Elevate Your Chances By Having a Short and Powerful Summary Ready To Go
When you think of an elevator pitch, you likely think of how you would quickly describe yourself, your experience, and your goals when meeting other tech industry professionals at conferences, events, or other impromptu meetings. But when you’re in an actual job interview, you may think an elevator pitch is unnecessary. After all, why would you need to condense your professional life and ambitions into a 30 or 60-second summary when you have ample time to discuss all that and more during an interview that will last far longer?
Why Do You Need An Elevator Pitch For Your Next Interview?
Here’s why: “Tell me about yourself.”
That is just one common open-ended interview question – along with “Why should we hire you?” or “Why do you want this job?” – that is a perfect opportunity for an elevator pitch. Have you crafted and practiced a powerful, compelling statement that you can whip out in response to such questions? Failing to prepare can quickly lead you down a rambling, lengthy, disjointed rabbit hole of an answer that makes the interviewer’s eyes glaze over with disinterest. Alternatively, you could be caught in deer-in-the-headlights mode and come across as unprepared and unimpressive.
Related: 4 Difficult Tech Interview Questions and How To Answer Them
The best way to avoid either of these counterproductive outcomes is to know what you will say when the interviewer throws the doors open to your career story. This is a golden opportunity for you as the interviewee to set the tone for the interview, define yourself in your own words, and generate enthusiasm and interest that you can sustain until the conclusion of your meeting.
So, yes, you do want an elevator pitch available for your next tech job interview. The length of a job interview elevator pitch should be the same as any other pitch, a minute or less. But unlike the standard professional spiel you may have ready for other situations, you’ll want to tailor your talking points to the specific employer and position you are interviewing for.
Here are some tips for preparing a killer elevator speech for a job interview in the tech industry:
How To Prepare an Interview Elevator Pitch
You’ll want to write this down – not these tips, but your pitch. When you start working on your pitch, open your laptop and start writing. Don’t worry about crafting the perfect pitch the first time. Do an initial “brain dump” of the points you want to make about yourself, your experience, your goals, and the other qualities that make you perfect for the position. After you spill all of that onto the screen, you can start refining and editing until the pitch takes form.
Once you’ve got an initial draft down in written form, the time has come to take it for a spin. That means practicing out loud to see how it sounds and how long it takes to get through. Keep your pace steady and conversational. Rehearse in front of a mirror – you will want your facial expressions to match your statements. Then, practice in front of family and friends and apply their constructive criticism to perfect your pitch. If it takes you longer than a minute, focus on tightening up the content of the pitch rather than trying to get through it faster.
Tailor Your Pitch To The Position
As noted, you should customize your standard elevator speech to the specific position for which you are interviewing. Focus your pitch on the experiences, skills, and goals most relevant to the potential employer and position. To do this effectively, do your research, familiarize yourself with the company’s culture and core values, and tweak your pitch to align with them.
As with written content, what you say at the start will play a significant role in whether you’ll hold the reader’s/listener’s attention and interest until the end of your interview. Make your opening unique and engaging. Rather than dryly reciting your experience or education (which the interviewer may already know from your resume), start with something interesting about yourself but relevant to the position and company.
For instance, let’s say you are interviewing for a cybersecurity position. You might say:
“I am a cybersecurity specialist with ten years of experience in the insurance industry. I love working in cybersecurity because the field centers on protecting the personal information of our friends and neighbors, and I love that I can have an impact on their online experience.”
Then briefly outline your goals and how they fit into the position or the company you are meeting with.
Keep It Short and Sweet
By definition and by name, an elevator pitch should be short and sweet. If you find that you are rambling on for a minute or more, it is no longer a pitch; it’s a speech. Keep your pitch focused, clear, and engaging.
Here’s Our Pitch: We Can Connect You To The Best Tech Companies
The perfect elevator pitch will only do you good if you are in front of hiring managers. This is where GTN Technical Staffing can be an invaluable resource for IT professionals seeking their next opportunity. We have an unrivaled reputation throughout the tech industry for connecting the best talent to the best companies.
Fact Check: Do You Need An Elevator Pitch For Interviews?If you are an IT professional ready to explore your next great opportunity, check out our careers page, or speak with one of our experienced technical recruiters today.