Extra effort brings extra results. Everything you do before, during, and after your interview, matters at the end of the hiring process. To prepare a PowerPoint presentation is definitely a good idea–especially when you can use it to demonstrate your knowledge of the job, or to showcase a successful project which you completed. Job seekers typically prepare one of the following presentations:

  1. Work portfolio – the presentation gives a brief insight on your career, the jobs you’ve had, the projects you managed, and the things you achieved and learned while working on them. Portfolio is especially useful for people who apply for technical jobs, such as graphic designer, project manager, web developer, application developer, marketing manager, cook, etc.
  2. Presentation of a specific project – for example if you apply for job in software development company, you can prepare a PowerPoint presentation of one of the projects you led. From first draft and planning of the application through setting milestones to completing them. Such a presentation helps you to demonstrate your excellent pm skills.

* Do not forget to check also: Project Manager Interview Questions.


Ask them whether you can use a presentation

A presentation is an effective way of demonstrating your skills, and if you do it in a right way, you will benefit from having it in an interview. Nevertheless, you should always ask the interviewers whether you can do the presentation.

Many hiring managers have their own way of doing things, they follow a strict interview template with each job candidate, and they have a packed schedule from morning to evening. In such a case may not allow you to show your presentation–simply because they want to follow the very same interview template with each job candidate–either everyone shows their PowerPoint presentation, or no one will.

Bearing this in mind, you should call them before the interview and ask about an option to show the PowerPoint presentation. Remember that even if they do not allow you to do it, they will appreciate the idea, and the extra effort you made to prepare something for your interview. All HR managers love the “I do more” attitude.

How to prepare a presentation

From a software point of view, you will find good tutorials on YouTube, and learn how to prepare a great-looking PowerPoint presentation with ease. From the content point of view, check our interview portfolio article to understand what you should include on your presentation, and what you should rather avoid.


Practice makes perfect, bad presentation can kill your chances

It happened to me several times that a job applicant brought their laptop to the interview, and they delivered their presentation. We did not agree about this upfront, but I never follow a strict template in job interviews, and I like applicants that do something more while trying to succeed. Therefor I let them to deliver the presentation.

More often than not, however, the presentation had very little to do with the job offer. Or, even worse, the way they delivered it uncovered their weaknesses in terms of their communication, presentations, or project management skills. Take my advice: Practice your presentation before an interview, and make sure that it relates to the job you try to get. Honestly, no presentation is better than a bad one.


Do not put us under pressure, let us lead the interviews

Most interviewers have an exact schedule for their interviews, and the template, and they try to follow both of them. You should not interrupt them at the beginning and tell that you want to present your portfolio, or certain project with the help of MS PowerPoint.

You should wait for a good time, and a good time comes when:

  • We ask about your working experience.
  • At the end of the interview, when everything else has been said and done.
  • When they ask you a practical question, and the answer can be explained with the help of your presentation (this is actually the best time to suggest doing it).


Conclusion and next steps

Wait for the right time. It may come, and it may not come. Maybe everything goes well, and you won’t even need the presentation to get a job. Do not press the issue, do not try to do the presentation at all costs.

If you get a chance to show us your presentation, ensure that the content relates to the job offer, and demonstrates the value you can bring to our company. Practice your presentation beforehand, and ensure you’d deliver it in a best possible way–showing your strong presentation and communication skills.

While the presentation can help you greatly with your efforts to get a job, other things matter as well in an interview. Let’s prepare for them together:

Matthew Chulaw
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