November 13, 2017

The simplest question that stumps many job seekers is when a recruiter asks – “tell me about yourself”. You can be a star performer but if you don’t know how to sell yourself, then your chances of getting hired are slim. And even if you know what to say, you have to learn how to say it right. With so many applicants, you only get one chance to stand out and be noticed. That’s when you need a 30-second elevator pitch. It’s all about making a lasting impression in a short span of time. Follow these tips and practice you pitch in front of a mirror before you face the interviewer.

30-second elevator pitch

1. The Hook

What makes you, you? If given a chance, you could write a novel on yourself. But no one has the time to sit through your lengthy pitch. Sell yourself in one line. Use memorable words that the recruiter will remember long after the interview is over.

Don’t say: ‘I am a problem solver.’

Do say: ‘I am a great troubleshooter.’

2. The Sale

When describing your job skill, don’t focus on what you do. Instead, focus on what the company needs and how you fit perfectly in that role.

Do: Add words that describe ‘benefit’ – such as ‘drive up sales’, ‘specialise in hiring result oriented individuals’, ‘more customers’.

Don’t: Use industry jargon. Avoid acronyms or tech words that the recruiter may not understand.

3. Know the Recruiter

It is always good to dig up some details of your potential employer. Find out the problems being faced by their company and how your skills can help them.

Do: Focus on solutions. As a step further, you can offer to make a quick SWOT analysis or offer to give a sample of your work.

Don’t: Avoid sending your work product over mail. Ask to arrange a meeting or call where you can present your work personally. This way, you have a higher chance to convince them.

4. Don’t be too Formal

Being overly formal can create a mental barrier between you and your employer. Take the lead in breaking the ice; remember everyone in the room is human and loves a good wisecrack. It will also show your potential employer that you are confident and able to adjust to any situation.

Do: Ask the interviewers’ names and repeat them if possible during the discussion.

Don’t: Dress casually.

5. What’s your Why?

Is this just a job that you want to do or is this your passion? If you feel emotionally connected to your work profile, then your interviewer will definitely be able to see your motivation. Be enthusiastic; remember enthusiasm is contagious.

Do: Give examples of your work.

Don’t: Come across as overconfident.

6. Ask Questions

Nothing kills a great pitch more than silence. If you see that your interviewer is non-responsive, then ask them questions.

Do: Ask them to clarify the job profile. Mostly, recruiters will start by telling you about the job role themselves. Note the key phrases of the role and use them when making your pitch.

Don’t: Go unprepared. You should always have a mental list of questions ready to ask at the end of the interview. This will show that you take a genuine interest in their company.