Overview of how to successfully introduce yourself in an interview
Attending an interview can be nerve-racking.
Whether you are speed-dating, applying for your first job, or perhaps a remarkable scholarship, being on the candidate’s side of the table makes us feel exposed and even somewhat vulnerable.
However, there are many simple steps to help you prepare in advance, increasing your ability to show up with heaps of self-confidence and knock-the interview out of the park. It all starts with one important skill — the ability to gracefully introduce yourself.
In addition to consciously creating a remarkable first impression, the initial introduction and the conversation that immediately follows is your opportunity to show the interviewer beyond any doubt, that you are the perfect candidate.
This happens when the questioner asks you to talk about yourself. This generally feared moment is your golden chance to highlight the information you want to focus on and to set up the tone for the rest of the conversation.
Fear no more. The following advice will make you feel more secure and provide the tools you need to accomplish your goals.
Victorious first impressions
Every time you meet a new person, whether it be a potential romantic partner or a business acquaintance, it is an opportunity to make a good and memorable first impression arise.
Dressing up appropriately, eloquently expressing concepts, and holding a straight posture are cues that the observer collects to create an initial mental image of you.
You can favorably influence an individual’s notion of who you truly are by taking an active role in preparing for the meeting.
The greeting is the first point of contact. Create a positive rapport with the interviewer by smiling and standing up to meet them. Lean towards them and offer a firm handshake. Make total eye contact. Be polite, friendly, and formal.
You can optimize this opportunity by doing a bit of research beforehand. Identify any possible cultural differences and pay attention to greeting customs, particularly if you are in a foreign country or meeting with someone who speaks a different language.
Observe personal space, seating arrangements, and other non-verbal communication norms.
Basic steps to prepare for a professional interview
Consider the time and setting of the interview, as well as the organization’s values, brand image, and personality. This will inform you in making initial decisions such as choosing your outfit.
Some companies have tight dress-code policies, while others have a more relaxed atmosphere. If you are not a fitness instructor or a devoted yogi, do not rock up with your sweat pants, unless you know you will be asked to showcase a training session and rightly break a sweat.
Neat attire with polished shoes and combed hair wins more points. Always keep a professional look — your appearance is the first way you introduce yourself in an interview.
Beyond physical attire, research the company and the industry it serves. Nothing shows that you are interested in winning the position more than actually knowing about what they do and how they do it — and how you fit into the fray.
If the interview will be carried out in another language, prepare yourself in advance by reading journals, magazines, blogs, and other commercial data to get familiarized with the trade’s terminology.
Revise your job application, your CV, and your portfolio, making sure you’ve memorized important dates and figures so that your answers are coherent with the information you previously provided. Employers will be sure to point out any inconsistencies.
An awesome self-introduction is your personal elevator pitch
In marketing speak, an elevator pitch is known as a succinct and persuasive sales pitch, that is as short as a trip in an elevator.
Your self-introduction is the equivalent to the elevator pitch because you have a couple of minutes to sway the interviewer by sparking curiosity, creating an emotional connection, and leaving him or her yearning for more details about you.
Try to match your pitch to whatever the interviewer is looking for (without lying of course). You can gather these bits and pieces of information from various sources, such as the vacancy’s requirements, the press advertisement, social media profiles, or the public announcement.
A handy trick is to look up the person interviewing you and see if they have any media out there that might highlight their way of thinking and their needs.
Podcast interviews are great for this, as are magazine or newspaper interviews or, perhaps best of all, a personal blog.
Alternatively, when it comes to job hunting, you can speak to key personnel from the employment agency or the Human Resources department. Ultimately, the person who knows most about the position in question is someone that currently holds that spot, works with the person who does, or someone who has a similar work situation in another company.
Before you introduce yourself in an interview, it is appropriate to thank them for the opportunity. Then, state the purpose of your visit. Then include the following details to craft your awe-inspiring self-introduction.
Add to or subtract the following items accordingly, depending on each situation. Arrange the material in a coherent manner. Aim to evoke emotions and portray a constructive version of yourself.
Most importantly — focus on what there is and not in what you are lacking of. Introduce yourself in an interview with the following:
- Your name and place of origin.
- Family background.
- How you will add value to the individual’s life or the organization he or she represents.
- Education qualifications and notable awards.
- Career goals, previous experiences, whether in that field or a different one. Also, trade certifications, specialized wisdom (aka know-how), and notable achievements.
- Professional motivation and evidence of your willingness to work hard and succeed from the angle of the company or project, as much as for yourself personally.
- Your unique set of skills and personality traits. Be bold, there is no other person like you!
- Your inner drive, life aspirations, and future dreams. What inspires you and what vision of the world do you hold in your soul?
Prior to the interview, compose a first draft. Then write-off anything that you don’t feel will add real value to the conversation.
You only have a few minutes so everything you say must be affirmative, significant, and pertinent to the interview.
Keep the positive vibes flowing after you introduce yourself in an interview
- Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something, and generally don’t be shy about asking questions. This shows interest and the ability to take direction. That is much more admirable trait than acting like you know it all.
- Do not interrupt the other person.
- Be aware of your body language. Scratching your head, pulling your ear. bouncing your knees, fiddling your fingers. Fidgeting with a pen, or crossing your arms — these are interpreted as nervousness. Some nervousness is unavoidable and the interviewer knows that you’re only human, just like them. Just try to be conscious of how you look in their view.
- Close the interview with courtesy.
Ten things to remember when you introduce yourself:
Preparation is the key to success. We suggest that you write your introduction out on paper or on your computer, rehearse it with a friend or colleague, (one that will be straightforward, but not cruel), make notes, and keep adjusting until you nail it.
Before you introduce yourself in an interview, always keep these ten golden rules in mind:
- Be polite and show your manners.
- Be respectful at all times and to all people.
- Remain honest about everything.
- Be aware of your body language.
- Be confident, know your strengths, and recognize your areas of opportunity.
- Maintain grace, mentioning accomplishments or praise with a humble and grateful attitude.
- Listen attentively and speak clearly with a calm tone of voice.
- Trust your intuition.
- Walk your talk.
- Dress for the occasion.
Good luck! With enough preparation you can introduce yourself in an interview with poise and purpose — and that’s how you’ll land that perfect opportunity.