How to introduce yourself in an interview

How to introduce yourself in an interview
SEEK content teamupdated on 05 September, 2023
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Introducing yourself is often one of the most important parts of any interview. The introduction not only gives you a chance to form a good first impression and settle into the interview, but also provides an opportunity for you to explain or demonstrate what makes you special and different to all the other job seekers applying for that same role. 

However, many people struggle when it comes to introducing themselves. Below, we’ll take a step-by-step look at how to introduce yourself in an interview. We’ll also provide some examples of introducing yourself and some tips and pointers for dealing with difficult interview introduction situations. 

Researching the company and the position 

Before we look at the specifics of how to introduce yourself in a job interview, it’s important to think about preparation, and how to do research beforehand. Take some time to research and find out some key facts about the company you’re applying to and the role. 

This is a crucial step that will prove so useful later on when it comes to how to introduce yourself professionally. By finding out valuable and relevant information about the company and the position, you can factor that into your introduction. This will help you stay on-topic and instantly wow the interviewer with some key skills, facts, or stats that they’ll want to hear. 

Preparing your introduction 

In the pre-interview phase, it’s wise to practise the introduction you plan to deliver on the big day a few times. You could choose to write down a script, and learn it off-by-heart. This can help with any nerves or anxiety you might feel heading into the interview, and it also lets you rehearse your answer and fine-tune it before the interview starts. 

Again, researching the company and role beforehand will help with this, as it can help you decide on the appropriate tone and messaging for your intro. Naturally, if you’re applying for a high-end finance or management role in a big enterprise, the tone should be much more business-oriented.

Alternatively, if you’re applying for more creative roles in sectors like the media, you might be able to take a more casual approach, highlighting your career achievements while also mentioning other aspects of your personality. 

Whichever kind of introduction you decide on, take the necessary time to write it out and think about the key points you want to cover. You might not need to write an entire script, but having some bullet point cues can help you cover everything.  

Then, it’s smart to practise your intro, either alone or with a friend or family member. This will help you memorise it, as well as possibly reveal areas to improve. Our practice interview builder can also help you get ready and train up before the interview: Practice Interview Builder – SEEK

The components of a good introduction 

One of the best ways to prepare an introduction is to break it down into individual sections or components, including opening, main content, and closing statement. You can then work on each of those key components to build up a quality ‘how to introduce yourself professionally’ sample answer. Here are the main components to focus on: 

  • The opening statement: The first part of how to introduce yourself in an interview is your opening. This is the very first thing you'll say for your self-introduction, and it needs to be attention-grabbing, right from the beginning. It should be concise and to-the-point, but it’s also a great chance to talk about relevant experience and skills that you’re eager to share with your prospective employer and bring to their business. 
  • Background: Any example of introducing yourself also needs to include some background information. For new recruits in the workplace, this is a chance to talk about your academic success, for example, or any special skills that set you apart. For more seasoned and experienced workers, this is the time to show off your career history, focusing on past roles and experiences that are relevant to the role in question. 
  • Relevant skills and experiences: Following on from the previous point, it’s also crucial to talk about key skills and relevant past roles when it comes to how to introduce yourself in a job interview. Ultimately, the interviewer will want to hear about what you can bring to the role, so this is a good time to share things that you feel are relevant and desirable, like your communication abilities, leadership skills, or years of experience in similar jobs. 
  • Enthusiasm: A strong introduction should also convey plenty of enthusiasm for the role that you’re applying for. Of course, enthusiasm is important to demonstrate throughout the entire interview, but it’s particularly useful as a way to start off well and show your eagerness right away. This should form a strong first impression with the interviewer and provide a more pleasant experience as the interview goes on. 
  • The ending: Finally, an introduction needs an ending, or a closing statement. This is a good moment to sum up what you’ve said up to that point, or to look forward to the future, expressing your eagerness to proceed with the interview or your hopes of joining the company and showing what you can do.  

Dos and don'ts for introducing yourself 

When it comes to how to introduce yourself in an interview, there are some obvious ‘dos', along with plenty of 'don’ts'. Many people make various mistakes when introducing themselves, and interviewers will be familiar with those kinds of errors. If you can avoid them, you can help yourself stand out from other job seekers who may not be quite as well-prepared as you. 

  • Do - prepare what to say: As we touched on above, it’s best to be prepared with a ‘how to introduce yourself in interview’ sample answer that outlines your key achievements, skills, and experiences in a concise and clear way. If you go on without any preparation and attempt to improvise, you might miss something important or fail to create a clear and coherent answer on-the-spot. Read our guide for more info: How to prepare for your interview: The ultimate guide - SEEK Career Advice
  • Don’t - ramble: When it comes to how to introduce yourself in a job interview, there's no need to go on and on. Try to keep your answer short and direct. Again, this is why preparation is so useful, as it helps you cut out any sections that don't really need saying or keep your answer under a set time. If you feel like you’re going on too much and the interviewer seems bored or uninterested, try to cut your answer short and move on. 
  • Do - be yourself: A lot of interviewers appreciate honesty from the people they speak with. And, since they most likely spend lots of time conducting interviews, they usually know how to spot when someone isn't really being sincere. Don't make things up or try to put on a certain air during your interview that isn't really representative of who you are. Instead, be honest and be proud of your accomplishments and skills. 
  • Don’t - speak quietly or unclearly: Speaking too quietly or not being clear enough in your delivery are two of the biggest and most common mistakes when answering this question. Since it usually happens right at the start of the interview, many people are a little nervous and quiet. But try to speak up and maintain confidence. Otherwise, you may end up having to repeat your entire answer if the interviewer can’t hear you. Check out our guide on interview nerves: How to handle interview nerves - SEEK Career Advice
  • Do - keep eye contact: Body language is a big part of the interview process. As well as listening to the words you say, an interviewer will also be keeping a close eye on your movements and behaviours during the interview process. Looking down at the ground or up at the ceiling while delivering your introduction can make you seem unconfident or lacking in focus, so try to maintain eye contact with the interviewer at all times. 
  • Don’t - rush your introduction: Rushing through your introduction is another common error, and it quickly shows interviewers that you have a preplanned answer that you simply want to say as quickly as possible (even if it’s due to nerves or stress!) It doesn’t make a great impression, and it’s much more effective to speak calmly, confidently, and at a reasonable pace to make your intro sound much more natural. 

Adapting your introduction to different interview formats 

These days, the classic face-to-face sit-down interview is far from the only option. Many employers use a range of alternative interview techniques, like video interviews, phone interviews, and even group interviews. Depending on the type of interview you’re dealing with, you may want to adjust your approach to suit the situation. 

  • Phone interviews: For phone interviews, the interviewer won’t be able to see your face or read your body language. This means that there’s much more focus on the words you use and the way you say them, rather than any non-verbal cues or body language. It also means that you can have some notes with you, if desired, to help you remember your introduction. 
  • Video interviews: Video interviews are becoming more and more popular in the age of remote work. These interviews allow you to speak from the comfort of your own home, but it’s absolutely vital to be as clear as possible in your speech, as connection errors or bad microphones could interfere with the message you’re trying to get across. 
  • Group interviews: Some companies favour group interviews, where multiple job seekers are interviewed together for one or more roles. For this kind of interview, it’s important to be able to adapt to the situation. For example, if everyone is asked to introduce themselves and someone else gives an answer that sounds very similar to yours, you’ll need to be able to make a few adjustments on-the-spot to stand out. 
  • Behavioural interviews: In a behavioural interview, the focus is mainly on past experiences and how the things that you've learnt in the past can help you solve problems and fill a role in the future. For this kind of interview, try to form an introduction that focuses heavily on your experiences and how you've used skills to overcome relevant problems or difficulties. 

Examples of effective introductions 

We've seen some key tips and methods for how to introduce yourself in an interview, but it's often useful to take a look at actual examples and see how these methods can be put into practice. With that in mind, here are some “how to introduce yourself” example answers that you can use as inspiration. 

Here’s a graduate interview introduction example: 

“Hello, my name is [Name].

I’ve always been passionate about teaching and love the idea of shaping young minds with the knowledge they need to fulfil their dreams and live their best lives.

With that in mind, I recently completed my [Qualification] at [University] and also spent time working at a children’s out-of-school-hours service over the summer. I may be new to the world of teaching, but I’ve prepared a range of original lesson plans that I’m eager to put into action.

I’m a good communicator, a team player, and it would be a joy for me to teach here as part of your team.” 

In this example, the job seeker has no professional experience in the role, but is still able to make a good impression by focusing on all of their most positive aspects. They repeatedly emphasise their enthusiasm and excitement about the role, which can be a really effective technique to make a good impression on the interviewer.  

They also use evocative words like ‘joy’ and ‘dreams’ to make more of an impact. Plus, they use a smart technique of highlighting a perceived weakness (their lack of experience) and then following that up with a counterpoint, explaining that they’ve already prepared some lesson plans and are eager to try them out. 

Here’s an interview introduction example for a marketing professional with many years of experience: 

“Hello, I’m [Name],

I’ve been working as a marketing professional for over 20 years, working my way up from a junior role to project manager within the first five years of my career.

Under my leadership, the team at [Content Agency] was able to attract multiple ASX-listed clients and developed multiple award-winning advertising campaigns to drive engagement and conversions, with the majority of my clients enjoying at least 200% increases in lead generation.

I have enjoyed consistent success with [Content Agency] but now feel the time is right to take the next step in my career, and I’m eager to bring my ideas and experience to your firm.” 

In this example, the interviewee has had a long and successful career, but manages to condense that into a relatively brief amount of text, focusing on their main achievements to impress and excite the interviewer. The use of statistics is very effective in industries like marketing or finance, along with the mention of prestigious ‘ASX-listed clients’.  

To finish off, the interviewee also anticipates another question - “Why did you leave your old firm?” - by stating that they’re looking to progress in their career at a new company. This can be an effective method when preparing your own closing statement; try to think about what the interviewer could ask next and answer that question in advance. 

Handling difficult introduction scenarios 

Unfortunately, interviews don’t always go as smoothly and simply as we imagine they will. There are all sorts of variables and possible problems that can arise, even if you prepare well and feel confident. It’s important to be able to adapt and handle those tricky situations if and when they present themselves. So, here are a few examples and methods of coping with them: 

  • Can’t remember the interviewer’s name: If you’re heading into an interview and not sure about the interviewer’s name because you missed it or possibly misheard it on a phone call or voice message, the best option may to simply be honest. Start off by explaining that you didn’t quite catch their name the first time around and politely ask them to repeat it. Or, you can do a little company research ahead of time to possibly track down the interviewer on the company’s website or list of employees. 
  • Language barriers: In some cases, the person who is interviewing you may not have the same first language as you. In that case, the best approach is to try to speak as clearly as possible. Avoid murmuring or speaking too quietly, and take your time as you talk to enunciate each word. In addition, opting for simple language is a handy way to avoid any mistakes or miscommunication. 
  • If they ask you to introduce yourself again: In some situations, an interviewer may ask you to repeat your introduction. This might happen if they are unable to clearly hear or understand you the first time, or if they need some clarification about something you said. It can be a little nerve-wracking to have to repeat yourself, but try to remain calm. Take a breath and keep eye contact as you repeat your answer, speaking clearly and loudly so that you won’t have to repeat anything for a third time. 

Check out our additional detailed guide to get the best preparation and answers for introducing yourself: How to answer 'Tell me about yourself' in an interview - SEEK Career Advice

Follow-up strategies 

It’s important to remember that the interview process is just one step to potentially obtaining a job. The post-interview phase can be a very crucial time to push the odds in your favour or, perhaps, at least learn a little more about why you weren’t accepted if your application was unsuccessful. 

It’s usually best to follow-up with a message or note after the interview is done. A little thank you note or email can be a great way to show politeness and consideration, thanking the interviewer for their time and consideration.  

This simple gesture is also an effective strategy to demonstrate that you’re truly passionate and interested in the position and company. It could even be the difference-maker that gets you the job. 

Conclusion 

Knowing how to introduce yourself in a job interview is a very important and useful skill to acquire. It can set the scene for the rest of the interview, helping you with the best possible start, making a super first impression, and summing up all of your key skills and biggest achievements in a matter of minutes. 

But, as this guide shows, it’s not always easy. There are many common mistakes to avoid and things that can go wrong during a job interview introduction. That’s why it’s important to take your time, prepare your answer beforehand, practice for possible alternative scenarios, and be ready to adapt if needed to suit the interview situation.  

FAQs 

How long should my introduction be? 

Ideally, you should be able to say your introduction in about a minute. It certainly shouldn’t be any longer than two minutes. 

Should I mention my weaknesses in my introduction?  

You can mention your weaknesses in your introduction, but it’s best to focus on strengths and positives to kick-start the interview in the right way. If you want to mention a weakness, try to balance it out with a positive. 

What if I have no experience in the industry?  

If you have no experience in the industry, focus on other positive aspects, like your key skills, academic success, other experiences that could be relevant somehow, and your willingness to learn and succeed. 

How should I introduce myself?  

In general, it’s best to introduce yourself with a brief but clear summary of who you are, what makes you special, and why you’re a good fit for the role. Focus on relevant skills and accomplishments to make a good impression. 

Should I bring up my salary expectations in my introduction?  

No, the introduction isn’t the time to bring up salary expectations, especially as it’s usually the first thing that you say in the interview. Discussing salaries right away usually sets a bad tone. 

Is it okay to use humour in my introduction?  

You can use humour in your introduction, but it all depends on the vibe of the interview and the type of job you’re applying for. Humour could work in a casual and creative setting, but it isn’t really appropriate when applying for a role in finance or healthcare, for instance. 

Can I introduce myself differently in the second round of interviews?  

Yes, it’s a good idea to shake up your intro a little for the second round, especially as you may be meeting with the same interviewer and they’ll want to hear something fresh about you. 

What if the interviewer cuts me off during my introduction?  

If your interviewer cuts you off, it can be awkward and frustrating, but it’s just part of the interview game. Try to adapt to it, and if you feel you have more key things to talk about, try to weave them into other answers later on. 

Should I memorise my introduction word for word?  

You can, but it’s not always necessary. Memorising the whole thing word-by-word can make it seem like you’re just reading a speech. Instead, try to memorise the key points and improvise a little around them. 

What if I am nervous about introducing myself during the interview?  

You might feel nervous ahead of an interview. Just remember to take deep breaths, try to calm yourself, and speak clearly. Once the interview begins, nerves should start to subside. 

Should I include personal information in my introduction, such as my hobbies or family background? 

You can include personal information in an interview, if it’s relevant to the role or if the interviewer shows an interest. In general though, it’s best to focus only on work-related skills and experiences. 

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