How to prepare and deliver a presentation in an interview

More employers are asking candidates to demonstrate they have the skills to perform in a job – rather than just taking their word for it in a resume or relying on an interviewer’s gut feelings.

While the idea of delivering a presentation in the recruitment process might sound daunting, it’s
actually very beneficial to candidates too. This is because they get the chance to show their skills and experiences rather than feeling pressured to sell themselves, which is something that comes easier to some people.

Jay Munro is head of career insights at Indeed.
Jay Munro is head of career insights at Indeed.

If you’re asked to deliver a presentation as part of an interview, you’ll need to first understand what
your potential employer is looking to find out. Remember, the key objectives of your presentation
will usually be to demonstrate your abilities and the way you think – specifically, the way you might
approach tasks associated with the role, resolve problems and come up with new ideas.

One of the biggest mistakes people make with interview presentations is failing to address the
question or problem they’ve been given. Unfortunately, this is easy to do if you’re asked to deliver a
presentation that is centred on resolving a challenge or problem the business is experiencing since
you likely won’t have the same in-depth knowledge that your interviewers have.


So to gather insights for your interview presentation, make sure to set some time aside to conduct
your own research or talk to people who have experience with the company or its products. Also, it
could be beneficial to get some context and background information from the recruiter to help you
create an informed presentation.

Once your presentation is finalised, you’ll need to think about your delivery to ensure your tone,
attitude and style are sending the right message. Presentation styles can range from formal and
informative to casual and very personable.

To decide where your interview presentation should fall on this casual-formal spectrum, think about
where you are in the recruitment process. For example, if it’s one of your first interactions with
executives or managers in the company, then a formal interview presentation is probably the safest

Meanwhile, if you’re invited to go back and present to people you’ve already met, leaning more
towards the casual approach could be more appropriate. In this case, you should also be prepared
for a relaxed, open discussion around your presentation, which might require you to think on your
feet more and be less structured in your delivery.

Your approach and delivery style are also a great way for recruiters to get a preview of your soft
skills. Not only can the interviewer determine how effectively you communicate your ideas, but they
can also tell a lot about you from the slides and materials you’ve developed.

When it comes to the question of how you solve problems and, consequently, how you frame your response in a presentation, it’s important to remember that your interviewer might be assessing you
according to a few predetermined benchmarks.

These often include your creativity and diversity of thought and how this could add value and new perspectives to an existing team. Your hiring manager could also be looking for evidence of bigger picture thinking as well as an ability to implement technical knowledge and skills from past experiences.

Unlike other presentations you might have done, an interview presentation is your chance to demonstrate what you can bring to the role, team and company.

So it’s important to think about how you can showcase these to the interviewers while at the same time ensuring you have sufficiently addressed the problem or question.

This content was produced in commercial partnership with Indeed.

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