The job market of present day is a very demanding one, and companies no longer look for employees who specialise in one field only. Employees need to adopt a holistic approach to their work, and be well-versed in a number of soft skills besides their area of expertise. As such, some of these skills will be tested during your job interview.
A number of interviewers ask for PowerPoint presentations to see how well acquainted you are with computers, and also to test your vocational skills. As such, if you are planning to get hired by a good firm, preparing a presentation is a great idea. You could use a host of templates to design the presentation for your first interview.
What exactly is expected from you?
The most popular question is “what do you think you bring to the company?” which implies that you will need to showcase your skill-set, your credentials and accolades and impress the interviewers. Some preparation is needed if this is a case. Ensure that you have documented all your academic accolades and mentioned any workshops you have attended or internships you may have participated in. Since this is your first job, they will not be expecting any previous job experience.
Some companies like to test your ability to think on your feet, and will give you a short assignment. For example, they will present you and the rest of the candidates with a hypothetical set of figures and ask you to prepare a presentation to explain the sales over the previous month based on these figures. You could also be given a random product and be asked to promote it through a sales presentation.
These may seem a bit challenging, but are actually quite easy if you are well equipped. You should develop a basic template into which you incorporate that data. Even if you are not asked for a presentation, you could always develop one and show it anyway, as these soft skills are much appreciated by reputed firms.
What you should do
Now that you have an idea of what is expected from you, you should go about trying to implement that. The first thing you should do is keep an opening slide with your presentation topic and your name. You could also make a header or footer with your name, degree and email/contact number on it for every slide on the template. Ensure it takes up no more than 10-15 percent of the height of the slide.
Next, keep in mind that a slide should have no more than three to four sentences of text. You are expected to speak, and not read out from the slide. Incorporate graphics and images into the presentation too. Ensure that the text is large enough to be legible, but not too large. Also, choose Sans Serif fonts, they are much more readable than Serif fonts.
Choose an appropriate background for the templates, one which is not too flashy or replete with textures or graphics, so that your text can stand out against it. It is actually a good idea to have a background which is primarily white, with another color or a streak around the corners or at the top or bottom.
Ensure that the presentation has a clear idea, is short and to the point. Time it properly, and do not read out from the slide. If you can exude smartness and confidence during the presentation, and back it up with a solid academic foundation, the job is yours.
Do you have any more advice on how to prepare fantastic templates for your interviews? Tell us below!
Photo: Gareth Saunders / Flickr
Morris Westenborough is a geek who spends his days, nights and everything in between glued to the computer screen. From trying to solve programming challenges, to designing powerslides.com, logos and posters, or reading tech articles or writing a blog himself, there’s nothing he can’t do.