Many an interview and job opportunity is lost because:
- The candidate drifts off topic and doesn’t succinctly answer the question being asked
- The candidate mumbles, stumbles or presents their ideas in an incoherent way
- And the most egregious error, the candidate talks way too much about things the interviewer isn’t really interested in.They overkill the subject.
All of these problems stem from the candidate trying to overwhelm the interviewer with an enormous amount of information about their experiences. They attempt to hit all of the possible talking points, all at once, responding to an interview question.
The solution to these problems is to use the “Mini-pitch”. What’s a mini-pitch? It’s a 20 second response to each question that you knowwill be asked. How do you know what questions will be asked? Simple. All the hiring company knows about you is on your resume. Something on your resume has motivated them to contact you. Their questions will revolve around each of the items on your resume:
- What did you do?Answer by stating the issue causing the problem.
- How did you do it?Answer by defining the action you took.
- What were the results?Answer by identifying the outcome of your action
Responses to each question should be given in a 20 second mini-pitch. Why? You want to create a strong impression with your answer. Here’s an example:
THE SITUATION: Your resume says you’re an Assistant Marketing Manager and that you increased revenue for a consumer products company
THE QUESTION: The hiring manager asks, “HOW DID YOU GET THOSE RESULTS?”
THE MINI-PITCH RESPONSE TO THE QUESTIONis in 3 steps: Step 1 – Define the issue. Step 2 – Define the action you took. Step 3 – Define the results you achieved. Example: “Our revenues had been flat for the past 2 years”. (3 seconds) “We researched buying patterns, and compared new products against our in-house products. We then introduced a new product to a new market”. (10 seconds) “The outcome was a 12.2% increase in new orders from new customers over an 18 month period”.(5 seconds)
This 49-word mini-pitch is delivered in just 18 seconds. It gives the interviewer a succinct answer to the question while providing the impression of a results-oriented candidate who can communicate with impact. Over a series of questions and mini-pitch answers, you become a candidate rather than just an applicant. You should have a mini-pitch answer prepared for each and every line item on your resume, practiced and smoothly delivered.
It’s essential that you understand, create and practice a series of mini-pitches for each item on your resume. It separates you from other applicants who will not be as prepared as you.
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