What's the best way to introduce yourself at a job interview? How can you start off an interview making the best possible impression? First impressions can play a major role in how an employer perceives you as a candidate. What you say during the first phase of the interview may make a big difference in the outcome – in a good way or in a bad way. You don't want to come across as awkward and lacking in social skills. Rather, you'll want to show that you have the professionalism and communication skills to find success in the new job, if you were to be hired.
Review these simple steps for introducing yourself, with examples of what to do and what to say during the hiring process, so you can make a positive impression.
- When you arrive
First impressions start from the moment you walk into the organisation. Be clear and courteous at reception, keep your phone in your bag and your eyes up. This is also an opportunity for you to take in the business’ environment and whether it aligns with your values.
- Meeting your hiring manager
Even if you have a set appointment time, you may have to wait a few minutes once checking-in. When meeting your hiring manager, it is courteous to stand up or be standing when you shake hands and introduce yourself. Ensure you are paying attention and are attentive to any gestures or things said by your hiring manager.
- Your introduction
Keep your initial introduction about yourself succinct and insightful.
- What about your skills?
We all have many skills or qualifications; however, your hiring manager is looking to know more about the skills you have that are relevant to the job on offer. Do some homework before your interview, review the list of qualifications or skills the hiring manager is after, from here, match your skills to these and be able to confidently talk about 2-4 key skills or qualifications that can put you in a favourable position for the job.
- Follow up questions and responses
It is most likely that your hiring manager will ask you follow up questions. Be prepared to provide specific examples of how and where you have utilized your abilities. Including how you successfully carried out work or volunteer roles, academic projects, or other productive endeavours. One way to provide detailed responses is to use the STAR interview technique to describe your accomplishments and achievements. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result and will help you paint a detailed picture in response to your hiring managers questions.
- Etiquette and manners
Etiquette refers to how you dress for the interview and the manner in which you conduct yourself on the day. Always be grateful for your hiring managers' time, and anyone else you meet on the day. For example, keep your phone on silent, bring any copies of documents requested of you or ID and politely greet and farewell the people you have met.