Great ways to introduce yourself in an interview
One of the places where we most often find candidates struggling, is how to answer when the interviewer asks them to introduce themselves.
We may not take it too seriously, but the way a candidate answers this question can tell us, right away, whether they rank above other candidates or not.
So, is there one right answer to this question? No, because the answer depends on the individual candidate, and no two people should have exactly the same answer.
(But, is there a right way to answer this question? Yes, there is, and you can read about it in our other article here.)
To grasp the concepts of what a good introduction looks like, let’s discuss 3 examples. Even as you use these examples as guides, never forget that you don’t need to memorise these, and just remember the important points of each (highlighted).
“I’m a Sales Specialist with 2 years of experience. I have worked with the best teams to sharpen my skills with clients, and now I am looking for a role with bigger responsibilities. I want to move from B2C to B2B sales and that is why I am very excited to interview for this role.”
As an interviewer this will be a wonderful answer to get from a candidate. It shows focus, professionalism, maturity. Even someone young, with only 2 years of experience, sounds better than many people with twice or thrice the experience.
Moreover, you can see that the person has researched the role, understood the requirement and how his expectations and the company’s can match.
This person wants the conversation to stay limited to the role and requirements because he/she is confident that their work will impress the interviewer.
“I graduated in BA last month from National College and I am looking for a perfect start to my career. I was vice-captain of the college cricket team and also a member of the dramatics society. I am a team-player, very good at motivating my friends, and I love taking up new challenges.”
For a fresher it can be quite hard and scary to go for an interview. But, what they need to remember is that they need to show their personality strongly, because the skills will be learned on the job.
This kind of answer shows that the person has real soft skills (skills that are personality-based, and not education-based) and also that they know how to use them (motivating friends/team).
Moreover, he/she is giving some specifics. So, instead of saying “I like cricket and acting”, he/she says mentions their position in a team. Anyone can do something for fun, you should talk about what you did seriously.
However, the person should be prepared to be asked about some challenge they took up in the past and how they dealt with it. A good answer to that can almost guarantee success in the interview.
Hiding your nervousness as a fresher is obviously difficult, which is why you should rehearse your answer. And also remember that an interview is not life-or-death, rather it is an opportunity to become stronger.
“I was Assistant Business Development Manager at my last job. While my marks in school/college were not very good, I was appreciated by my boss for my dedication and performance at my job. When I was looking at your website I listed 2 ways in which I can contribute in this role.”
If you feel there is some reason the interviewer will take a negative approach to you (like your marks in exams) you can show that you are strong enough to overcome that. The way to do so is to make the person see your actual skills.
Here, the candidate has cleverly brought attention to the weakness and then immediately moved it to his/her performance by showing how closely and smartly they have come prepared. The candidate is taking charge of the interview the way he/she wants.
To have such ideas ready at this stage is very rare, and can really set you apart from the rest. This requires actual hard work and intelligence, but that is not something that should frighten you. After all you have to prove that you deserve this job.
These three examples are good ways to get started with your interview preparation. Always think of what the interviewer is going to look for, and how you can show that in yourself. If your start is good, the interviewer will also be on your side.
If you have more examples of good introductions, add them in the comments below.
To read more about how you should think up your own introduction, visit this link here.
If you want to know what qualities the interviewer is looking for then click here.
You can also see a video about introducing yourself by clicking here.
If you are looking for a job then start by clicking here.
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Neelam Gahlaut September 9, 2014
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