5 Steps to Create a Powerful Elevator Speech
You are about to go into an interview for a technical position. It is best that you prepare beforehand and come up with an elevator speech that best convinces the recruiter of your abilities.
It's the time to shine where you will answer the "Tell me about yourself question". Every recruiter knows when the candidate is prepared for the interview, if you create an elevator speech suited to the role you will leave a great impression.
To create this speech, there are 5 points to follow:
1) Be concise (a good rule of thumb would be no more than 2 minutes).
2) Don't use jargon.
3) Start by telling them what you can do for them.
4) List some recent accomplishments - remember to focus on those relating specifically to the job description!
5) Show how passionate you are.
1. Keep it short and concise
Elevator speeches mustn't be long, it's best to keep them short and concise. You can't really drag it for too long as most interviews last only an hour or less, with more questions you will have to answer! Think about the most important points you want to make.
A good rule for technical interviews is to keep the elevator speech around 2 minutes long. It's enough time to talk about yourself, your accomplishments and goals, also it won't be too short. Remember to keep it relevant to the role!
A good rule for non-technical interviews is to keep it around a minute. You'll have more space later to talk about your experience and how you can contribute to the company if hired.
In both cases, make sure that every word matters! Eliminate unnecessary words or phrases without losing any of the important details which are crucial for showing who you are. It's not about talking a lot but about sharing the most important information with the recruiter.
2. Don't use jargon
Every industry and every role has some jargon, but that doesn't mean everyone understands it. Don't use your tech jargon when talking with the recruiter, they probably know what you have in mind but keeping it general will make you look more professional.
It can be that someone from the tech team will participate in your interview, then you can use a bit of jargon but don't overdo it. You can ask the recruiter before the interview, who will take part in it, they will surely give you the answer.
Just be yourself during the interview, don't try to change who you are just because someone doesn't understand something. If they don't know what a word means and you have to use it, then it's better to explain it rather than not using it at all. It's all about finding the right balance.
3. Tell them what you can do for them
Next, show them what you can do for them. Rather than simply telling how great you are at Java or .Net, prove it by listing your skills and accomplishments as a way to show the value that you will bring to their company with your work.
Say where you earned all that experience, how you learned and why you took this path. You can highlight your value by showing what you have achieved in your previous roles and how these accomplishments show that you will be able to do it again for them. Or, even better, show why they need someone like you because of their particular situation or problems right now. Focus on your value and show what you can bring to the table.
4. List some recent accomplishments
A great elevator speech has to put you in a good light, it should be about the things that you can do and create a lasting impression of a great candidate. You want people who hear your pitch to get excited and think "Wow! I need someone like this on my team!".
To do that you have to talk about your biggest accomplishments that relate to the job. One way to do that is by using the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result).
For example, "When I managed a team of 15 people at my last job, we missed 2 deadlines in 2 months, I had to do something about it so I implemented SCRUM, since then all projects were finished on time." Now you can imagine yourself in the interviewer's shoes listening to this and imagining the value that you will bring to the company.
5. Show how passionate you are
Every company looks for people that have that "fire" in them, you have to show how passionate you are about your job and that you want to grow.
One way to do that is by sharing a personal story about how you have improved at your job. For example, maybe you were struggling when you had to talk with Product Owners and now after some feedback from managers or peers, you are able to easily communicate with every stakeholder.
Another way is to show how you are improving yourself by taking courses or reading books in your field. For example, if you are a QA Specialist, maybe you have taken a course and now know concepts that will help you improve the whole QA process.
It shows that you want to grow with this organization but also that you work hard to become better every day.
The purpose of an elevator speech is clear, you have to make a great first impression. There is only one way to do that, prepare yourself first and practice. Elevator speeches aren't hard, but you have to keep in mind that it's something that will put your recruitment process on a good trajectory.
Never memorize an elevator speech, you mustn't do that. Keep it casual, like in a normal conversation where the person you are talking to wants to learn as much as possible about you. If you show yourself as a confident and prepared person, it will show during your interview.
Recruiters love to see that applicants are eager about the job opportunity, presenting an elevator speech is a great way of doing this!