Going on a job interview? Here’s how to pitch yourself into the job
Imagine doing your best to present your ideas before a job interview panel only to see them yawn and glance at the clock. That’s kind of what happened to me as a young advertising executive pitching to a panel of clients – yet just a day later these top decision makers where shaking my hand on a deal. How did I turn it around?
I simply made it easier for them to see that they wanted what I was offering. From that day forward I began winning business for my company by using the same method.
Many moons later as a job interview coach I teach candidates to turn things around at job interviews by using this same method.
Now this method will only work if you are being true to who you are, because you need to be relaxed and natural when you make your pitch.
The job interview summary pitch
Back when I was in my new advertising role I had a pretty broad Geordie accent (much broader than it is today!) and while this was great with clients from up north it could get in the way when speaking with companies from down south.
I did my pitches well but I wasn’t making the kind of inroads in the company I wanted to until I focused on using one of the greatest strengths I had: interpersonal communication skills.
I had a natural ability to make people feel at ease and when I began to focus on this rather than what I didn’t have I started to see things change. I started to focus on the client and what they wanted.
The main point of the pitch is to show the interviewer three things: 1. You understand his need; 2. How you are going to meet his need; and, 3. How you are going to exceed his expectation.
So here is what you need to do. When you get to the end of the interview do these four things in order to summarise your job interview pitch:
- Say something along the lines of, ‘Before I leave, I want you to know why getting this job would mean so much to me.’
- Next, focus on what’s most important to them. However wonderful you are as a candidate those interviewing you aren’t really as interested in what you want as they are in what the company needs, so you need to show that you understand this. What is the core focus of the role you are going for? Now think about the added value can you bring to that role? Say, ‘I know that as a company you want to increase awareness of your health products among the 30-something age group, etc. etc.’, or something like that.
- Now you need to bring yourself back into the picture. Pick no more than two or three skills or areas of experience that will help you achieve the role objectives, and plus one or two that will enable you to go further and add value to the role. Here’s an example: ‘My analytical, organisation and communication skills will enable me to meet the job objectives by creating effective marketing materials, but my inquisitiveness and need for results will push me further to stay abreast of trends in marketing to this group so the company always knows what’s going on.’
- Finally, complete with a line like: ‘If you choose me for the role I know I will deliver what you ask for and more.’
Suddenly you’re human, you’re not just a candidate anymore. You could be a daughter or a son!
What you will have done is made the shortlisting job easier for your interviewers by summarising what they need. And, most importantly, you will have left a lasting impression in the minds of the interviewers so they remember you.