in roles where you’ll be working with customers/ clients, or have to regularly collaborate within other teams within the business.
When in a high-pressure situation, it’s understandable that you want to get through the presentation as quickly as possible. But your interviewer will absolutely pick up on if you’re rushing through the presentation and your nerves.
But it’s important to slow down and not rush through it. This allows you to take control of the presentation, and deliver it confidently and clearly.
Your body language tells your interviewer a lot more about how you’re feeling than you realise. So aim to have open body language, animated but not erratic.
Meanwhile try to avoid having arms crossed, with conveys being uncomfortable in the situation. Or having a lack of eye contact, that can convey that you’re not confident with what you’re saying. And if your body language is saying that you aren’t confident with what you’re saying, why should the interviewer believe you!
For more information on what your body language says about you, and tips to improve your body language in interviews, have a look at our full guide here.
For example, if you’re given 30 minutes for your presentation, we would advise aiming for around the 25 minute mark, allowing 5 minutes for any questions.
This gives you ample time to answer any interviewer questions, and gives you the time to respond to challenging questions without feeling rushed, knowing you have the time to think of an answer.
While it can be tricky, it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and interviewer. Try to understand what exact skills they’re looking for from your presentation.
Understanding this will have a huge impact on your presentation and its contents.
Additionally, understanding the areas of importance to your interviewer helps you to predict and prepare for potential questions you’re likely to face.
While you won’t be able to predict every question, you can prepare answers that can be adapted and used to answer a variety of questions.
For example, say you’re interviewing for a client facing role where your presentation is creating a pitch for new customers. A good idea would be to prepare answers for any potential objections the imaginary client may have to your pitch.
Just as important as it is to know what to do in your presentation, it’s important to know what not to do. Because these common interview presentation mistakes can cost you if you don’t prepare!
This one is certainly easier said than done. But it is possibly the most important thing to avoid in your job interview presentation. A little nervousness is absolutely normal. But being overly anxious can stop you putting your best foot forward.
A presentation is all about projecting confidence, in both yourself and the subject you’re speaking about.
And if you’re not a natural public speaker, (and even if you are) the best bit of advice we can give you is to practise your presentation until it feels natural. The more you practise, the better you’ll know what you’re presenting, and the more confident you will feel.
It can sometimes even be helpful to go over your presentation with a colleague or someone who can give some friendly advice.
Of course, this is one of the perks of working with a recruitment agency, as we have seen hundreds of job interview presentations and tasks, and give you tailored advice on what the client is looking for…
When the interviewer gives you your task, it’s obviously important to understand what the presentation is asking you to do. But as we discussed earlier, you are asked to complete a job interview presentation for a specific reason.
Understanding the reason behind this allows you to focus your time and efforts into what really matters, and put your best foot forward in the interview.
A common mistake we see from the candidates we work with is having too much information on your slides. Which sounds contradictory, after all, you want as much information in your presentation as possible, right?
Well yes and no. After all, you want your presentation to be chock-full of relevant information.
But you should aim to use the slides of your presentation as talking points that allow you to present information. The slides should have examples, key figures, or data on, that allows you to expand on them in your own words. Because you want the attention to be on you, not just on the slides.
After all, nobody wants to sit through a half hour presentation of you reading out all the information that’s already on the slides in front of them.
Part of preparing your interview presentation, is predicting the potential questions you may face.
This may require some introspection: Thinking which areas of the presentation are most important, and which areas the interviewer is likely to focus on.
Realistically, you can’t think of every possible question that you can be asked. But, even the act of preparing answers to potential questions will make you more confident going into the interview, and help you to rehearse everything you need to present.
One of the key things to remember for your job interview presentation is the need to follow the established time limit.
While you may have a lot to say on the subject, your interviewers will be keenly paying attention to how well you manage your time in a presentation.
If you’re in a client-facing role for example, the business won’t want to put you in front of clients when you go over the 30 minute allotted time by 10 minutes…
Of course, it’s always helpful to have someone who can help you with the presentation in your job interview.
One of the perks of working with a recruitment agency like us here at Herd, is that we support the digital marketers and candidates we work with on their interview presentations. While we’re not SEO or PPC experts, we have seen hundreds of interview presentations, and can offer insight into what interviewers are hoping to see.
If you want some support with your job search, (just like with preparing for your job interview presentation), you can reach out to us here to see what we can do to support you in your job search.
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