“Tell me about yourself”. It is undoubtedly the most common and annoying question during an application. Because where the hell should you start? An ‘elevator pitch’ prevents your mouth full of teeth at such a crucial moment.
Elevator – what do you think now? The term elevator pitch comes from New York, where employees spend about a minute in the elevator in the morning. Just long enough to make an unforgettable impression on a colleague or even the CEO who is also traveling up through the skyscraper.
During an elevator pitch, you sell yourself by telling briefly and vigorously who you are, what you do and why you mean added value. That information is also crucial when you apply. So it is not a bad idea to prepare a strong pitch before you start a conversation.
Get the attention
A surprising opening sentence means that the HR employee immediately speaks to you. So don’t start with a list of your name, age, and place of residence, the recruiter already knows that. Rather, reveal a personal anecdote.
For example: “Both my parents used to work in a bank. As a child I never played doctor or fire department, I pretended I had a lot of money and lent it to my classmates. So I am not exaggerating when I say that the financial sector has fascinated me all my life.”
Then tell about the course of your career, focusing on your current or last job. State the most relevant projects in which you were involved, or share some striking details that make your position more tangible.
“After my studies in finance and insurance, I could immediately start as an all-around bank clerk at my internship. Gradually I became increasingly involved with investments and after two years I became a full-time investment advisor. I started with a portfolio of 200 customers, today I manage 300.”
Illustrate your strengths
If you want to prove that you would be an asset to the company where you are applying, avoid a dry list of your strengths. Pour your strengths into a story that reveals much more about your personality.
“I find contact with my customers the best thing about my job. Not only do I hear them during office hours, but I also love to catch up during networking events. I totally live on that and I never leave without a few new business cards.”
Make your wishes known
Once you have outlined your experience and your assets, it is also interesting to add why you are looking for a new challenge, or what attracts you to the company in question.
“Unfortunately, I am gradually sitting at my ceiling with my current, small-scale employer. That is why I want to grow further in a larger financial institution. Your bank stands head and shoulders above me for me, thanks to the training-oriented culture.”
Practice out loud
Your time is limited, so an elevator pitch should not entail more. But one important step remains before you apply: practice! Preferably aloud, in front of the mirror. This way you automatically pay attention to your intonation, your language, and your attitude and you prevent your sales pitch from coming across as made. Good luck!