The world and beyond – Surviving in the economic jungle

Advice, tips and tricks on how to engage with the UK jobs market and commercial environment, from a female executive's perspective

Definitive Guide to Job Hunting 20 – Task Based Presentations at Interview

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Often, my clients ask candidates to prepare a case study or task for presentation at second interview. And I have seen many a seasoned sales professional crumble under the pressure of rising to this relatively simple challenge!

My advice is always to keep things as simple as possible.

Remember that the interviewer or panel wants you to do well. They spent enough time with you at first interview to talk through your CV, so they are probably convinced by now that you have all the skills required to do the job. So second interviews are about going back over the presumptions they made at the first interview, to test their opinions and to make sure you can do what they thought you could. But if they didn’t at least like you, you would not have come this far!


This meeting is not really about whether you can create snazzy looking presentations: At face value, it might LOOK very good but remember, with any presentation, it’s what you SAY to support your slides that really makes the difference. A weak presentation that misses the point, even if its fully loaded with graphics and bells and whistles, is still a weak presentation.


If you are applying for a sales job, they will be looking for your commercial angle, how you approach the numbers or ideas they gave you and what recommendations you made based on this data. There is usually no right or wrong answer, as long as you give answers to the questions they pose at the end of the task and are able to explain how you came to those answers


If you had to analyse data, it makes sense to explain how you went about reaching your conclusions. This way, even if you process was flawed or if you didn’t quite get it right, you can display how you deal with problems and find creative solutions.


Of course, they also want to see how good you are at doing presentations so WHAT you say is equally important to HOW you say it! Know what you want to say and how you want to say it, explain when you want them to ask questions and what your objectives are. It is always wise to start with a clear goal and to revisit that at the end to package everything properly.


They already went through your CV when they met you the first time. The presentation provides grounds for new interview questions, and opportunities to talk about skills and abilities you did not cover the first time around. Think about what you want to show them of yourself during the presentation to reinforce what they already think.

BUT MOST OF ALL: Keep positive! This is your chance to convince them that you are the person for the job – Grab it!


Written by Cathy Richardson

June 29, 2011 at 10:31 am

Posted in Recruitment

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