Interview Toolbox Series - Building Your Elevator Speech

Interview Toolbox Series: Building Your Elevator Speech

Over my career of two decades in the staffing industry, I have witnessed all kinds of innovative interview techniques being adopted by job applicants to ensure that their interviews produce positive results. Every professional has their own repertoire of interview tools to recommend. Personally, I always advise job seekers to convert an interview into a discussion. To do that, you not only need to ask questions and have answers that sound and are intelligent, but you also need to be able to speak about your own professional and personal achievements and strengths with confidence.

It might seem easy at first, but describing your own achievements and telling your own story is often an uncomfortable and difficult task. Most people are or want to appear humble and hesitate to toot their own horn during an interview. An effective way to get around this hesitation, especially in middle of an interview, is to build your own elevator speech ahead of time. The idea is to deliver an overview of your accomplishments and experiences in a smooth, concise, simple and interesting way while highlighting milestones that are important to you. Knowing yourself well, often facilitates fluent conversations. Listed below are some questions you can ask yourself to develop an effective elevator speech. Start small and from the beginning. There needs to be a start, a mid-point and an end point to your story. A story that should best highlight your most unique experiences and skills while quietly touching your learning lessons.

Questions for Developing an Elevator Speech

  1. Where did you go to school and what level of education have you earned?
  2. What are your areas of expertise and do you know your resume well?
  3. Are you happy in your current job? What would you like to change about it?
  4. What aspects of your job excites you and which do not?
  5. What milestones in your career are you most proud of?
  6. What kind of mistakes have you made in the past and what did you learn from them?
  7. Have you ever Googled your own name?
  8. What kind of interesting experiences did you have growing up and in your professional career?
  9. What kind of company culture do you prefer?
  10. Are you entrepreneurial or prefer to work in a corporate environment?
  11. What are your top five strengths and weaknesses?
  12. Are you a change agent and do you like change?
  13. What are your hobbies and what do you do in your spare time?
  14. How do you give back to your community?
  15. What are the abilities you have that you haven’t been able to use yet?
  16. What are you yet to learn and need to improve on?
  17. What are the top 5 milestones you are yet to achieve?
  18. What other educational degrees are you looking to pursue?
  19. Where do you see yourself 5-10-15 years from now?
  20. How do you want to spend your retirement years?

If you can truthfully answer some or all of these questions, you will have the makings of an effective storyboard for building your elevator speech. Now you don’t have to get flustered when an interviewer asks you, what can you tell me about yourself? Hopefully these questions will serve as a useful tool in writing your own story and will get you one step closer to your goals. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me on my LinkedIn page at LinkedIn.  The next blog of the Interview Toolbox Series, will review interview preparation techniques.

About the Author

Preeti’s forte in global talent acquisition in the areas such as finance & accounting, IT, engineering, sales and operations. With over 15 years of global talent delivery experience, she is known for her ability to find innovative solutions to challenging situations.

Connect with Preeti on LinkedIn or reach out at preeti.l@gavatalent.net.

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