You’ve navigated the pre-qualification and ITT stage and now you have been invited to complete an interview and/or presentation – you may be wondering how you should prepare to give yourself the best chance possible.
For some tender opportunities, an interview is the final hurdle to overcome before being awarded a contract. Your tender submission has met the requisite standards, and it’s now time to impress the buyer with your experience, expertise and knowledge of the contract in person. The importance of this should never be underestimated and to prepare you could start by completing a full review of your tender submission and all information provided by the tendering authority:
- Review your submission – during the interview/ presentation, the authority will be assessing the consistency of your offering. As such, review your tender submission in full, and identify key commitments you have made (e.g. added value offered) and where any details have changed; make a record of this so you can provide an explanation. For example, staff may have since left the organisation, so you could explain why you have selected their replacement – highlighting their competencies and qualifications.
- Read the tender documents, in full – review all requirements in the specification so you accurately refresh your understanding of the authority’s requirements. For instance, they may require that your staff are located within the contract area. List key points in a separate document so you can study these in preparation, linking the requirements to your offering and highlighting your competitive advantages.
- Establish a team – the authority may have limited the number of people who can attend the interview/ presentation. Based on these requirements, establish a team of personnel that will be central to the delivery of the opportunity and have a good understanding of the deliverables. If the authority has released an agenda, you may want to invite people with knowledge of these topics. For example, your HSQE manager is likely to be best placed to answer questions relating to health and safety or quality assurance.
- Review the agenda – if the authority has released an agenda, you and your team should review this against your tender submission and agree on your response to provide consistency and clarity. This will also allow you to decide who answers specific questions, giving a sense of assurance and preparedness.
The following considerations should be made depending on whether you are presenting your proposal or attending an interview:
- Interview – once you have studied the authority’s agenda for the interview, you should have established your key points and potential responses to anticipated questions. However, it is important to remember that this process will be dynamic, and the authority may decide to raise topics not covered on their agenda based on specific queries relating to your quality/pricing submission. Considering this, ensure that you study your proposal and the authority’s requirements in full, so you can promptly respond to an unexpected question.
- Presentation – the format of your presentation should match any agenda released by the authority, timed to last however long the authority has given you – do not overrun! Clearly title each slide to match the required topics and keep any narrative brief – bulleting the key talking points. Less is usually more when it comes to the format and presentation of your slides. Consider incorporating the authority’s branding including colours, logos and fonts. As always, study the requirements in full so you can answer any follow-up questions.
Once you have prepared your response, practising your delivery through mock interviews and trial presentations will allow you to identify any missing content and ensure your message is clear and consistent. When you feel ready, don’t overthink things – trust in your planning and preparation.
To find out how we can support you in getting to this stage, and during the tender writing process contact our team today.
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