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Tell me about yourself



How to nail your elevator pitch in an interview.


Photograph: Pexels

Text: Luke Hannon


Everyone can relate to this question with a smiling, expectant hiring manager sitting across from you. A question which seems innocent and straightforward can be riddled with so many pitfalls. In my 9 years of recruitment, I’ve interviewed hundreds of people and it’s a question so many still struggle with. It’s a shame because a well-planned and well-delivered elevator pitch which summarises your skills and experience can help you stand out from the crowd and set you up for interview success.


In a few short minutes, I’ll show you how.


When and why to deliver an elevator pitch

So you’ve been called in for an interview.


Congrats! You’ve researched the company, looked up the interviewers on Linkedin, and you know your CV back to front. Most importantly, you’ve memorised examples for each of your skill areas.


In short, you’re prepared.


You get to the interview, and you’re greeted by the interviewer. The interview kindly starts off the round of introductions (you’re a guest, after all!) by launching into their own elevator pitch. The elevator pitch helps you to quickly get to know each other but also helps kick things off and ease into the interview. After a few short minutes they will have finished their elevator pitch.


Now it’s your turn…


How to craft the perfect elevator pitch

Your elevator pitch is the first introduction you give at the start of the interview.


It’s vital that you make it count.


Still, very few people know how to craft the type of elevator pitch that will set you up for success for the rest of the interview. So many people ramble on because they feel unsure about what to include.


In just one to two minutes, you need to explain:

  • Who you are

  • Your current situation

  • Your skills and experience

  • The problems you solve


Easy peasy, right?


Well, maybe not, but there’s no need to overcomplicate things. Let’s break things down step-by-step so that you can nail your elevator pitch.


Who you are

Here, you should give an overview of who you are.


An example could be: “Hi, I’m Luke, and I’m a Social Media Marketing Manager, with 5 years experience, specialising in social media marketing for tech companies.”


Boom!


Keep it short, snappy and high-level.


“Your elevator pitch is the first introduction you give at the start of the interview."

Your current situation

Here’s where you provide an overview of your current role and responsibilities.


“I’m currently working at X, where I’m working as a Social Media Marketing Manager, creating social media strategies for Linkedin, Meta and Twitter for Tier 1 and 2 countries as well as paid campaigns. I manage a budget of $250,000 per year.”


It’s crucial at this point to be as specific as possible. Get into the nitty-gritty of what you did, how you did it and why.


Your skills and experience

Skills pay the bills.


Before the interview, research the essential skills and experience that the company is looking for by reading the job description. Think of examples where you’ve used these skills. Always highlight the positive results you’ve achieved using these skills.


You’ll thank yourself for this small extra effort.


The problems you solve

You’re not being interviewed for your winning smile.


And a great personality can only get you so far. You’re being interviewed because you’ve shown (so far) that you have the skills, knowledge and experience to solve problems for the company.


Which problems should you talk about?


Any problems you’ve been able to glean from your research of the company, the job description and learned from conversations with the recruiter.


Show you can solve the company’s problems, and you’re halfway there.


So now you know what to include in your elevator pitch.


Let’s see what a great one looks like, shall we?


Hi, I’m Luke!


I’m a Social Media Marketing Manager at X. I have 5 years of experience specialising in social media marketing, including creating social media strategies for Linkedin, Meta and Twitter for Tier 1 and 2 countries, as well as paid campaigns. I manage a budget of $250,000 per year.


I help companies to grow their following on social media, build brand authority and close more deals.


Easy peasy!

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