Interview’s are all about creating a good long lasting impression, one that stands out against your competitors. Especially for a final interview, it is likely that your interviewers are focused on your personal skills. You wouldn’t have got this far if they weren’t sure about your technical skills. This is one of the reasons that people are often asked to make a presentation at a final interview.
Many people find this especially nerve-wracking. At just the time that they need to be at their most confident and assertive they go to pieces. As natural as this is in such a pressured situation, letting these feelings interfere with your delivery could lose you the job.
Let’s look at some strategies that you can use in this situation to get on top of your nerves.
NB: many people find our ‘assertiveness for freelancers‘ guide has useful tips as well.
As foolish as you may feel speaking to an imaginary audience in your bedroom, rehearsing a presentation is key in ironing out any issues. It will also ensure that you adhere to any time criteria your potential employer has set. It will fill you with confidence as you will know what to say and when to say it and, by the time you enter the interview and the nerves kick in, you will know your presentation so well that you won’t have to think too hard to get it right.
Practicing so that you know exactly what you will say and when you will say it by the time you enter the interview will make you much more confident. Things always get more difficult when nerves kick in, this way you will know your presentation so well that you won’t have to think too hard to get it right.
Think of ways in which you can make yourself remembered – for the right reasons. For example, usually for a final interview presentation, you will be given a subject matter on which to base your presentation.
Do your research so that you can bring something new and interesting to the table rather than the standard information that most candidates are likely to deliver. This kills two birds with one stone. It demonstrates a genuine interest in the company and given topic which will always score highly with any employer looking to hire, and also shows that if they hired you you would bring something new and different to their team.
This tip purposely leads on from the previous one. When you are looking to stand out from the crowd it can be tempting to think too far outside the box. This is a ‘make or break’ strategy, so if you are intending to go down this path, be vigilant that you don’t stray from the point of the presentation.
Always bear in mind what impression you want your audience to leave with and stay focused on delivering just that.
Although you may feel you are in a pressured situation (which to an extent you are) you need to find a way to control your nerves and relax a bit.
If you are relaxed you will feel confident, and if you feel confident you will come across at your most professional. Many people find that thinking of how they would feel if they were on the other side watching someone deliver a presentation helps to alleviate their nerves.
If this doesn’t work for you try other things until you find something that does.
When in an interview situation and even more so when delivering a presentation; your body language communicates a lot to the people watching. You want to come across and confident, open and friendly, not nervous or defensive. Things to avoid include crossing your arms, standing in one spot during an entire presentation, keeping your arms by your side, speaking too quietly and speaking too fast.
The things you should focus on doing are:
6. Take A Print Copy Of Your Presentation
There is nothing more unnerving that having a problem with setting your presentation up. These things happen so be prepared. Take printed copies of your presentation with you. If the worst happens you can still do your presentation and will probably be able to turn it to your advantage as your interviewers will be impressed with your preparation.
The fact that you have got through to final interview stages means that you are 90% there – if they didn’t like you, you wouldn’t have been invited. So have confidence in your abilities and go get ‘em. Good luck!
Looking for one of our other assertiveness articles?