Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Elevator Pitch

“Tell me about yourself.” It’s a simple directive from an interviewer that is not only a narrative but it’s indicative of your thought process and your confidence. Think of it as the introductory paragraph to your interview.

It’s called an elevator pitch, because it should take no longer than the length of a multi-floor elevator ride. In reality, the response should last 30 sec. to 1 minute. Remember, less is more.

In that collection of sentences you want to introduce data points that will make you attractive to the interviewer. If you are interviewing for a position in a highly competitive industry you need to demonstrate your ability to compete. If you need to work independently you need an example of that. If tenacity is required, when have you been focused and persistent? This is an opportunity to introduce your unique characteristics.

No, you probably have not discovered a cure for cancer. However, you may have grown up in a single parent home where you are the first person in your extended family to attend college. Maybe you arrived at university with no interest in science and you are now graduating with honors in biology. Once again, you want to show relative maturity and your ability to overcome challenges.

Stay away from the unimportant. Being one of three children from a middle-class family in suburban New York is only important if it made a demonstrable difference in your life. Your goal is to package yourself so that the interviewer wants to know more about you.

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