How important is an elevator pitch in a job interview?

At some point in almost every job interview, you're going to be asked to describe yourself. When that happens, it's important to be ready with a quick and concise response that introduces you as a skilled and valuable candidate for the job. 

Do you know how to create and use an elevator pitch in a job interview?

In this guide, we'll explore the role of the elevator pitch in a job interview and explain its importance in your career advancement. We'll also offer some tips and elevator pitch examples that you can use to create your own compelling response.

Related reading: Crafting Your Answer to 'What Motivates You?”

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a brief and concise summary of information that can be delivered in less than a minute – or about the length of time that you might spend in an elevator. Its purpose is to convey just enough information to inspire your audience to want to learn more.

Salespeople use this type of pitch to convey product or service information to potential customers. Marketers and advertisers use similar pitches in branding and ad campaigns. However, the concept's value extends well beyond the realm of sales and marketing. Used correctly, the elevator pitch can be a powerful tool for your own career advancement.

Related reading: Crafting a Compelling Response to Why This Position Appeals to You

Why do you need to know how to deliver an elevator pitch?

As you continue to advance in your career, you'll often find yourself in situations that require you to explain who you are, what you do, and how you provide value. The elevator pitch can be a great way to define yourself by summarizing your work habits, skills, and professional goals. As a result, this tool can be invaluable during any job search.

With the right elevator pitch in a job interview, you can easily answer any of those tough questions that interviewers love to ask:

  • “Tell me about yourself.”

  • “Why should we hire you?”

  • “What type of value do you see yourself bringing to this role?”

  • “Which skills make you the best candidate for this position?”

Once you learn to master the elevator pitch, you'll always have a compelling professional introduction to help you convey your value to others. That ability to quickly deliver convincing messages about yourself and your capability can help you enjoy successful interactions with employers, clients, and anyone else you meet during your career journey.

Related reading: How to Answer “What Can You Bring to the Company?”

The best times to deliver elevator pitches

It's also important to recognize that the elevator pitch can be used to great effect in a variety of professional settings. Moreover, the techniques used to craft an elevator pitch for a job interview can also be applied to the written word. Here are just a few of the many different scenarios where the right elevator pitch can help you make a great first impression.


Whether you're actively engaging with people within your own company or attending networking events online or in person, the elevator pitch is a vital tool for making great contacts. You'll need to deliver information quickly in these settings since few people will have the time to listen to a lengthy introduction.

When introducing yourself to employers and coworkers

The elevator pitch can also be extremely effective when you're meeting new managers or coworkers. By offering a quick summarization of your professional abilities and goals, you can convey your unique value proposition to others within your organization.

At career fairs

When you're seeking job opportunities at career fairs and similar events, you'll need an elevator pitch to catch potential employers' attention. By preparing a polished and professional presentation, you can increase the odds that your brief time with each employer will have a positive impact on your job search efforts.

On your LinkedIn profile

As noted, elevator pitches can also be used in written presentations. One example is your LinkedIn profile, which is basically an extended version of a verbal elevator pitch. Make sure your profile concisely conveys your abilities and value to any recruiters or employers who read it.

In your resume summary

The resume summary is a briefer elevator pitch but attempts to achieve the same results. It serves as your resume's introduction to employers, highlighting your experience, skills, and notable achievements in a way that demonstrates your potential value as an employee.

During interviews

Of course, you'll also want a great elevator pitch for your job interview. When the employer asks any of the questions we mentioned above, you need to be able to quickly introduce yourself as the best candidate for the job. By focusing attention on your core qualifications and ability to provide value, you can impress interviewers and help them envision you as a member of their team.

Related reading: 20 Hard Interview Questions and Answers

Tips for creating an elevator pitch

To help you learn how to create your elevator pitch for job interviews or other scenarios, we've compiled some simple tips. Together, they create a basic structure and formula that you can use to craft your own career summary and value statement.

1.      Make your introduction

The first question that your elevator pitch needs to answer is the most obvious: who are you? Your pitch should always begin with a simple introduction that confirms your identity. During interviews, you should smile, provide your full name, and offer your hand for a firm and steady handshake. For example:

“Hello. My name is John Johnson. It's a true pleasure to meet you.”

2.      Quickly summarize your job role

Once you've identified yourself, you can quickly transition into a background and capability summary. This part of your elevator pitch should summarize your qualifications, including any relevant education, skills, and experience. You may want to draw inspiration from your resume to make sure you're highlighting the most important qualifications. Once you've decided which details to include, you need to organize the information to create a coherent narrative. For example:

“I'm a Marketing Manager with eight years of experience in client acquisition, campaign strategy, team building, and branding expertise. Since obtaining my Bachelor's from Anytown U, I've specialized in developing successful campaigns focused on boosting clients' revenue and market reach, with results that provide an average client sales increase of more than 50% year-over-year.”

3.      Define what you want

In any interview, your “want” will be clear – you're seeking a job opportunity. Still, it's important to define that want in terms the employer can appreciate. After all, employers are always focused more on how you can benefit them. You need to make sure your defined want aligns with their company's needs. To shape this part of your narrative, you should emphasize how your skills and experience can provide real value to the company. For example:

“My research of ABC Corp. has confirmed that your company's values align perfectly with my own commitment to customer satisfaction through innovation. As a result, I'm confident that my professional expertise and proven results can help me make an immediate positive impact on the company's bottom line.”

4.      Convey a call to action

It's also important to create a sense of urgency in your elevator pitch during an interview. You can do this by including a call to action. This should flow naturally from the “want” portion of your pitch by helping emphasize your goals. For example:

“I believe that I'm the best candidate for this position and am eager to answer any other questions you may have to demonstrate my qualifications and fitness for the job.”

Here, the candidate simply expresses confidence and a commitment to proving their worthiness for the role. It's a call to action that lets the interviewer know you're excited to prove your qualifications and receive your due consideration for a job offer.

In addition to those four key elevator pitch tips, you should also:

  • Focus on maintaining a conversational tone. While you should prepare your pitch in advance, it's important to avoid sounding like you're reading from a script.

  • Be confident as you deliver your elevator pitch in an interview. Sit up straight, maintain eye contact, and smile. This will strengthen your message.

  • Don't rush your message. Speak in a normal tone of voice and at a measured pace. If you race through the pitch, your audience may have a difficult time maintaining interest in the message.

Related reading: Interview Question: "How Do You Work Under Pressure?

Examples: elevator pitches for a job interview

Now that we've provided some tips to help you construct compelling elevator pitches for a job interview let's look at some examples of hypothetical pitches. You can use these sample elevator pitches as templates for your own pitch by customizing them with your own information.

Elevator pitch for job interview: Example 1

“Hello. My name is Tom Thompson. I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me today. I'm a graduate of Tech University, with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and four years of experience as a mobile application developer. I've spent three of those years as project head, leading a team of seventeen design and programming experts in the development of more than fifteen eight-figure gaming apps.

My focus is always on driving productivity while maximizing creativity – with the end goal of creating a customer experience that builds brand loyalty, consistent player satisfaction, and optimized company revenues. I'm confident that my focus on those values aligns perfectly with ABC Gaming's mission and goals and would love an opportunity to leverage my talents in a way that adds real value to this company.”

Elevator pitch for job interview: Example 2

“It's a pleasure to meet you, and thanks for the opportunity to interview for this position. My name is Sarah Smith, and I've been providing financial services for a wide range of clients for more than ten years. In addition to my focus on customer relationship building, I'm also dedicated to increasing every client's financial knowledge to help them make the best choices for their long-term needs.

I know that Money Inc. shares those values, which is one of the primary reasons for my interest in this role. My financial expertise, experience in customer account development, and proven ability to generate positive results for my employer make me an ideal fit for this position. I look forward to highlighting those skills and experiences in this interview and hope you'll recognize me as the best person for the job.”

Elevator pitch for job interview: Example 3

“Hi. My name is Maria Sanchez, and I'm a recent graduate from Nursing College with a bachelor of science in nursing. Prior to submitting my application for this role, I finished an internship at Healthy Hospital in Anytown, primarily in an emergency care setting. During that fast-paced experience, I honed my patient care skills alongside a team of dedicated doctors and experienced nurses.

That experience taught me a great deal about the practical application of nursing while reinforcing my commitment to providing compassionate care as part of an exceptional team. I know this hospital has a reputation as the premier healthcare provider in this area, and believe my skills and passion for patient care can make me a valuable addition to the team.”

Related reading: How to Answer “What Makes You Unique?” – Interview Question Examples & Insights

Prepare your elevator pitch for an interview to make the right impression!

It's a commonly recognized truth that you only get one chance to make a great first impression. That's especially true when you're interviewing for a job. By learning how to use an elevator pitch in a job interview, you can increase the odds you'll make the best impression possible. Ultimately, the ability to introduce yourself in a compelling way can help you define yourself as the best candidate for any job you seek.

Need help learning how to use an elevator pitch in your job interviews? Our professional interview coaches and experts are always on hand to provide the assistance you need.

This article was originally written by Danielle Elmers. It's been updated by Ken Chase.

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