Should I require candidates to do a presentation?

Presentations have long been one of the steps included in Sales, Business Development and even leadership interview processes. But how effective are they in determining if a candidate is a good fit? In this blog post, we’ll tackle if a presentation is worth everyone’s time.

Ask yourself three important questions to determine if a presentation should be added to the interview process:

1) Has the candidate already sold themselves for the role?

The “interview” is the most comprehensive presentation you could ever ask for. If you’re interviewing a candidate and they don’t make it past the initial phone interview, do you still need them to do a presentation? The answer is a definitive no because they’ve already failed the most important presentation of all, selling themselves.

2) Will a presentation help us reach our goal of a hiring decision?

Contrary to what you might think, I’ve actually had Hiring Managers want to see a “not so stellar” presentation so they can see how the candidate will handle constructive feedback. I’ve also had hiring managers look for a “knock it out of the park” presentation. Before considering if a presentation is necessary, you should first determine what your outcome are and then build your interview process around those desired goals. Maybe a presentation is not needed, but a 5-minute self-introduction to the interview panel is.

3) Is the job market supportive of an extensive interview process?

In a candidate-driven market, an employer’s ability to speed up the hiring process and show the candidate they value their time is key. If a candidate is interviewing at two different employers and one requires an on-site interview that lasts two hours while the other requires four hours and a presentation, the candidate knows immediately which employer values their time more.

In closing, a presentation can be a useful data-point during an interview process, but it’s not the end all be all as some hiring managers think it is. In this candidate-driven market, the shortest, most candidate-centric interview process will come out on top every time.

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Article by: Oliver Horvath