Project Management Q&A: How to Prepare a Presentation for an Interview

I have an interview coming up and I’ve been asked to prepare a presentation in advance, do you have any tips for me?

Presentations are used quite a lot in project management interviews, it’s a great way to test several different aspects about a prospective employee.

Before you start pulling together the presentation, read the instructions carefully (they’re looking for attention to detail) and make sure you understand the objective of the presentation. If you’re given a template or specific instructions on the length of the presentation make sure you stick to it. One of the most important parts of this test is making sure you stick to time.

You can have the best presentation but if you run over time, forget it. Don’t assume that there will be a projector available and you’re presenting from a PC, check what the setup is.

Ask if you need to bring your own laptop and have a backup on a USB stick too. It’s also considered good practice to print out copies for each person in the audience so find out how many are needed and add a couple more for back up. There’s a recommendation that you’re using about 7 slides for about 10 minutes of talk, so if you’ve not been given strict instructions on how many to have, use this as a guideline.

After the introduction, you’re aiming to deliver one point per slide. Make sure you practice not only the material itself but also the pace, tone, eye contact and how you can engage the audience.

If you can add personal experiences throughout the presentation, use the STAR technique to do this in an engaging and story like way. Describe the Situation or Task, the Action you took and the Results you gained. Finally, relax and try and enjoy it, you’ve probably been waiting for a good interview for a while and this is your time in the spotlight.

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