Perfecting your elevator pitch

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Career coach Carmel Morrissey of Clearview Coaching explains the importance of preparing your elevator pitch prior to any job interview.



What is an ‘elevator pitch’?

Imagine getting into an elevator with the director of a company that you have always dreamt of working for.

They turn to you and say that you have until the elevator stops to convince them why you would be the best choice for a role in their company.

You have three to five minutes, tops, to convince them of your suitability. How would you use that time? What would you say?

This is an ‘elevator pitch’ - a succinct sound bite which is a summary of why you should be hired - and it’s very relevant to an interview situation.

Questions such as “tell me about yourself” and “why should we hire you?” are all scenarios which allow you to use an elevator pitch.

Recently, private clients that I have coached have reported being specifically asked for their elevator pitch during interview.

Essential elements of an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is clear, concise and uses powerful and targeted action words. It is a summary of your key skills, education, attributes, why you are interested in their company and how you can use your skillset to help drive the business.

Ensure that it puts a focus on where you have been, where you are and where you are going, always keeping it relevant to your audience.

In order to impress with your elevator speech, you need to ensure that it rolls off your tongue. You should show your personality, sound enthusiastic, speak confidently and make eye contact.

TIP: Writing out your elevator speech and rehearsing with friends and family will boost your chances of success.

Where do I start?

Start by filling a page with what you would want to say to a hiring manager.

Then cut it in half.

Then cut it again.

Keep editing until what you have is no more than a third of a page in length. Ensure that this includes at least three main highlights of your career. Understand the position by reading not only the job description provided, but also check out job descriptions for similar roles online. Look at the key competencies outlined and buzz words that come up time and time again. 

Demonstrate your motivation by talking sincerely about your desire to work at the company in question. Simply saying, "I really want to work here" won't work. Be more specific about the products or services the company offers, the work environment and management style.

While a well-crafted elevator pitch is essential in interview scenarios, it will also be of huge benefit in  in many situations; selling your services to a customer, interviewing with an employer or negotiating a salary increase  – none of which you are likely to be succeed in unless you have the perfect pitch.

About Carmel Morrissey

Carmel Morrissey is a Career Coach with Clearview Coaching Group one ofIrelands leading career coaching consultancies set up in 2004 to work with people who experience career disappointment and specialises in providing Interview Coaching Services