Now that you have made it to the highly-anticipated final stage, how do you stand out from your competition?
So you have been shortlisted for a final interview within a pharmaceutical firm for the role of Marketing Manager. As is the norm for most corporations today, you will have to prove to them how versatile and enthusiastic you are about the job opening by delivering a presentation during the meeting. With only 30 minutes to make the most of a topic given to you, there's nothing expected other than you wowing the panel. Unsure what to do with that PowerPoint presentation? Here are some points to help.
The biggest mistake you can make is not understanding what you have been asked to do. Rather than rocking your boat without first gauging the waters, take time to research on the topic and make sure you comprehend what it is about. Ask the hiring manager a few questions if possible, and get to find out what technology, if any, that you will have access to during the presentation. Research about the recent activities of the pharmaceutical company or its upcoming projects. You'd be amazed how seemingly little information can do a solid for your interview.
It is the jet age; everyone wants to sound cool, but as much as it is a professional interview, you will want to speak in the purest and most accurate form of language, the one even the layman can quickly get to grips with. When it comes to complex and technical topics, you do not need to go so big. Communicate your idea and facts as basically and as effectively as impossible, as you would want to make the hiring managers know that you technically understand what they are looking out for in a hire. By all means, do not be too verbose.
You could be pitching to a panel with a different area of expertise than yours. So, succinctly, you need to find out what areas they are coming from and ensure that what you present is relevant and engaging to all present. While it is already established that you should avoid proliferated jargon for this purpose, you also need to double down on your presentation skills - confidence, clarity, competence, and passion. If someone is secretly yawning while you discuss the possible challenges of your suggested GTM strategy for a particular new drug launch, it could be because you are not giving it the best expected.
Is the panel relating with your presentation? That is a tough question to answer, especially when you are more concerned with performing optimally. There is one way to find out if your presentation is going south or serving its purpose. Try to read the body language of the managers or panelists. A mild frown could mean they need you to explain an idea more, and a little smirk could mean you just hit the nail right on the head. Either way, let their facial expressions and bodily movements tell you how the presentation is going.
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If anything, a presentation interview is an avenue for you to showcase your skills and personality. Aside from the content of your presentation, the panel is looking to see just how diligent, organized, and conscientious you are in the way you approach work. Your fantastic attention to detail will make sure they feel your determination to deliver a hundred percent and help boost your personality. Whatever your strengths are, there is no better time to take advantage of them than now, so let your personality shine because at the end of the day, hiring managers will want to know if your personality can fit into their existing team culture.
In the same way a teacher would be filled with energy on the first day of class, you need to keep your enthusiasm as high as safely possible. You need to find the perfect balance between being the overly-excited candidate who gives too much information and being the too-cool candidate who could come across as not wanting the job enough. By doing this, you will be able to be calm on the inside and very persuasive on the outside. Not only will this show the managers that you are passionate about the job, but also that you will be of great impact when on-board. It is one thing to have excellent written communication skills or composing a concise deck, but without a robust and energetic delivery, the presentation is as good as none.
Part of the presentation will be telling the panel about yourself. So you need to ready to answer personal questions. In as much as they are moved by your sales numbers and how many marketing campaigns you have aced, they still are concerned about your ups and downs. Nobody is perfect, and that’s why you need to be prepared to tell them both about your successes and failures. More importantly, tell them the challenges you have faced, and with what approach you overcame them. They want to know how you manage tight situations, work under pressure, and harness available resources to reach your end goal. This will help hiring managers determine your resilience when you face challenges in this role.
Well, there’s no law which says you have failed by being aware of the areas you do not do great. But you should focus more on how to improve yourself, not just for the presentation but also for the job you are looking to secure. If the opportunity presents itself for you to be candid about every aspect of yourself, take it without hesitating. Talk about your weaknesses and your willingness to take on new challenges with the intention of becoming a better marketer. In that presentation room, be yourself, remain yourself, and never stop doing so even after the interview.
“To be prepared is half the battle won.” That is a saying that will never go wrong. If you are thinking about your career progression within the healthcare & life sciences industry and would like to have a confidential chat with me, please feel free to reach out to me via email below.