Have you ever wondered how to introduce yourself or what to say about yourself in an interview?
It can be a bit of a challenge, even when it seems simple.There are many situations where you may need to give a presentation about yourself. In this article, we'll focus on job-related cases. Below, you will find practical tips to help you with your self-introduction.
What is a self-introduction?
Before we dive deep into self-presentation, let’s start with a short explanation. Each time you meet someone new and don’t have a third party to introduce yourself, you should come up with a self-introduction. In a few sentences, you cover the most essential things others should know about you (name, position, professional background, etc.). Every time you say who you are, what you do, and why you’re here - it’s a self-introduction.
When to introduce yourself?
Let’s name four professional situations, depending on the context when you should provide a self-introduction. Each time when you’re:
- Applying for the job (i.e., at the beginning of the interview);
- Meeting someone new (i.e., you’re new in the team);
- Giving the presentation/speech;
- Networking during the event.
This article will elaborate on the first situation, so interview self-introduction.
9 tips on how to introduce yourself in an interview
Okay- let’s get down to business.
Once you familiarize yourself with those tips, you are ready for any self-introduction speech during the interview.
1. Start with research about the company (including culture)
Believe me - you don’t want to attend the job interview unprepared unless you’re not taking it seriously. Good preparation starts with research on the company - what they do, what they aim for, and what culture they have. Check at least the company website and a few social media to see if you’re aligned with the company's vision and values.
2. Dress and act appropriately
Checking company websites brings even more value - exploring how the company communicates with the audience (i.e., posts on the company’s Facebook fan page) is a good clue.
Once you notice their communication style is more formalized or rather informal, you know whether it’s welcome to work some humor into your speech or stay formal (be careful with that, though! It’s a professional situation, and not every joke is acceptable). Also, you can conclude how to dress - whether to wear a white shirt or dress more casually - if you’re not sure, you can always ask a recruiter about the dress code.
3. Listen actively and keep eye contact
We know, we know - it sounds like a commonplace, but each of us should be aware of those two fundamental rules regarding communication. Firstly, when you listen actively and answer or comment appropriately, you show respect and involvement. Secondly, when you keep eye contact, you show interest. Easy and essential, right?
4. Remember to smile - be confident and kind
Have you ever talked with someone having a grumpy cat expression? Have you enjoyed this? Well…
You know what they say - a smile is a powerful tool. Even though it’s a bit of a cliché… it’s true. When you’re smiling (honestly and naturally), you spread positive energy around you and seem more confident. This is a good start to come across as the right candidate for a job.
5. Be honest
A lie has no legs - probably everyone heard it hundred times, mostly when we were kids. We can also apply it to the interview conditions - there is no sense in hiding the truth, no matter which side of the table or Zoom call you’re taking. Sooner or later, true will see the light, and you don’t want to leave anyone with bad taste. At Tidio, one of our core values is “Play fair,” which also means being honest with each other.
6. Be aware of body language
Keeping eye contact or smiling is essential, but they are not the only ones worth pointing up. Regardless the meeting is offline or online, you should be aware of your body language. Generally, nonverbal communication is a river theme, but let’s recap it to one thing - pay attention to how you behave. In general, stay natural but remember it’s a professional situation.
7. Keep it brief
While talking about your life experience, stay conscious - don’t get carried away. Keep it short and crucial. Have you heard about an elevator speech, in this case, a very short introduction? Consider your speech to introduce yourself as an example - try to say essential facts in a few sentences, not longer than a few minutes. Keep it short, substantive, and engaging.
8. Prepare what to say
Even the best speakers in the world take their time to prepare and make some notes in case of the stress or anything that could throw off their flow. Think or write down the main points you should remember.
9. Practice :)
You have just one chance to make a good first impression, and you never get a second chance. Why don’t you practice your more or less formal introductions before the interview in front of the mirror, with your friend or partner, or maybe try to record it? At first, it may feel awkward but trust us - it’s a good practice worth trying. Once you try it, you won’t make some tiny mistakes you wouldn’t be aware of if you hadn’t seen or heard the recording.
3 Things to say about yourself in an interview (and 4th tricky)
Okay, you know the tips, but what to say about yourself during the interview? How to answer “tell us about yourself” questions?
Let’s point out 3 things you should mention:
1. Your name and job position with additional explanatory
Tell who you are, what position you have, and what it really means.
Let’s face it - the professional title says nothing and all at once. The job titles don’t mean much as long as some people call themselves CEO (of their own one-person business) or a unicorn on their LinkedIn profile. Also, the same job title in two different companies can differ regarding the real scope of responsibilities. Ideally, about 3-5 sentences.
2. Your professional background
Try to keep it brief - tell your area of expertise, share the biggest achievements, and stress crucial competencies with examples. Ideally, no more than 10 sentences.
3. If you’re a fresher - tell more about your educational background, awards, certificates.
If you don’t have much experience yet, tell more about your education and achievements, and mention awards or certificates. Everything that could be relevant for a job is worth saying - remember to keep it professional, not too personal (mind the context). Ideally, about 5-7 sentences.
4. Should I say about my hobbies?
You can, but… it’s tricky. We recommend mentioning them if they are relevant to the job or if they will bring any other real value to the interviewer. In any other case - we recommend skipping it.
Tip: It’s better to say why you’re interested in this particular job and company (it’s always welcome to see you’re motivated and did research about the company) rather than elaborating on your hobbies. Trust us, we’ve run hundreds of recruitment interviews - it makes a good impression, and you want to make some, right?
Study and apply our "9 tips on how to introduce yourself" and "3 things to say about yourself in the interview" previously mentioned in the article, and you will impress your interviewer with a confident self-introduction!
Remember, an interview is just one of many contexts in which you meet new people. You've likely met hundreds of people throughout your life and are familiar with the etiquette - the interview has much in common. With preparation, honesty, and a smile, you are sure to make a positive impression.
📚 Have you ever struggled with building your CV? Check out another article: What to include in your CV?