Introducing yourself in a job interview can be nerve-wracking, but it’s also an opportunity to make a great first impression. Your self-introduction is your chance to tell the interviewer who you are, what your skillset is, and why you’re the best candidate for the job.
We’ll go over how to introduce yourself in an interview the right way, with some examples and tips on how to make a great first impression.
Sample self-introduction for an interview
Whether you’re interviewing in person or online, here are two sample phrases you can use to start your self-introduction.
If the hiring manager starts the meeting, you can simply respond to them and express your appreciation for being invited in for an interview, like this:
“Hi [name of hiring manager]. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I’m looking forward to learning more about the role.”
If you’re the one to speak first, then be sure to state your name during your greeting:
“Hello, I’m Julia White, it’s a pleasure to meet with you today! I’m looking forward to knowing more about the X position.”
Typically, employers will follow your introduction by asking you the classic prompt, “tell me about yourself”. If the interviewer asks you for more information about yourself, continue your introduction by stating what attracted you to the role in the first place, which will then allow you to smoothly transition to introducing yourself as a competent candidate:
“When I saw on LinkedIn that you were hiring, I knew I had to apply for the position. I’ve been following XYZ for 2 years ever since that article in The Times came out, and as a digital marketer of over 4 years, I’ve just been amazed at how quickly the company’s expanded in South America.
My marketing campaigns over the past year have helped my current company significantly grow its online presence and expand its customer base, so I understand how much work the team must’ve put in. I’m looking forward to discussing how I can apply my skills in brand identity creation and social media marketing to consolidate XYZ’s position in South America.”
How to properly introduce yourself in a job interview
Now that you know what a good interview introduction looks like, here’s how to nail your own self-introduction:
1. Rehearse your self-introduction beforehand
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for your interview is to rehearse your self-introduction. This will help you feel more confident and comfortable when it’s time to speak.
To rehearse the right way, start by writing down a rough outline of what you want to say.
Include details about your work experience, your strongest hard skills and soft skills, and interests or values that show you’re a great cultural fit.
Practice saying your self-introduction out loud, and aim to keep it under two minutes. Too short, and your introduction may be unsatisfactory to the hiring manager. Too long, and you risk going off-topic or losing the opportunity to ask your own questions later in the interview. After all, hiring managers are busy people; demonstrate your professionalism by respecting your time and theirs.
2. Be aware of your body language
Your body language can speak volumes about your confidence and enthusiasm. When you first meet your interviewer, make sure you greet them with a firm handshake while thanking them for the opportunity to interview.
During the interview, make sure to maintain good eye contact with the interviewer, sit up straight, and avoid fidgeting with props, your hands, or your hair, for example.
While it’s recommended to bring a pen and paper to take notes to help you come up with great questions to ask in the interview, remember not to get distracted by them.
While answering the hiring manager’s questions, stay enthusiastic while mentioning your accomplishments, and keep your answers concise so as not to overwhelm the interviewer.
3. Keep your introduction short and concise:
Your self-introduction should be brief and to the point. Start with:
- Your name
- Where you’re from or how you heard about the job (optional)
- Your profession and years of experience
- Why you’re applying for the position
- Your skillset or most notable achievement
Because fitting into a company’s culture is also an important aspect of a job, and if the opportunity presents itself, mentioning your hobbies and interests could not only be job-relevant but give you an edge over other candidates. It’s actually a great way to show off some of your personality and, in some cases, build rapport with the interviewer.
4. Prepare for follow-up questions:
After you finish your self-introduction, the interviewer may ask you to elaborate on certain points or ask you specific questions about your background. It’s important to be prepared for these follow-up questions, so take some time to think about what you might be asked and how you’ll respond.
For example, if you’re a student or a recent graduate, you might be asked to elaborate on what you studied, your hobbies and interests, or what you accomplished during your internship. Or if you’re originally from another state or country, you may be asked what drove you to move to the area.
However, if a hiring manager notices a job-hopping pattern, employment gaps on your resume, or that you’re already employed and looking to leave your job, it’s safe to say you can expect to be asked about this, so it’s a good idea to have a bulletproof answer ready.