You’ve secured a first round interview at a company, how should you be preparing? This interview is typically a 30 minute screening call to sound out your experience. You should be prepared to go through everything in your resume, with anecdotal evidence of how you achieved things, challenges you faced and how you overcame them.
Point 1 sounds basic, but trust me, you would be amazed with how many people don’t come prepared with this simple step - and it really shows. Points 2-4 will give you plenty of ammunition to ask poignant questions to the interviewer which shows you’re interested. Make sure you come prepared to answer the question ‘So why are you interested in joining our company?’. This is often a stumbling block for a lot of candidates, if you come back with something generic like ‘oh I’m really interested in technology, you’ve grown really fast, I love the space’ then don’t expect top marks - this is where you can fall back on points 1-4.
By this point the company has seen something in you and think you have potentially got what it takes to join their team. Some candidates get flustered and over think the presentation preparation especially if they are given free reign on what topic to present and in what format. Don’t panic, breathe. It’s not what you present it’s how you present it. I heard of a candidate doing a presentation on paper - now that is pretty dry, but they got the job.
If you’re going for a sales position, they don’t want you to just reel off a pitch, they are looking for engagement. This means you have to ask them discovery questions at the start of the presentation and then look to tailor the presentation to their answers. A clear structure for your presentation is so important, what does the story look like and does it flow well? You should tell the audience what you are going to cover off at the start , think about adding a content slide.
A lot of standard presentations will simply be pitches on a product or service, but anyone can do that, they are looking to understand more about you! What’s your analysis on the market? Stats, insights, quotes from publications, etc. Now finally the attention to detail - I’m no powerpoint wizard but small things like putting the logo of the company you’re interviewing with and using their company colours for the background go a long way. This shows how much effort you have put in. Tip: Have a look at Canva, it's free to use and your presentation will look like you have hired a graphic designer!
Finally, once the presentation is done and dusted...send a follow up note to all those on the call (or in the room), thanking them for their time - a simple but important last step!
If you have any questions or are looking for presentation advice, please reach out to anyone at LMRE - we are more than happy to help!
By Xan Winterton, Managing Director, North America