The two-minute pitch summary (by Ellis Chase, career coach with 35 years of experience) is the essential cornerstone for self-marketing in any career transition – and then some. The pitch allows you to void the usual quick recitation of a resume, and helps you brand yourself the way you want the world to know you professionally.
- Here’s a step-by-step methodology that will pack all the information you need into two minutes or less, including what to do with out-of-left-field interview questions?
Why A 2 Minute Pitch (2M) is Important?
- 2M is often filled with boring answers to ‘tell me about yourself’, thus you miss the opportunity to differentiate and brand yourself (advertise)
- 2M is your branding imprint (must be skills, experienced-based and targeted)
- 2M forms the basis of how you interview etc. (you are always prepared to deliver it) in cornerstone (marketing) moments
Things to Consider Before
- 2M is more art than science (it should be personalized) and there are many ways to do it
- 2M should not sound like it was rehearsed, Don’t script the 2M
- 2M should be outlined first and when used it can be customized (human) and adaptable
5 Steps To Writing a 2M
- Who Are You? The 2M Label (goal and purpose) or a Positioning Statement. You don’t want to make people work too hard
- What Have You Done (2-3 skill areas that fit their needs and support #1). This is 80% of the 2M impact
- What Makes You So Special? What is your USP (unusual selling proposition)
- Where Have You Been? This is the potential branding opportunity
- Why You? The summary or recap of positioning statement (combination of 1,2,3,4)
The critical issue regarding the impact of a 2M is that it could be the difference between a unsuccessful and successful self-marketing (setting a foundation for remembering you)
- Interview Questions
Glassdoor (the TripAdvisor for careers) produced the 10 Trickiest Interview Questions and Ellis Chase (career guru) has recommended the best answers. These answers may help with the paper cup-pen/pencil challenge.
- Yahoo software engineer interview Q: What will you do if the Internet is not working? A: Approach the question practically. There is no genius solution to this one.
- J.P.Morgan intern interview Q: How many skis are sold in Sweden every year? A: Describe how you’d go about finding an answer.
- Morgan Stanley internship interview Q: Tell me about a time when you had to deliver bad news? A: Talk about how you rehearsed what you would say over and over again.
- Zappos internship Q: If your life were a movie, what would the trailer be like? A: First laugh and then say, ‘I’m hoping my trailer would show a string of successes in my personal and early professional life”.
- Red Frog events coordinator intern Q: What is your guilty pleasure? A: You can’t be robotic in your answers, so be human.
- Amazon intern Q: What is your favorite day of the week? A: Because Amazon is a workaholic culture. Respond by saying ‘Wednesday, because I like being at the peak’.
What if you just blank out when you get a ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ question? Sell me this! Ellis says it’s actually fine to go silent and collect your thoughts Then say, in an assured way, ‘I’m coming up blank on that one.’ Preparing to answer the straightforward questions like “tell me about yourself” and “what is your greatest weakness” is even more important. Chase says always go to an interview armed with several anecdotes.
- “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”