Job interviewJob seeking

The job interview: Take control of your elevator pitch

Getting to present yourself at a job interview is an ideal way to get a good start. Your well-prepared and well-delivered elevator pitch can set the stage in a significant way.

Before getting to your pitch, here are three tips on how to prepare for a job interview:

  1. Research. While preparing your CV and your application, you should have done some research on the company, industry or those you will be meeting at the job interview. Your thorough preparation will benefit you now. Remember to demonstrate why you want this job and what you bring to the workplace.
  2. Practice makes perfect. Use a friend, family member, mentor, or another person to prepare for the job interview right from your elevator pitch to the questions you will be asked – and the questions that you ask. Try, for example, Jobindex's interview app, where you can train for a job interview
  3. It’s not just you that’s being examined. So are the employer and the workplace. Are they handling the recruitment process professionally? Are they well-prepared? Do they listen to your answers? Do they answer your questions? Do you like what you hear? Is there good chemistry? Just as they are evaluating you, you are evaluating them.

What is an elevator pitch?

You should be able to present yourself during a short ride in an elevator, i.e., max. 2-3 minutes. That’s where the name elevator pitch comes from.

The purpose of the pitch is to summarize you and your competencies. It is based on the specific job you have applied for and are being interviewed for. Therefore, your elevator pitch is your ultra-short “sales speech.”

Creating your elevator pitch

  1. Introduce yourself with your name.
  2. Summarize your CV and application with relevant professional and personal competencies. The employer or recruiting panel may not remember the essentials. Focus on the most essential things from your education and your working life, ie. what is relevant in the context, and make it short and to the point. You don’t have to describe your childhood or talk about details such as your first job as an ice cream vendor unless you are applying for a job in the ice cream business. If you are a recent graduate, then tell us a little about your final project or thesis.
  3. Put into words your motivation. What are you passionate about? What are you especially good at? How do you create value, momentum, and results for an employer?
  4. Give us a little piece of your personality, so an employer can feel that you are a human being, not just another CV.
  5. Practice, practice, practice. My most important message here is: Practice your elevator pitch in front of a mirror or with someone you trust. It’s often a good idea to write a script or some keywords that you can use to practice from. Having prepared your presentation will boost your self-confidence.

Elevator pitch example

Here is an example of an elevator pitch for a newly qualified lawyer:

My name is Katrine Larsen, and I am 29 years old.

I started studying law even though my family isn’t academic. In fact, I initially thought I would follow in my mother's footsteps and become a nursery school teacher. This was an environment I was familiar with both from my mother and my summer jobs at the local kindergarten. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to do something else. I wanted to get into the machine room as I had started taking an interest in childhood issues and welfare. That is why I studied to be a lawyer.

During my studies, I had student jobs at the parliament, first in social policy and then in integration policy. I was fortunate enough to combine children and integration policies in my thesis, a slightly unusual law project. For my thesis, I did field studies in 3 kindergartens in 3 different urban neighborhoods. My findings have been published in a small book – and my final grade for the thesis was ‘10’.

Why do I want to work in VIVE? With more than a quarter of a million children in daycare, it is one of the most critical welfare areas. This is where the foundation for a good life is laid, of course, together with the family. Now I wish to use my professional legal knowledge combined with my experience from kindergartens and ministries to create better child welfare solutions across the country.

Privately, I live in a cooperative home in the Northwest of Copenhagen with a friend.

In my spare time, I bike through a club, and I also love the nature around Utterslev Mose.

This article is part of a series that gives advice based on the book Jobjagt.

In Jobjagt, Birgit O’Sullivan shares her experience about hunting for a job. She has many years of experience with recruitment for startups and international businesses in Denmark and abroad.

The book is available at bookstores and online or can be borrowed at the library. Read more about the book Jobjagt here: www.gad.dk/jobjagt.

Contact Birgit O’Sullivan, O’Sullivan Consulting at birgit@osullivan.dk.