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Seb Anthony

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10 min training session as part of interview


Hi all,

I have an interview for a Trainer role next week - part of which I need to present a 10 minute training session on any topic and I'm really stuck for ideas...

I have provided training/coaching before but this would be my first full-time training role.

I work in a large call centre in Collections for a large financial institution and the interview will be conducted by the Head of Training (female), but I am to assume that the session is for a small group. The only visuals I would have are flip charts/handouts.

I understand the basics of producing a training session and appreciate that they are looking at my training skills rather than the subject matter but I am at a bit of a loss.

I did have the idea of "Motivation Options" with the aim of increasing interest in motivation issues, but am worried that it is too big a topic to fit in just 10 mins.

I have heard that some people have chosen things like "how to.... iron a shirt/tie a tie....etc" but I'm not sure as to how well that would be perceived.

Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.


7 Responses

  1. 10 minute training session


    Hi Robb
    First of all, congratulations on the interview. 
    When I was working on the “other side of the fence” in Head of L&D roles, my objectives for the “micro” training sessions at interview was to be able to assess the candidate’s planning, style, confidence, ability to engage learners & transfer learning. The topic is not the most important element (but should be something you are comfortable with), it’s your planning, structure, content relevance to session aim & objectives and delivery skills, that will be assessed. 
    The “micro” training session is not a presentation, so pick a topic that has a learning outcome, I can see why others have picked ironing a shirt, but you can be cleverer than this. What issues occur in your working environment? By picking a work relevant topic you show that you have analysed training needs, and the panel can imagine you in the work situation – a key element at interview. 
    Have you looked at The ultimate online free management and business training resource” on Training Zone?  Plenty of inspiration & resourses there, a short session on customer care for example, but remember Keep it Simple.
    I hope that this helps, what do others think/advise?
    Good luck for the interview.
  2. Orginal can be good

    Hi Robb

    Good luck with the interview
    I had the same issue when going for my current post. I chose to go out on a limb and done my presentation on “what makes a good movie” . The feedback I received was very positive and after I joined the company I asked what other presentations they has seen. The Head of HR told me he couldn’t really remember them  but mine stood out as it was original. My advice do the presentation on something you fell comfortable on but where you can relate it to the sector you want to work in. i.e. when I discussed what makes a good movie I related it to what makes a good product (Good Idea, Good Staff or cast, Good resources and Good marketing).
    I hope this helps and good luck again  


  3. Good comments

    Hi Robb

    I would agree with the previous comments. Pick something that you are totally comfortable with and knowledgeable about. You only have ten minutes so you want to grab their attention and hold it. I like the idea of choosing something abstract but it has to have meaning also. I would focus on something small and manageable. E.g. if you topic is sales skills then maybe cover best practice on overcoming objections or closing techniques. 

    If possible get the ‘trainees’ involved by asking questions, asking them to read something or asking them to demonstrate something. This will help to engage them and ensure they are fully focused on you.  

    Most importantly practise, practise, practise and do so in front of a colleague and friend. Tell them to ask you questions so you can ensure you have prepared for questions the interview panel may have following your training session.

    If you are going to use flips and handouts then make sure you put time into the preparation of these tools as I would imagine they will be interested in assessing your skills in designing visual aids and handouts.

    Best of luck


  4. Presentation for a job


    I can understand why some people might go for a neutral topic but if you presented to me about how to iron a shirt you would be hard pressed (pardon the pun) to impress me as to your business credentials. Whilst the primary focus will be on your training skills (not just presenting skills), there is also the opportunity to showcase your knowledge or expertise. You might consider something really important to the business, such as customer service, as already mentioned above, or you might choose an aspect of training like how to design a session, the importance of evaluation or how best to work with line managers.

    Best of luck



  5. The 10 minute presentation

    Hi Robb

    I totally agree with the others. When I was recruiting accountants and got them to do a 10 minute presentation I was more interested in their ability to put their ideas across coherently and clearly than the content.

    When I get folks on short workshops to have a go at presenting I give them an opening statement  followed by …. to let them come up with something.

    So in your case you might choose something the great thing about 10 minute training is…..

    Good luck.




  6. Thanks for the advice

    Hi all,


    Thank you all so much for your excellent comments and advice.


    I’ve decided to go with "Motivation" as my topic  and to keep it simple I’ve just focussed on "why it is so important" as I know a lot about it, is something I’m passionate about and is a genuine company need. I have prepared some handouts and flip charts for use in the session – just need to practice, practice, practice now….


    Will let you know how I get on.


    Thanks again.




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