Interview Presentations – Top 5 Tips

Many trainees find themselves in the process of preparing for interviews which will require a presentation of their research. This is common for both academic and industry positions. A former NIH postdoc who successfully transitioned into an industry role shared some tips on how to nail your interview presentation.

1. Present a cohesive story showcasing past research
One to two really solid and relevant stories are the key here. Bounce your ideas off lab mates, mentors, etc. Practice your talk and ask for feedback. Sometimes ideas that seem to flow naturally for us feel jumbled or confusing to our audience. Appreciate any insights others share as valid critiques to pay attention to.

2. Select figures that highlight skills or techniques that maybe of interest to the group or found in the job description.
If you did your due diligence when applying to the position, you will find that the interview preparation is a bit easier. You can simply review your tailored resume/CV and cover letter. Don’t worry about restating what is in your written documents. It will feel different coming verbally from you in the interview and most interviewers only skim your documents ahead of the meeting.

3. Clearly state findings and broader impact of work.
All employers are looking for accomplishments-driven workers. Explain the larger context of your work to show impact.

4. Be prepared to answer technical questions and to discuss the relevance of your findings to the group’s area of interest.
The hardest and longest part of an interview is often the preparation. In order to ensure success, make sure you do a bit of research on the website since very few specifics tend to be provided in the job description.

5. Note any collaborations.
You will likely be working as a member of a team, so showcasing past evidence that you have successfully worked as a member of a team is key. If you liaised with other labs, spearheaded new collaborations, sustained continued connections or work – these are all selling points in the eyes of employers. 

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