Final Interview Presentation

Hi everyone, I have a final interview coming up next week for a graduate electronics engineer role and I am required to begin by doing a 10 minute presentation on a project I've completed in the past. The main section of the interview will be a competency based interview so aside from the general relevant details of my project should I be aiming to demonstrate my competencies throught the presentation or are they looking for something else? Or am I mising the point entirely?  As a side note I have already completed an online video interview where I recorded my answers as well as game based assesments.

Thanks!

  • There are 2 sides to this sort of task -

    1) do you fluster and panic giving  a presentation, and then can you handle it when questioned.. At some point in he job you will need to explain things to others and get the level right - can you do that.

    2) How much of the project is yours, in the sense of how self organizing were you , were you the design authority or assistant - at grad level it could be either, but be very honest about what you did yourself and how much was based on ideas from others, or expect to be deflated like a party balloon at question time ;-)

    I'd suggest not to labour the  personal competency too much, except at the level of

    " I built that bit but Fred mainly designed it, this is how it works inside," or

    "I designed and built that section from 1st principles myself, and so if I did it again this is what needs fixing"  or

    "I drew it and someone else built it."

     take time to explain stuff  in detail if it needs it, if there is too much then maybe a deep design details dive into just one part and then you can skim the rest on time grounds having shown you can dive deep when it is needed, but be ready to do the same to any other part if a question asks for it

    10 minutes is about 10 slides on the projector (not counting title and the summary that ends with "any questions ?") and ~ 1500 words of speech for me, a bit more if its a topic that I get excited about,  you may  be a bit more or a bit less but if the timings will be critical, then rehearse your own speed to the bathroom mirror  or your cat with a clock running.


    The other sort of thing that will get attention is problem solving/ fault finding skills "Initially we had problems with feedback in the modulator but we fixed that by separating it into 2 screened modules"  type things showing some self help/ disaster recovery in the face of unexpected effects and or problems.

    Interviewers are only human, well mostly, and want to know that you will fit in and be up to the sort of things that the role may throw at you when you start.

    You will not be on your own  designing life and death machinery on day 1 if you get the job, but maybe following someone else's test process to look at known weaknesses in a current product for a new version, or be part of a larger team doing something new. You could do worse than ask them what they see you doing when you start, to calibrate expectations for both sides.

    good luck, do come back and say how it went.

    Mike.

  • Brilliant advice from Mike, the only thing I'd add is to briefly mention (if it was a company rather than a uni project) why this project was important to the company, that will show you appreciate how your work fits into the bigger picture. And also (whether a uni or a company project) any limits the project had on time, money, people etc and how you worked WITH these, which will show a similar thing.

    Just as Mike suggests, talking about how you work in a real project tells the interviewers much more about what you're like than just talking about what you know about technology. Interviewing candidates can be really, really boring, particularly recent graduates when they've all have pretty much the same theoretical background. It gets much more fun when the candidate starts talking enthusiastically about a real interesting project! If there happens to be a (small!) "lump of technology" you can bring in to illustrate the project then all the better!

    Good luck,

    Andy

  • Hi Mike, thank you so much for your advice, my apologies for not replying sooner. I recieved a phone call yesterday telling me that I got the job! The presentation went really well, I'm sure largely because of yours and Andy's excellent advice! Thank you so much once again, I'm really excited to be taking my first steps into my proffesional engineering career!

    Pierre.

  • Congratulations. 

    I Wish you all the best and hopefully an interesting job (well not so-oh interesting that it gives you stress but I hope you know what I mean.)

    Well done, and now, rather like passing the driving test, a new sort of learning begins, that probably lasts the rest of the lifetime.

    Mike.

  • Yes, congratulations, and many thanks for letting us know! We sit here lobbing this advice into the forums, it's always great to know that it's actually been helpful Grinning