Interview tips – with a presentation….

Sunday, June 1st, 2008 - Job Interview, job search, recruitment, tutorial


James, I think your cover's blown!
Creative Commons License photo credit: laverrue

Jason asks: Following a successful application/CV, I am now looking forward to an interview tomorrow afternoon for a fund raising job. The structure of the interview from their letter is as follows:

  • 2.55pm Arrive at reception for interview
  • 3.00pm Interview begins
  • 3.45pm Interview ends

The first thing I have to do in the interview is a presentation about raising the profile of the charity and raising more funds. I have ten minutes for this, no more. Have you experienced this sort of interview? What happens after the first ten minutes? As the job is for a fund raising role I guess we’ll talk about fund-raising some more, but then I just did that?

In answer:
The standard agenda and timing for this type of interview is:

  • 10mins for presentation
  • 10mins for Q&A on presentation
  • 25mins residual “standard” interview

This interview format more quickly separates for the employer, applicants who have both the required mix of skills/experience AND will fit into the organisation the easiest. This is an interview format that makes it easy to pick out the candidates the employer can say YES to, because it is full of candidate elephant traps. If the applicant is off track from what the employer is looking for from the start of the presentation, the applicant is unlikely to get back on track in the rest of the interview.

A 10min presentation is a maximum of six slides in large print (is that A4, flip-chart or powerpoint? take two extra copies which ever format). Do at least some financial analysis and market analysis, and pick out a quote or two from their own annual report – all on one slide; a SWOT is a common tool for analysing the where to; then an action plan split short/medium term – so that’s three slides!

The next 10min section will then flow from that – think the 5W’s of history: who, what, where, when, why – and in this case, how? Think questions like: HOW did you research this; WHY did you analyse it that way; WHAT are the alternatives/why did you dismiss them; and WHEN do you think the revenues would flow?

The formal interview will probe your skills against the job description, which will have highlighted the core skills the candidate is expected to have – so the questions will be based around your experience in those areas: “Give me an example of where your have…. (insert core skill)”

One thing you need to do is have at least five questions prepared for them which further probe the role – two will probably be resolved during the interview, and you want at least two for the end of the interview. Standard questions from the candidate which are not one of those five are: what are the next steps; when should I expect to hear from you; when would you expect the chosen candidate to start?

If you have any more questions, drop me a line – Good Luck!

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