Interview Tips: Presenting Yourself for the Future

Invariably when applying for a significant new job, you will be required to do more than just participate in a conventional interview.  Recruitment or promotion processes for leadership roles will often require you to make a brief presentation about yourself or on your thinking about the advertised role.

Most presentations are of course a great opportunity for you to shine and show yourself in a different way from just answering interview questions.  Here are a few simple tips and guidelines about how you might fully capitalise on this opportunity:

  • Firstly when presenting remember it is you who are in total control - you own all of the content that you are about to share.  You can therefore carefully choose the content and style that is most likely to impress your interviewers/assessors.
  • Preparation prior to any presentation is vital – that includes preparation of both the material and the delivery.
  • We recommend that you practice often ahead of the real session, and that you do this at least twice in your business attire so you are creating a positive self-image of success.
  • Knowledge of your subject is a key ingredient, and the language that you use should represent some of the written themes from the Job Specification provided as part of your application.
  • It is suggested that you deliver a minimum of 12 practice runs and find some trusted colleagues or friends to dry-run a live practice session, then listen hard to their feedback.
  • Length and timing is vital - too short and you may have undersold yourself, too long and you may have lost control and risk the embarrassment of being reeled-in.
  • Time your presentation in stages assuming a 10 min presentation slot i.e.
    • The Opening should be brief, delivered in about 45 seconds, and aim to grab the audience’s attention by impactfully highlighting the key themes of your presentation
    • The Middle should be structured into easily identifiable and distinctive elements taking approx 8 minutes in total to deliver.  Do not be afraid to allow for regular pauses so that the audience can digest your content.
    • The Summary should be short, upbeat and always finishing with the key positive messages from the main content.
    • For a 10 minute presentation you should aim to have no more than 5 accompanying slides.
    • “Less is best” - pictures, diagrams or graphs can create greater attention than words – it will be a big distraction if your audience has to read lots of small details on your slides.
    • When delivering your presentation stand proud and remain calm and do not rush.  Breathe deeply and slowly, relax and enjoy your discussion – remember the interviewers want to listen to you; it’s your responsibility to create a quality and exciting presentation.
    • Face the audience at all times and make equal eye contact with all interviewers throughout the presentation.
    • Gesture for emphasis – use your hands and energise the audience with your voice pace and tone by modulating, articulating and enunciating to produce a cutting edge delivery.
    • Best advice is not to provide any support documentation in advance to the interviewers as part of the presentation as you need to demand their full attention all of the time.  Handouts can of course be distributed at the end when you can invite the audience’s participation.
    • Be prepared for direct and probing questions at the end of the presentation.  You can prepare for questions in advance by asking your colleagues and peers for any anticipated potential questions based on what you have presented.
  • Once the questions are over calmly sit down, compose yourself and hand back control to the interviewers knowing that you have done a good job.

When Brosna Career Consulting prepares an individual for an important job or promotion interview, we will always ensure our candidates are extremely well practiced and prepared for any presentation element and, most importantly, receive clear and sharp feedback on how they can improve to maximise their personal impact.

If you need more immediate help, get in touch with us at 

Brosna Career Consulting