Monday, February 25, 2013

How to Give a Presentation at a Job Interview

In order to gauge if you are the best person for the job, interviewers may ask you to give a presentation during the interview. Asking top candidates to give presentations as part of the job interview process is common for positions in training and sales, but may also be called upon for other positions.

Typically the first and second interviews are designed to determine if you have the right skills for the position and if you would be a good fit for the company culture. After this initial assessment, they’ll most likely ask you to put on a presentation in order to get an idea of your presentation skills.

Even people who have presented in front of hundreds of people get jittery about giving a presentation in front of a few interviewers. Others are so confident that they can get the job that they put minimal time and effort into preparing for this interview. It’s normal to experience these feelings, but don’t let them get in your way. Yes, you’ve made it far but chances are that they’re still interviewing other people, so it’s important to not let your confidence or lack of confidence get to you.

For the presentation, remember to:

1.       Have an attention-grabber at the beginning. Keep in mind that it’s important that you impress 
          them in the beginning.

2.       Discuss the objectives of the training and what they will learn how to do. Also let them know
          how the information will benefit them.

3.       If you’re using presentation slides such as PowerPoint, don’t overcrowd your slides with text.
          Include a few bullet points and images, but you should not be reading off of your slides.

4.       Don’t tell jokes. If you use humor, keep it appropriate.

5.       Incorporate video and images into your presentation. People are visual learners and they will be
          more likely to remember what you talk about if you include associated images.

6.       Be prepared. The more prepared you are, the more confident and less nervous you’ll feel.

7.       Typically there won’t be enough time for you to conduct participant activities. However, you
          should still ask questions or find quick ways to encourage participation.

8.      Include a handout to supplement your training. Remember to make sure that it looks
         professional and include the company logo if you have access to it.
Sheila is a Human Resources / Training Consultant and Career Coach who guides organizations and people in setting and reaching their goals and achieving their definition of success.  She has worked with Fortune 500 companies, medium sized, and small companies including Target, Apollo Group, University of Phoenix, Corporate Psychologists, Knight Transportation and Auckland Museum.
Sheila received her Master’s degree in Human Resources from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and her Bachelor’s degree from Boston University.  Sheila runs her own consulting company MyLeadership Solution LLC and can be contacted at

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