Guest post by James Robinson, Marketing Manager for Buffalo 7.
Interviews are tough.
And remote interviews? Even tougher.
Sorry but it’s true.
Experts suggest that up to 90% of communication is nonverbal, and it’s much harder to communicate with body language when you’re not in the room and the interviewer can only see your head and shoulders via a webcam.
An Interview in front of the laptop
However, one thing that can make the remote interview easier is when you’ve been asked to do a presentation. That’s right: I said easier.
If you’re doing a presentation, it’s a piece of cake to prepare for your interview, as you know exactly what you’re going to say. Instead of awkwardly sitting in front of a webcam, you can share your screen, present your slides and talk over the top as you scroll through them.
So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to nail your remote interview presentation.
1. Get the right software
Here at Buffalo 7, we use Zoom for our screen sharing and conference calls, but there’s plenty of other reliable software you can use. Once you’ve accepted the interview, make sure you send out the link via email to your prospective employer. That’s your responsibility; not theirs.Always test out the software, especially if it’s new to you. Make sure you know exactly what you’re doing, so on the day, you’re not fiddling around, skipping slides by accident, or even worse, cutting them off.
When you are testing this out, it’d be a good idea to test your Wi-Fi to ensure the signal is strong enough. Call your mum. Can you hear each other clearly?
2. Don’t worry about nerves
Ok, so that’s a bit of an oxymoron, but here’s what I mean.
Nerves are perfectly natural and they don’t need to get in the way when delivering an interview presentation. Every time you think about the interview and get nervous, you should consciously focus on how excited you are to share your ideas with your interviewer(s). This deliberate enthusiasm will manifest when you present, making you a much more engaging speaker.
3. Tell us a story
A flaky presentation will get you nowhere. Try and think of one or two ideas that you’d ideally like to leave the interviewer with as your take-home message and build your presentation around these. It helps if you think of your presentation as a story with a clear beginning, middle and end.
The beginning: Where is your employer at the moment?
The middle: What are the challenges that drive conflict for your employer?
The end: What can you offer in terms of a resolution? How do your skills result in a brighter future for them?
SPG Presentation by Buffalo 7
4. Dress your slides for success
You’ll be dressing your best for your interview (at least from the waist up anyway) and the same should go for your slides. This is even more important for a remote interview presentation when all the focus will be on your slides, and you’ll just be talking over the top of them.
Some quick tips on slide design are to;
- Keep text on slides to a minimum. People can’t read and listen at the same time, so if your slides are full of text, the chances are you’re getting ignored.
- Bomb the bullets. A bullet point can highlight a key piece of information. If every line of text has one, what’s the point in having any?
- One or two fonts. Stick to one font for headers and one for body copy. Sans serif fonts are more legible and generally work best.
For more tips on slide, design check out our presentation design cheat sheet.
UEFA Presentation by Buffalo 7
5. Prepare for questions
After delivering such a perfect presentation, it’d be a terrible shame to get caught out by some difficult questions.
When you are reviewing your presentation content, you should be able to predict some questions your interviewer will ask, so ensure you’ve prepared some answers. The beauty of not actually being there is that you can have as many notes in front of you as you wish, unbeknownst to the employer.
You may be asked why you recommend one course of action as opposed to another, or how you would mitigate any risks. Questions can actually provide an opportunity for you to talk about ideas and points you couldn’t fit into your main presentation.
When you have to give a remote interview presentation, you’ll inevitably feel nervous at first, but having something to prepare and follow will make it easier on the day. Follow the advice above and you’ll be able to make not physically being in the room work in your favour. Good luck!
James Robinson is the Marketing Manager for Buffalo 7, the UK’s leading PowerPoint presentation design agency. Buffalo 7 work with names including UEFA Champions League, Dell, Red Bull, Facebook and the BBC.
With 10 years experience across the marketing mix, James has worked for a number of B2B companies as well as being self employed for a period and has been a remote worker for the past 3 years. Follow him in LinkedIN or Twitter.