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Interview Presentation: Five top tips for Technologists

Nadia Edwards-Dashti

We are seeing a rise in our clients asking for applicants to present to a number of people as part of an interview process. This is across all sorts of positions from development to support to technical pre-sales and with the presentation stage being more frequent we are also seeing it as a stumbling block for people who have not properly prepared. Here are my top tips to getting yourself confident and ready for a successful presentation:

 Get the topic right: Make sure you understand what has been asked of you. What is the brief? Do you know why this is the brief? Whatever your idea is before you start planning out your presentation, think clearly about whether you answer the brief. Too many people just haven’t answered question posed to them and therefore ruin their chances.

Answer the question in full: What points should you be raising? What examples of your previous work can you draw upon to really underline your point? Think through how you can best answer the question and work out a full story board to ensure the message is presented in the clearest fashion. Working out exactly what you want to say and pairing that with visuals will put you in a great position to communicate the message.

Keep it succinct: Decide how you will present, look at your format and work out whether every part of it is relevant to the question. However you chose to present, whether it be with handouts or on a PowerPoint, the pages shouldn’t be littered with paragraphs. Remember that each bullet point is just a prompt not an entire script!

Slick Visuals: Make sure your format is consistent the whole way through and if possible in line with the firm’s logos or company’s colours. A simple agenda and conclusion will help you organise your answer and most importantly, don’t rush this and allow for silly spelling or grammar mistakes. 

Rehearse in front of people: Practise the presentation as much as possible in front of others. It will make it much easier for you on the day if you remember what page follows what and you have explained your points to an audience previously. Choosing technical and non-technical people will allow for a full appraisal of what you are trying to achieve.

Knowing the length and sticking to the time advised is paramount! But most importantly this is a representation of you. Practise will help you speak with clarity and confidence. Believing in your message will allow you to succeed! If you prepare well and follow these tips you will go into the presentation feeling strong, happy and positive. Good luck in your next presentation!