What's an "elevator pitch"?


If you've recently been to an interview and been asked to "tell us about yourself", then you'll probably have come across this term when preparing for your interview. If you're just starting the job search process, then you may be wondering how an elevator could possibly connect with an interview!


Your "elevator pitch" is basically how you answer that dreaded interview question and gets its name from how you would "sell yourself" to a potential employer in the time it takes to travel from the ground to the top floor of a building.


There are lots of differing views on this subject and there's no right or wrong approach, but here are some thoughts/tips on putting together an "elevator pitch" for when you're asked that "tell us about yourself" question:

  • Make sure you know who your interviewers are. As part of your interview preparation, make sure you know who will be interviewing you so that you can tailor your "pitch" to the person/people in the room. For example, if you're being interview by a Technical Manager for a technical role, make sure your speech is relevant to that person

  • Don't just repeat what's in your CV. An interviewer should have that in front of them and doesn't need it repeated verbally, in full!

  • Write down what key points/skills you want to get across. Look at the role you're applying for and the key skills/attributes they're looking for and then think about which ones you should include

  • Say what feels natural. You've got to feel comfortable with what you're saying, otherwise it will just come across as "rehearsed" and not really you. However, remember that this is potentially your one opportunity to "sell yourself" to the company outside of other more formal questions, so be confident!

  • Practice, practice, practice. Write down your potential "pitches" and then record them. This will help you get a feel for how they sound and what you might want to change. Then find a mirror and/or a friend/relative and practice until you feel comfortable with what you're saying!

Level 17, 126 Vincent Street, Auckland