There’s a lot that we can learn from entrepreneurs, from their unwavering determination and strength of spirit.
But today’s article isn’t about that.
Part-and-parcel of being a startup entrepreneur is the pitch deck. The pitch deck is essentially the presentation that these visionaries deliver to an audience to introduce their business plan. Which then attracts investors and the money.
The pitch deck is highly visual, as pictures and graphs do a much better job of drawing attention.
Of course, it is also concise, or the presenter risks losing audience engagement.
Finally, the pitch deck is also highly organised, with a basic timeline going something like this.
According to Piktochart, memorable takeaways from successfully pitches are premised on reasons such as
- Skipping the fluff (Airbnb)
- Making clear value propositions to investors (Mint)
- Presenting solid proof (Moz and Buzzfeed)
Now, why are we highlighting winning features of startup pitches to you when you may not even be interested in starting up?
If you’ve noticed, these features are something reflected in something that is much more relevant and crucial to you: using it in your job interview.
Acing an interview is something that, no matter how much you practice beforehand, there’ll always be that inkling of worry nagging at you.
And although there is no dearth of websites or seminars seeking to help you in interviews, the idea of a connection between startup pitching and job interviews is still a pretty novel concept.
But that doesn’t mean that the connection is weak- on the contrary.
Here are some aspects that you can adapt from startup pitches to dazzle your future interviewer.
1. Skip The Fluff
These are for the people who ramble on, giving too much backstory when the interviewer inquires about the motivations for applying – like how the passing of their pet inspired them to get out of the house and do something, so on and so forth.
Seriously, skip the fluff.
When entrepreneurs step onto the stage, they know that they have no time to waste. Every second that passes means more attention is lost and less investments.
Conciseness is much more powerful than run-on sentences.
2. Identify Your Audience
You’ve been learning this ever since secondary school in history and social studies source-based questions. Now simply is the time to actually use those skills.
Just like how startup pitches differ based on audience demographic (investors vs. startup team), it is also important to know your audience.
If you know who the interviewer will be, some research would be good. Maybe you’d even get lucky and learn what type of work value / ethic they value in someone.
If not, at least make an effort to tailor your points according to the job. A pitch for a teaching job would be vastly different from a pitch for say, something in operations.
3. Inject Emotion
According to Clarity, a website of pitching hacks, “It’s Not What You Said, It’s How You Made Them Feel”.
Investors put in the money if you can package your idea in a way they can relate to, or at least believe that what you have, is exactly what they need. So if you have a vision inspires you, it is also important that the investors feel that same inspiration.
While not so much as a vision, it is crucial that you inject emotion into your interview. The interviewer must see and feel the passion that you have for the role. Because when pitted against other candidates with similar qualifications, employers are going to go for the one with more enthusiasm.
And that’s you.
4. Show Initiative
Project-based interviewers are not a new concept, where interviewers ask candidates to solve problem or complete projects for the interview. That way they can get a more comprehensive idea of your dedication and sincerity.
But one way that you can take this even further is by taking the initiative to complete a mini project of your own for the interviewer. Instead of telling them that there are certain areas in which you can improve the company, show them exactly how you intend to achieve this.
This was exactly how image aggregator Piccsy wowed investors when they strayed from the usual presentation pitches, showcasing instead an interactive pitch deck that demonstrated exactly how their site worked.
Rachel Sequioa was a budding entrepreneur with the dream of a new startup ‘Share The Air’. The startup pitch that she had was both heartwarming and well-received, winning her much support from her audience.
Only…Rachel Sequioa was not a real person, and neither was Share The Air legit. Rachel Cherones was the actress paid to enact a fake startup pitch at a real pitching event, the Venture Capital Fundraising Club of Silicon Valley.
But the debunking did not stop Rachel Sequioa’s Twitter exploding with 2,000 new followers and the YouTube video garnering more than 365,000 views.
It’s a fascinating event, but what does this teach us?
Just because entrepreneurs have a clear vision of their brand, doesn’t mean that they will be able to express that dream to investors right from the get-go. Pitching events like these are precisely meant to help them practice.
Any attempt at practice, it doesn’t matter with or to whom, is never a wasted attempt.
Each time, you are bound to learn something new, no matter how small and every little part will contribute to clinching that job you want so much.
So don’t waste time anymore, and get cracking.
Perhaps by checking out what makes investors fall in love with pitches, and doing the same at your next job interview.
Featured Image Credit: startupbootcamp