If you have made it through to the final interview stage and on to the final interview presentation then a soft whisper of a congratulations are in order! By this stage you clearly have the personality and skills that your potential employer is looking for – now it’s time to seal the deal. Problem is, the pressure is on and as with all presentation interviews; the nerves are starting to kick in.
Fear not! As we outline seven key points which are sure to get you through the final interview.
1) Be confident:
Confidence counts for a lot in most situations but definitely in interviews. After all, if you don’t have confidence in yourself, how can you inspire others to have it? When it comes to the final interview presentation, this is not the time to doubt yourself… easier said than done.
If you apply some logic to it; you will see that there is no need to question yourself. They invited you to an interview after seeing your application – they could have said no. What’s more, if you have already had a first interview, they have invited you back – when they could have said no. You can rest assured that your prospective employers would not waste yours and their time if you didn’t have something that made them interested in you.
2) Be prepared:
There is nothing more unprofessional than an unprepared presentation or one where you have no contingency plans if, for example, technology fails you and your electronic presentation doesn’t work.
A great way to ensure that you deliver your presentation smoothly is to practice beforehand. Usually you will be given a time limit so, you should ensure that you time it and, practice your body language and how you pitch your voice. Additionally, you should have hard copies of any electronic support materials in case technology does fail you so that you can still deliver your presentation confidently.
3) Know your presentation inside out:
The only way you can ensure that nerves and pressure don’t make you freeze or make your mind go blank is to know your presentation inside out. This can be of course achieved through endless practice. But the risk you face by heading down the ‘word by word’ route is that it can lead to a rather wooden presentation, rather than one that glows with personality.
The real key to knowing your presentation well enough to deliver it professionally, to engage your audience and to deal with any ad hoc questions; is to create all the content yourself and know the subject area thoroughly rather than just in the context of your presentation.
4) Remembering that you are in a final interview:
Regardless of how experienced you are in delivering killer presentations, you should keep at the forefront of your mind that, you are still within the interview process. Why is this important? Because delivering a presentation as a professional and delivering one as an interview candidate requires slightly varying skills and styles.
With regards to the latter, you should ensure that you think of ways to embed your strengths and/or attributes you want your potential employer to remember about you, within your presentation. For example, if in previous interview rounds you promoted your organisational skills because it is an integral part of the job you are applying for, you can demonstrate this by demonstrating how organised you are in how prepared you are.
5) Forecast scenarios and questions:
In line with remembering that you are in an interview, you should integrate some forecasting in your preparations. You should consider what sort of questions you may be asked and bear in mind that it may not just be about the content of your presentation but instead, can be used as a test of your knowledge around the subject matter.
I mentioned earlier the importance of researching the topic of your presentation thoroughly because, this could be the knowledge you lean on if your opinion, professional judgment or subject knowledge is asked for.
6) Feed off the positive energy that surrounds you:
The reason you have been invited to the final interview stage is because your interviewers like you and want to give you a chance to impress them. In short, they want you to do well so, rather than letting the feeling of being under the spotlight weigh heavy on you, use their positive energy to fill you with confidence.
7) Don’t be hard on yourself:
Potential employers will expect an exemplary presentation more so if they have shortlisted you from a large list of candidates. But having said that, they will also be realistic and know that you may be nervous which may affect your presentation. So, if you feel like your nerves affected your delivery in small ways, do not beat yourself up about it.
Also, if after delivering a killer presentation you still do not succeed in securing the job, do not let it shatter your confidence. You must remember that you have a great CV and portfolio of skills otherwise you wouldn’t have got to the final interview stages. Whilst you should seek constructive feedback and use it wisely, you must consider the many other factors that may have influenced your interviewer/s decision and those factors, are unlikely to bear negatively on you.
Nick Williams works for acuitytraining.co.uk in the UK and helps on their confidence & interview preparation training courses.