“Tell me about yourself” is the first question you usually expect to be asked during an interview. However, the fact is, the moment you enter the interview is the exact moment you start introducing yourself in too many ways. Starting from the way you walk in up till the moment you begin speaking.
In this guide on how to introduce yourself in an interview , we will educate you about the top practices you need to consider to present who you are in a way that guarantees your acceptance by the recruiters. So keep reading!
How to introduce yourself in an interview?
How to introduce yourself in an interview is how to act and react from the moment you enter until the moment you leave. Following are the main stages you are going to go through during your job interview:
1. When you arrive
The first impression lasts. That might not be right sometimes, but in most cases, it is. You need to walk-in professionally with confidence and greet the receptionist or the first person you meet at the company, then give a brief introduction about who you are and why you are here. For example, “Good morning, this is Ahmed Tarek, and I have an interview scheduled with the recruiter, or you can say their name, at 10:00 am”.
Beware that the recruiter might ask the receptionist about your attitude once you entered the company and how you treated them. So you need to make sure your attitude is respectful and courteous.
2. When you meet the hiring manager
Whether you have to move to their office or the hiring manager will meet you where you are seated, you have to greet them once you meet. Make eye contact, put a slight smile on, and introduce yourself to the hiring manager with some nice words. For example, “Hello, this is Ahmed take. Nice to meet you.”
It’s advisable also to shake hands with the interviewer, if you wish, even if they didn’t offer. And then, the interview will take its normal course.
3. Answering the first question
Why “tell me about yourself” is asked?
Before we go further with answering the first and most important question in all the interview questions, let us shed light on the reason behind asking this question while the hiring manager can simply check the CV and find all the information they want to know.
However, the fact is it’s not only asked to know about you, but more importantly for the following reasons:
- To assess your perception of how to introduce yourself in an interview.
- It shows how you express yourself in general, and to what extent you are aware of your capabilities and skills.
- To learn about your soft skills, like speaking and communication skills.
- This question also breaks the ice during the interview, as it plays as a starter. The interviewer usually starts with it and then moves to the rest of the questions smoothly.
- It can help the interviewee calm down and be less stressed out.
- Last but not least, it allows the interviewer to know more about you, which is one of their goals from holding interviews.
Answering this question professionally will help create a good vision about you and will put you, among other questions, on the top candidates’ list.
Learn more about the top practices you need to consider during interviews through this link.
How to answer this question?
There are so many approaches on how to introduce yourself in an interview and how to answer “Tell me about yourself?”. However, the most accurate yet straightforward approach is the one adopted by Lily Zhang, Manager of Graduate Student Professional Development at the MIT Media Lab, which mainly consists of three divisions: past, present, and future.
- Present: where you can talk about your current/most recent achievements, your current role and its scope.
- Past: Here you can talk about how you managed to achieve this, and the roles you held in the past.
- Future: Now you can talk about what you’re looking to and what do you want to achieve next.
You can still make some shifts for your “tell me about yourself answer”. For example, you can start by stating your past experiences and then moving forward until you reach this very moment of your career and your aspirations for the future.
However, the most crucial point to bear in mind is creating a logical thread that ends with why you are here now and your ambition to be part of this company.
4. Highlight your qualifications
Focusing on your qualifications is a must during this very stage. You introduced yourself enough and talked for enough time about your experiences. Now is the time to convince the interviewer that you are qualified enough to acquire this job.
For example, good points to mention here are significant achievements, turning points, and success stories you created during your career journey.
Focus on “why” you should be hired and what makes you unique. However, make sure you don’t spend too much time talking about yourself. Let it be straightforward and concise.
5- You might need to follow up
How to introduce yourself during an interview is not the only aspect you need to think of, but you need to think about the way your interview will proceed. That’s definitely will include following up with the interviewer and playing the “Ping Pong Game” smoothly.
Hence, it’s necessary to expect some unpredictable questions that you need to answer smoothly and never to feel nervous. Try to expand your answers and avoid the “yes or no” here. Let the interviewer feel you are smoothly answering whatever comes to mind.
Some other aspects to consider:
As we mentioned before, introducing yourself would come in many different ways. It would help if you made everything in harmony, your outfit, appearance, the way you talk, and most importantly, how to introduce yourself in an interview indeed.
Here are some aspects to bear in mind that will perfectly create this harmony:
1- Dress professionally.
2- Take care of your body language during the interview.
3- Maintain the eye contact.
4- Smile every now and then.
5- Don’t forget to prepare and research the company and the interviewers.
Whatever the approach you adopted on how to introduce yourself in an interview, you need to consider that convincing the interviewer with your willingness includes your professional skills and soft skills. That’s why you need to give yourself some time thinking of the way you will impress them. It might be easy, but it needs practicing undoubtedly.
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