lift pitch

One skill that is essential for those gunning for all manner of jobs (including science roles) is the ability to sell oneself quickly.

From biotechnology and engineering roles to regulatory affairs and procurement posts, mastering the art of the “lift pitch” can be the difference between a congratulatory phone call and a consolatory email.

It’s widely regarded that hiring managers form opinions about candidates very quickly these days – potentially within just seconds. With such a short space of time to make a brilliant first impression, it’s vital to make every second count.

 

What is a “lift pitch”?

The “lift pitch” is so-called because it is based on what you would say to your dream employer if you found yourself in a lift with them. You need to be able to convince them to take you on within the short duration of the journey between floors.

Your pitch, therefore, needs to be a genuinely concise introduction of no more than 30-60 seconds, explained in language that is easy to understand and hooks the listener immediately.

 

 

The basic rules of the lift pitch

Whether you refer to it as your “personal pitch”, “60-second commercial” or something else entirely, the basic gist is obvious: brevity is key.

Your pitch needs to succinctly summarise who you are, what you do and why someone else should want to work with you. You will need to use strong, powerful words to create a memorable image in the hiring manager's mind of a person who they simply cannot afford not to hire.  

A great lift pitch isn't just a sharp, bullet-point list of the great things about your candidacy - it also tells a story, setting out a problem and how you can solve it. It is also necessarily tailored to the vacancy in question, in much the same way that a great CV is.

 

Putting together a great lift pitch

A great lift pitch tends to open with a compelling 'hook' that piques the interest of the employer or recruitment agency, followed by a passionate demonstration of what you stand for as a professional and the value that you can bring to the role. You might conclude it with a question that asks something of the interviewer.

Given the 60-second limit, we would recommend a 150-225 word count for your lift pitch. When you come to write it, you should first consider what you actually do and come up with 10-20 different ways of expressing it in spoken form - the idea being to edit these ideas and eliminate those that come across as too dull, inappropriate or even amusing.

Your aim is to generate as many potential lift pitches as possible, crafting, refining and/or merging as necessary to create a powerful message that advertises you at your best. Don't forget to record yourself in audio and/video form, making your lift pitch, so that you can consider further changes.

 

Creating lift pitches is a continuous process

Remember that the process of creating the perfect, clear and impactful lift pitch is never-ending, with your pitch necessarily differing between different science jobs.

You should also constantly contemplate ways to improve your lift pitch so that you are always making the best possible first impression at each and every interview that you attend for a science role.

 

For additional tips on how to sell yourself at interview, head over to our “Interview Advice & Questions” page or get in touch with Hyper Recruitment Solutions using the button below.

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"Why should we hire you?" is as common a question on the lips of science recruitment professionals as it is among hiring teams in any other sector, and it takes forms that can easily catch out the ill-prepared interviewee. You may be asked what makes you the right fit for the position, why you are the best candidate for the vacancy or what you would bring to the job. Before you go for the interview you need to ask yourself, "why should you hire me?", and come up with an answer. 

Follow these simple steps to ensure you are properly prepared to answer any employer who asks "why should we hire you":

Be employer-focused

One of the first things that any applicant must realise about this question is that they really must answer it from the employer's perspective. It can be easy to effectively only answer why you would like the job - for example, because you have always had an interest in biochemistry or R&D, need the money or would like to move to wherever the role is based. These are not answers to the question of why the employer should hire you.

The frank truth is that a hiring manager does not really care about the benefits to you of getting the job. They're much more concerned about the risk to their position if they make a poor choice of employment, such as someone who leaves the organisation prematurely or does not fit in well with their colleagues or the company philosophy.


They are certainly interested in your ability to do the job to an exceptional standard, get on well with your colleagues and bring skills and experiences that make you stand out from the other candidates.

The information that you must give

Therefore, by setting out an answer that clearly details such factors as your industry experience, relevant past accomplishments, soft skills, technical skills, education/training and/or awards/certifications, you are making the hiring manager's professional life much easier.

When you communicate memorably and confidently that you possess these traits that answer the employer's pain points, whether their field is chemistry, molecular biology, immunology or something completely different, they will be more confident to trust you with the role.

But remember...

With this being only one of the potentially many interview questions, not all of the above parameters necessarily need to be included in your answer. This question is a golden opportunity to sell yourself for your dream clinical, biochemistry or pharmacology role. However, such 'selling' is generally best done with just three or four powerful points - backed up with easy-to-remember descriptions and/or examples - than with a quickly rifled-off list of 12 strengths that you are unable to explain further.

The employer should be left in no doubt as to your unique combination of relevant experience and skills. "Why should we hire you?" will not be your only opportunity during the interview to make that clear - which is all the more reason to provide well-selected highlights rather than the full catalogue of your credentials.

However, it is so often a memorably convincing answer to this or any number of the aforementioned similar questions that separates those who secure sought-after science jobs from those who don't. Good luck!


So, you’ve finally decided to chase that “dream job", weeks of sending off CVs are starting paying off and the interview offers are starting to come in. Congratulations on making it through to this stage. Now what?

You've researched the company’s background, looked over the job description and rehearsed your answers to the likely questions. Great!

This will certainly help you in the interview, but did you know that the language you use in your responses may well be the deciding factor? As such, knowing how to speak in a job interview is vital.

 

 job interview language

 

Preparing for interview

Dressed in your smartest suit, you arrive nice and early, feeling confident. Just one more hurdle to overcome – the actual interview itself.

This is undoubtedly the most daunting part of the whole recruitment process. So, whilst you’re sitting in reception waiting to be called, why not use the time to fill your head with some last-minute positive thinking.

 

How to speak in interviews

From formal to informal, singe or group, there are many types of interviews, but one that you are likely to come up against is the competency-based interview.

Ever heard that "Tell me about a time when…" question? It probably sounds like a simple question but, during an interview, it’s so easy to forget that answer you've been memorising for days.

When this happens, we often end up missing out key details and usually give a really unstructured answer that’s far from ideal. Don’t worry – we've all been there!

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we always encourage our candidates to use techniques like ‘STAR’. This model will really help you to formulate a structured response, which will, in turn, ensure you give a well thought out answer.

 

 job interview language

Here are some examples of how can you use the STAR model to ensure you use the correct job interview language in your responses, keeping your answers both structured and positive.

 

Talk about challenges

Interviewer: ‘Tell me about a time when you failed at a task.”

Avoid using phrases like “I’ve never failed at anything before” or “I never make mistakes”. We've all faced challenges, both professionally and personally – these responses simply show that you’re lying.

Instead, use this as an opportunity to demonstrate that you are not only capable of dealing with difficult situations but you've actually learnt from the experience and grown as an individual.

Candidate: “When things didn’t quite go to plan, I made sure I…so next time…”

 

Talk about weaknesses

Interviewer: ‘Do you have any weaknesses?”

It’s a fact: we can’t be good at everything, so there will be something you’re not good at. When you’re asked this question, don’t focus on how bad you are – turn a negative into a positive

Candidate: “I would like to learn…” or “I did…to overcome this challenge in the past" or “I asked a colleague to help me.”

 

Leave a positive lasting impression

When you walk into the room make sure you introduce yourself and shake hands with the interviewer. Similarly, when you leave, thank the interviewer for inviting you for an interview.

It’s just as important to end on a positive note as it is to make a good first impression.

Why not mention something you came across during your research? Simple things like this will help ensure the interviewer has a positive impression of you.

Candidate: “I noticed that you have a company football team” or "it was great to meet the team – I think I would fit in well."

 

Bottom line, knowing how to speak in interviews is critical. Using the right job interview language with the correct delivery will ensure you create a lasting impression and a positive experience for everyone. Remember, as I always say, #thinkpositivebepositive. Good luck!

 

For more interview advice and questions or more information on the right job interview language to use, get in touch using the button below and speak to one of our expert advisors today.

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