How to Create an 'Elevator Pitch'

Interviews help a company determine whether or not you are a good 'fit' at a company. Even with a stellar resume and great application, you can't rely on those to outline all of your skills, experience, and talents you bring to the table. It is your job as the job applicant to point out details of your qualifications of the job during the interview!

An 'elevator pitch', which is a list of all of your relevant qualifications you state as if you had only 60 seconds to tell someone what you will bring to the company. Think of the pitch like an elevator ride where you only have 60 seconds to provide the most meaningful and attractive skills and experience you have.

You can create an elevator pitch by writing out a list, committing it to memory and if possible, use someone of the phrases in your list throughout the interview. The key for successful communication in business is to give the audience exactly what they need. In this case, the company wants to know what you have that the company can benefit from. Begin with a simple description of yourself including discussing your strengths. 

There are three categories to a successful elevator pitch: I amI do; and I will.

'I am' is the introductory part. State your major, your year and one or two facts about your studies. For example, "I am a second-year public policy major, with a concentration in finance, and an interest in micro-loan development."

'I do' is the main component of your pitch. Use a printed copy of your resume to determine the origins of what you do. These should be your skills, projects, research, leadership, and experience sections. Typical phrases can be: 'Knowledgeable of --', 'Capable of --', 'Exposed to --', 'Experienced with', 'Expertise in --'. 

After complying your initial list, check it for any skill or important experience that may be missing. Commit it to memory as much as possible. You should use these phrases throughout the interview rather than all at once. 'I do' phrases are best used sprinkled in to different questions in the interview.

Researching the company is a crucial part of interview preparation. During the interview, point out some of the information you have found while connecting it to your 'I do' assertions about your skills and experience.

'I will' is an assertion to conclude your interview. Usually the interviewer will ask if you 'have anything else you would like to tell us'. That is the signal for the final part of your pitch. Showcase the most important set of skill sets you have to offer, based on the company's needs.

Each interview will differ, and usage of your pitch elements will vary. However don't forget to remind the interviewer of your strengths every time you can.