Make Your Interview Presentation Sizzle
In the sales interview world, you are how you present. And there are a lot of ways to mess up an interview, but it’s painful to get to the end of a month-long interview cycle and trip up the presentation.
While some hiring managers’ expectations are different than others, good presenters tend to get winning job offers. So let’s look at the eight principles that will help you deliver your best presentation and land your dream sale job.
#1: Never Try to Do too Much in too Little Time
Give yourself enough time to write, review, and practice your presentation. Then, when you have more time, you’ll be able to catch small mistakes. Presentations need time to sit. So, when you come back to them, you can catch small mistakes that seem obvious to your audience.
It’s not easy working a full-time sales job and interviewing for a new sales job at the same time. But the final presentation is an essential step on the way to getting an offer. So give yourself the time you need to craft your presentation thoughtfully.
#2: Win the Offer with Help
If you can enlist friends to review your presentation for typos and formatting (not content), they may catch overlooked mistakes. But, of course, it’s always good practice to have more than one pair of eyes on any presentation. Typos kill deals. Employers view typos as a lack of attention to detail.
#3: Practice Your Presentation
If you think you can wing your presentation, you’re probably wrong. Under interview pressure, your brain doesn’t always work as well as it does in everyday situations. As a result, you may not develop new ideas off the cuff like you usually can. The way around this is by practicing what you want to say. And this way, you won’t be tempted to read off your slides. It’s also a best practice to learn the names and titles of the people you are presenting to so you can fluidly refer to them by name without second-guessing yourself.
#4: Don’t Let Time Fly
If you have 20 minutes to present, stay within your allotted time and don’t go over. If you do, you won’t have as much time for Q&A at the end, and you could miss out on the interaction you need to secure the job. When you practice the presentation, make sure to time each section. This way, you’ll have an idea of how each part of the presentation flows and if you need to slow down or speed up to maintain your time boundaries.
#5: PowerPoint is Your Best Tool
As a rule, all presentations should be done in PowerPoint. No matter what, do not use Word. It is easy to find visually appealing slide templates to customize your presentation for that extra professional, polished-looking presentation.
#6: Relax into Peak Performance
The more relaxed you can stay, the better your executive brain will work. On the other hand, the more nervous you get, the hotter your brain gets, and you won’t be able to stay calm and come up with compelling answers on the fly. So try to stay as relaxed as possible to keep your brain in its peak state. It’s hard to think on your feet if your brain circuits are jammed with nerves. So take a few deep breaths, relax, and have fun. Try to stay in the present moment. After all, presentations are your time to shine.
#7: Your Style is Yours
Ever have that friend or sibling that can say things you can’t? The best presenters remember that delivering a presentation is 35% content and 65% confidence. Most of a presentation’s magic comes out in the delivery.
We’ve had clients who ask for presentations on the interviewers’ topic of choice. They don’t care so much about the topic or the content. They just want to see the sales presentation delivered convincingly. Do you give off a vibe of self-assurance and high energy? Do you use the power of pausing for effect? Of course, you can only be yourself. So don’t try to be someone you’re not. But bring the most confident version of yourself to the interview and land the job offer
#8: Request Feedback
One of the biggest reasons you want to stay on point with your interview time is because you’ll need time to request feedback at the end during the Q&A section. With that in mind, never leave the conversation without closing for the next step. It’s always better to ask for feedback while your audience is in front of you than to not hear back for weeks. If no one is impressed by your presentation skills, find out what feedback they can share.
Job Opportunities Hinge on Your Presentation Skills
Before an offer is made, several people on the hiring committee need to be convinced to make it. The heart of that decision hinges on the final presentation. And your ability to tip that decision in your favor ultimately depends on your presentation skills.
We can quibble about the nuances of a strong presentation, but coming across as nervous, unprepared, and sloppy won’t help you win a compelling job offer. All of the points mentioned on tightening up your presentation skills are worth practicing and remembering. If you’d like more tips on acing the final interview find out more HERE.