Regardless of whether you’re a new graduate or someone looking for a career change, it’s normal to feel anxious about an upcoming interview. But with some good planning and a few tips, you can ensure that you come across as knowledgeable and qualified for the position.
One of the most important things you can do in an interview is making a good first impression. This means being confident, articulate, and professional. How do you ensure that’s what comes across? We’ve rounded up a few essential tips.
Interview Introduction Strategies
It’s natural to focus on how you’ll greet the recruiter conducting the interview. However, you’ll likely have several opportunities to introduce yourself, from the reception area to the “Can you tell us more about yourself?” question. Master your introduction skills and elevator pitch to sail through all of these without breaking a sweat.
Being Intentional With Your Visual Introduction
Before you even arrive, you can set yourself up for success with some visual cues that present you as an excellent fit for the role. Take some time to research the company and get a feel for their dress code. If they tend to be more formal, you’ll want to dress in full business attire.
However, if they’re more laid back, you can afford to dress business casual. No matter what, though, it’s important to smile, make eye contact, and use professional body language. You’ll show that you’re confident and capable—two qualities that any employer is looking for.
Introducing Yourself to Other Employees
You might interact with several employees before you even meet the recruiter. For example, you’ll most likely be checking in with reception. Be clear and concise by stating your name, what you’re interviewing for, and the time of your interview.
The person who checks you in could directly impact whether or not you get the job with the feedback they give the hiring manager, so it’s essential to make a good impression. This is your first opportunity to show the company that you would be an excellent fit for their entire team.
Stick with something quick and simple, such as:
Good morning. My name is James Taylor. I have a 1:00 p.m. interview scheduled for the account manager role.
Introducing Yourself When Meeting the Interviewer Initially
Present yourself confidently to greet the person conducting the interview, showing that you are confident and eager. If you are meeting in person, make sure to stand. When they state their name, repeat it back to them. This will help you to remember it and make a lasting impression.
Introducing Yourself More Thoroughly During the Interview
Whether you have a solo recruiter or an interview panel conducting the meeting, you should expect to be asked, “Tell us about yourself.” For many, this open-ended question can seem daunting, but creating an elevator pitch that hits on the high notes of your career can take the pressure off.
The key to remember is that an elevator pitch is a quick, concise summary of who you are and what you do. It’s called an elevator pitch because it should be short enough to deliver in the time it takes to ride an elevator—about 30 seconds. This question is often asked in job interviews as a way for the interviewer to get a quick overview of your experience and skills. So, you’ll want to avoid dragging out the answer.
An effective pitch will include:
- Your name
- Your current position or title
- A brief explanation of your experience and skills
It should be delivered in a confident, friendly tone that makes the listener want to learn more about you. Your goal should be to make a positive impression that sets the tone for the rest of the interview. Taking the time to develop and practice your response so you’re ready to deliver it with confidence can pay off significant dividends for the remainder of the conversation.
It might sound something like this:
I’m a content creator with five years of agency experience creating business-to-consumer content for various online needs, ranging from landing pages to SEO-driven blog posts. With the skills I’ve honed, I’m eager to move into the next step in my professional development by taking on editorial duties and leading a creative team.
Closing Your Introduction at the End of the Interview
Just as you would when you’re networking or meeting a new client, your introduction needs to be completed with a confident goodbye. Thank your interviewer for their time and end the conversation positively. Consider simple closing statements, such as:
It was a pleasure talking with you today. Thank you for your time.
Using Simple Skills for Big Impact
We often get so focused on the seemingly more significant interview questions that we lose sight of simple ways to make a great first impression. One of the best ways to do that is by having a solid introduction.
By preparing and practicing a few short introductions for each stage of your interview, you can ensure that you present yourself with confidence and enthusiasm. Doing so will help you make a positive impression on your interviewer and set the tone for the rest of the conversation.
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