We’re all familiar with elevator music, but the last thing you want is to put someone to sleep when you’re trying to tell them why you are a good job candidate. So how is your “elevator pitch?”
“Tell me about yourself” is the most common interview question, but is also the most difficult to answer. Your personal elevator pitch provides crucial information for why you deserve this job. You should be able to whip your elevator pitch out at networking events, in “speed dating” format job fair interviews, at cocktail parties...you get the picture. Want the job? This is not the time to get tongue-tied; it’s the time to boast about what a great job candidate you are!
- Be aware of your body language. Your nonverbal cues are just as important as what you are telling others. If you say you are confident and know when to make decisions, but your body language shows hesitation and timidness they won’t know what to believe. Which brings us to our next point.
- Confidence, confidence, confidence. Speak with confidence, exude confidence! You should know yourself well enough by now to answer any question coming your way about yourself. You should also be prepared to give your elevator pitch any time you have to chance to network.
- Highlight the value you bring. You are the best person to talk about yourself. Point out your major career milestones and achievements. Brag a little, but don’t showboat. Stay humble and gracious for all the opportunities that have come your way and accentuate your eagerness to move forward.
- Get straight to the point. Don’t be afraid to jump right into the job topic. Working adults have so much on their minds they will lose interest two minutes into your elevator pitch if you haven’t gotten to the point. The ideal length of an elevator pitch? 30-60 seconds. Who are you, what you do, and what you want.
- Don’t be entirely serious. Remain professional, but this is also a chance for them to get to know you personally. Show some personality, give them some fun facts about you, or find something in common. This will open the conversation up and has a higher likelihood of leaving a lasting impression because they have connected with you on a personal level.
The dreaded ‘tell me about yourself’ question happens more than just during an interview. It will be asked at networking events, career fairs, and even in your personal life. Take some real time to think about where you are, memorize the key points of your pitch, and always be prepared to answer it without hesitation.