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Are you preparing for a job interview and wondering what you can do to make a great impression? Interviewing for a job can be a nerve-wracking experience, and one of the most daunting parts is answering those dreaded “tell me about yourself” and similar open-ended questions. In this post, we'll give you tips on how to create an effective elevator pitch that will show the company representatives why you would be a great fit for the job … and do it in less than one minute!
What is an elevator pitch and why do you need one for job interviews
Entrepreneurs and product developers commonly use the term elevator pitch. It communicates the most important aspects of their new business, service, or product within a very short window of time. The goal is to secure funding from potential investors or some other financial or operational reward. Have you ever heard of the television series called Shark Tank? That is a good example where entrepreneurs make elevator pitches and then answer a series of questions on why someone should invest in their idea. Additionally, MBA & Entrepreneurship programs from around the country hold annual elevator pitch competitions. Yes… There are Elevator Pitch National Champions across several areas of business and innovation.
The concepts and strategies that go into perfecting an elevator pitch are totally 100% transferable to job interviews. The only difference is that the elevator pitch is now a brief summary of YOUR skills, experience, and motivation for the role you’re interviewing for. It is an opportunity to communicate your value proposition in 60 seconds or less. Delivering a well-crafted elevator pitch that communicates your unique qualifications and highlights your most relevant skills can help you stand out from the competition and give you an edge in landing the job.
Elements of a successful elevator pitch
To deliver an effective pitch, start by doing your research. Find out as much as you can about the company and the potential job opportunity. This will help you customize your pitch so it appeals to your potential employer. Then, focus on highlighting the specific skills and experience that make you the perfect fit for the role.
Your elevator pitch should be about your value proposition. This is your opportunity to market yourself, so don't be shy about bragging a little bit. Be clear and concise. You don't want to overwhelm your listener with too much information, so make sure you focus on the most marketable points. If you’re in an interview scheduled by the company, you do not need to re-state your name. They know who you are. However, in a networking situation, you do want to introduce yourself. Here is a brief example:
“Hello, my name is John Smith. As a Digital Marketing Manager at ABC, I’ve coordinated all stages of digital marketing content from the initial concept to execution, and promotion. I value team-building and helping fellow team members reach their full potential. For example, I was excited to be selected by senior management to lead a project where we collaborated with cross-functional departments to establish procedures that would cut overall costs. This gave the members of my team the opportunity to learn more about companywide operations. I also believe in continuing education. For example, I’m currently pursuing a certificate in organizational leadership at City College. Other than my professional career, I enjoy attending my daughter’s soccer games. Believe it or not, they can be exciting games! I have noticed your recent promotions and marketing initiatives and I am excited to discuss this opportunity with you.”
Yes, you can deliver that in 60 seconds, which is a longer period of time than you might think. If it gets too long, edit it so you can comfortably deliver it within the 60-second time frame. You do not need to memorize your speech verbatim. It might sound like you're reading from a script and will only make you seem robotic and unnatural. Know the points you want to communicate and just be yourself.
Check out our podcast episode where we talk about how to handle the “tell me about yourself” and other traditional interview questions: Strategies & Techniques to Prepare for an Interview Part 2
Most importantly, do not forget to practice, practice, practice! Delivery is key when it comes to an elevator pitch, so make sure you sound confident and enthusiastic when you deliver it.
The do's and don'ts of delivering your elevator pitch
Keep it brief. Your pitch should be no more than one minute. This is not the time to give your life story.
Instead, focus on highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences. Be authentic. The best way to connect with your listener is to be yourself.
Tailor your pitch. Every job is different, so make sure your pitch is relevant to the position you're interviewing for. State your value proposition. What can you offer the company and how can you help them achieve their goals.
Try to cram too much information into your pitch - stick to the essentials.
Don't focus on what you want from the company - this is not the time to talk about salary or benefits.
Sound like a sales pitch. Nobody likes being sold into something so avoid using language that's too pushy.
How to practice your elevator pitch
You've crafted the perfect elevator pitch and now you just need to practice. The best way to do this is to find a friend or family member who will be willing to listen to you and give you feedback. Start by standing in front of them and delivering your pitch. Then, ask for their honest feedback. What did they like about your pitch? Was there anything they found confusing? What would they change if they were in your shoes? Use their feedback to refine your pitch until you feel confident and ready to deliver it in an interview.
Additionally, you can record your elevator pitch and play it back so you can evaluate where it might need a bit of improvement. Remember, the goal is to make a good first impression and sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. With some practice, you'll be able to do just that.
An elevator pitch is a key tool in your job search arsenal. By following the tips in this post, you can craft a perfect elevator pitch that will help you stand out in an interview and land the job of your dreams. Don’t forget to practice, practice, practice so that you can deliver your elevator pitch with confidence.
If you need help getting started, contact us for a free resume review and initial consultation. We’ll help you identify your value proposition and make sure that your elevator pitch is polished and ready to impress potential employers. www.jobtransitions.net