I was at an interview with a company I had admired for years. I had made it through all the leaps and hurdles of finding the opening, submitting my resume and applying for the position. Now here I was headed into the office to deliver a presentation to the members of the highest level of the organization. It was up to me to enlighten them on why I was the best person for the position and anything was possible.
Oddly I wasn’t nervous at all. I felt well prepared, I had researched the company and gone above and beyond on the effort I put into my power point presentation. I appreciated where the company was now verses where it had been several years ago. Highlighting what they were doing well, I shared personal experiences I had in dealing with the company before applying. Then I laid out a plan of a select few innovative ideas I had that were easy to implement and focused on where the company was projecting to be in the near future.
I pointed out why my specific experience was beneficial to the position I was hoping to hold. Emphasizing my strong points and acknowledging where I had fallen short and included how I handled those mistakes. I incorporated my resume, links to my online portfolio, and a brief summary of comparative research I had done on other organizations in their field. I didn’t go overboard on tacky transitions, I kept my text clear and concise and the overall look was consistent and professional.
So standing in the board room wearing a brand new interviewing outfit, flash drive in hand I was feeling pretty darn confident that this job was mine. While we waited for the president of the company to finish his meeting the other board members requested I proceed without him so I plugged my drive into the laptop attached to the projector. A box promptly popped up to inform me that I did not have the required administrative rights to allow the drive software to run on the machine.
No one in the room had the password to allow my drive to load my precisely prepared presentation. Several people seemed panicked wondering what we would do. While someone ruffled through some papers to see if the password was there, the leader of the tech team was on the phone with IT. It would be reasonable to think that I might be freaking out at this point but before the help desk phone could ring, I defused the situation. I pulled a hard copy out of my pile that I had burnt the presentation too just in case. It worked like a charm. Had it not, there was a copy saved to a secret location on my online portfolio I could access from anywhere that had an internet connection.
At that point it barely mattered what I had in my presentation, the board saw my cool head in a “crisis” and how I paid attention to detail. They knew I was able to deliver results instead of excuses when an unexpected obstacle came up last minute.
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By Heather Fairchild - Heather is a multimedia developer, business owner and work-from-home mom.