How to prepare a presentation for a job interview

Careers expert Emma Alkirwi from CV Guru advises on how to prepare a presentation for a job interview.

Middle-aged women in an interview


When you get past an initial job interview, you may be asked to deliver a presentation to progress further in the application process.

The type, length, and topic of the presentation will vary depending on the role you are applying for. However, all interviewers will want to see a candidate who can demonstrate their expertise and ideas in a confident, calm, and collected manner.

If you are nervous about delivering a presentation or haven’t done one as part of a job application before, we are here to help.

We want to help you blow your interviewer away! Here are our expert tips on how to prepare a presentation for a job interview.

Ensure you have a clear structure

Before you start planning the content of your presentation, make sure that it has a defined structure. Always determine your key points first, and make sure all of the information you include is specifically related to the topic you have been asked to present on.

We recommend beginning with a clear introduction, before exploring each of your points or ideas separately. Conclude with a round-up of everything you have covered, before opening up to questions.

This will help the interviewer not only learn more about your expertise but also see that you are highly organised.

Don’t overload your slides with information

We’ve all heard the phrase “Death by PowerPoint” – when a presenter uses so many slides with so much information that you can’t keep up. You also aren’t engaged with the speaker because you’re spending all of your time looking at the slides.

This is the last thing you want to do in a job interview presentation!

Don’t be afraid of using slides. Just keep both the number of them, and the information they include, minimal. This way you aren’t too dependent on them to deliver your presentation.

Include your key points on your slides to draw attention to them but add more context as you speak. This way, you keep the interviewer’s attention firmly on the ideas you are sharing.

Know your facts and figures

You most likely completed some research on the company when you first applied. Now is the time to go a bit deeper.

Depending on the topic you have been asked to present, it is likely that you will need to provide evidence to back up your ideas.

Triple-check that any statistics or facts you include in your presentation are accurate. If they aren’t, your interviewer might question your attention to detail and believe you to be unreliable.

Don’t put off practising!

The best way to get comfortable with your presentation is to rehearse it!

The better you know the content of your presentation, the more confident you will be in delivering it. If you know your points inside out, you will be able to deliver them in any circumstances. This is particularly useful in case your technology fails, for example, as you won’t be reliant on it.

You will also know that your presentation runs on time. If you don’t practise, your presentation could be much longer or shorter than the interviewer has requested, which won’t make a great impression.

Rehearsing in advance also allows you to ask others for feedback. Run through your full presentation in front of someone you trust – your partner, a family member or friend, or someone you know well within your industry. Ask for their honest opinion, and then adjust your presentation accordingly.

Practising should extend beyond the presentation itself. You should also prepare for the kinds of questions you might be asked, based on what you speak about, so you can prepare clear answers in advance and avoid any kind of mind blanks.

Project confidence

Finally, the most important thing you can do is deliver your presentation confidently.

Your content is important, but the way you deliver it is critical too. Here are a few key tips:

  • Smile and make eye contact with everyone in the room
  • If appropriate, refer to people by name while you are speaking, to build a personal connection
  • Stand tall with your shoulders back.
  • Try not to speak too quickly. Remember to take deep breaths – they will help to slow you down and keep you calm.

Presenting publicly might not be your favourite thing to do. But if you can speak capably and with confidence, your interviewers will believe in your ability to work well under pressure.

*Emma Alkirwi is the Managing Director of the CV Guru which is the leading service provider of professionally written CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, cover letters in the UK and they also provide specialist consultancy services. Alongside CV Guru’s CV WritingCover Letter, and LinkedIn Profile Writing services, they partner with two respected experts to help people nail their job interviews and presentations. You can find out more here.

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