How to introduce yourself in a job interview (with examples)

 How to introduce yourself in a job interview (with examples)
JobStreet content teamupdated on 08 August, 2023

Here's the scenario: You're at your job interview and waiting for it to start. In your head is everything you learned in college, where you prepared for 4 years for this job. But are you ready? Did you do your homework on how to introduce yourself during a job interview?

Wait. What homework?

Before you can start working and building a career, there's that one small hurdle you need to overcome: the job interview. And every job interview begins with you introducing yourself.

And here's the thing, there are no second chances at this. It's not like an email–you cannot undo this.

"You don't want to blow a chance to introduce yourself to a senior executive," said Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a recruiter for several Fortune 500 companies, in a Forbes article.

So let's get you prepared. What kind of homework do you need to do before a job interview ?

Researching the company and the position

The importance of researching the company and the position before the interview

When we see a job we like, most of the time we click Submit Application and hope for the best. But companies prefer applicants who take the extra step to find out more about the company they’re applying to and the position they’re applying for.

By doing research, you are showing your interest in their history, milestones, and origins. On a personal level, you'll also see if the company's core values align with yours.

You'll also be more prepared for the interview because you studied the job and its responsibilities. You can also tailor your introduction to your qualifications.

For example, you can mention that you have a mastery of MS Excel skills if you're applying for an accounting position. Or, say you found out the company uses Quickbooks. Let the employer know how much experience you have with this.

Finding information about the company and the position

  • Check their website, especially their About Us section. It will tell you a lot of things about the company.
  • Google them. Other sites have information that isn't on the company website. Know how to determine legitimate information from unreliable information.
  • Compare them with their competition. By doing so, you will know their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ask around. What is their reputation based on word of mouth?

Preparing your introduction

Confident woman preparing for her job interview

Preparing a script for your introduction

Have a script prepared before a job interview. You can write down a whole spiel. Or you can jot down the key ideas and work from there. For example, say you're applying for a job as a researcher. Write down what you've done.

  1. Worked at a research company.
  2. Had a sideline as a researcher for a university.
  3. Worked as a content writer.

Memorize these 3 key points and elaborate on them during the interview.

Practicing your introduction

What's good about memorizing a speech is that you won't miss out on anything you want to say. But it becomes problematic when you sound like you're just reciting something. It might lack that spontaneous and conversational feel. If you're going to memorize your introduction, practice it in a way that won't make you sound robotic or as if you're reading it. You could even memorize only the key ideas you want to share about yourself.

Determining the appropriate tone for your introduction

Practice your tone of voice. You may not be aware, but you might sound aggressive or arrogant. Know the difference between sounding confident and self-aware versus sounding arrogant.

On another note, when discussing the company you're applying to, avoid too much flattery or you might appear insincere. Of course, everyone wants to impress a potential employer, but we shouldn't lay it on thick.

For example, the following sounds like an insincere compliment: "I love your stand on climate change in one of your blogs. It answers all the world's problems. I think world leaders should listen to your stand."

A better way of saying it without sounding insincere is: "Your blog about climate change is very informative. I learned a lot from it."

Practicing your tone helps you lose the nervousness that comes with job interviews. Shift that nervousness to excitement instead.

The components of a good introduction

The importance of a strong opening statement

Usually, interviewers start by saying, " Tell us about yourself." While this may sound like a “getting to know you” statement, it wants to find out "Are you a good fit for this job?" As such, you need to start your introduction strong by focusing on your background, skills, and experience.

How to introduce yourself by name and background

While you're expected to mention certain things about your background (such as family and civil status) what they really want to know is whether you're qualified and skilled enough for the position. Keep the background portion of the introduction brief so you can focus on the important things.

Highlighting relevant skills and experiences

After introducing yourself, you can get into the details of your skills, experience, and professional history. This should be the meatier part of your introduction. This is where the interviewers will anchor their first impressions based on what you can bring to the table.

Demonstrating enthusiasm for the position and the company

While it's important to show enthusiasm about the job, too much can also be a turn-off. Over-enthusiastic applicants reflect an inability to control emotions. When they cannot control their emotions, they might also be unable to handle stress.

In a study by Professor Karin Sanders for UNSW Business School, she found that interviewers prefer job seekers who are "emotionally restrained and exuberant."

How to end your introduction

  • You can end it simply: "Thank you. I think that's about it."
  • You can end it enthusiastically: "I like the job, and I am ready to take on any tasks it entails."
  • You can end it confidently: "With my years of experience, I feel I can be a great asset to your company."

Examples of effective introductions

Analyzing effective introduction examples

Here's an example of an effective introduction for a candidate who’s a fresh graduate.

"My name is Yolanda. I graduated in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. I did my internship at La Scala, an Italian pizzeria in Australia. I love traveling and trying out new restaurants, which is one of the reasons why I took up HRM."

This intro took less than a minute, but it was packed with information. You can tell that Yolanda is applying for a job in a restaurant and that her experience and interests align with the job.

Highlighting key components of the introductions

Yolanda can also highlight her experience working in La Scala. For example:

"During my first week of internship, I bussed tables, but the next week, they moved me to reception to greet customers and lead them to their tables. In my second month, I also handled reservations and cashiering. Finally, in my third and last month, I assisted the manager with the whole operation, such as cleanliness, reception, payment system, menu preparation, inventory of stocks, and other nitty-gritty details of running a restaurant."

This is one way to make a good impression. It's concise. It's simple. And it gives an idea of what Yolanda can handle.

Demonstrating how to incorporate these components into your own introduction

You can take this example and apply it to your own introduction by breaking it down into these components:

  • Name and background
  • Skills and experience
  • Career growth at previous employer
  • Summary of workload
  • Enthusiasm for the company
  • Closing

Dos and don'ts when introducing yourself

A jobseeker in front of a laptop preparing herself for an interview

Common mistakes to avoid when introducing yourself

  1. Don't talk about your negative experiences in your previous company or tell them why you left your job if it ended on bad terms. For one, it's unprofessional. Second, you may come off as a negative person.
  2. Don't wing it. You might think you're good at impromptu scenarios, but it's better to err on the side of caution. Always be prepared and always practice before going to an interview. Not all interviews are the same, so it's better to be on the safe side.
  3. Keep your body language in check. Avoid fidgeting as it shows your nervousness.
  4. Don't avoid eye contact. It makes you appear evasive and unprepared.
  5. Don't slouch. It might seem like you don't want to be there.

Tips for presenting yourself in a professional manner

Let's turn to appearances and learn how to look professional when interviewing for a job.

Now that you've researched the company, you have an idea of the company culture and attire. For example, people in the banking industry tend to dress in business or business formal. As such, a suit and tie are appropriate for this conservative environment.

On the other hand, if you're applying for a startup company, you can dress for comfort. Smart casual or even casual works in these environments. Jeans and sneakers are acceptable.

It will also depend on the position you're after. For example, manager applicants should always dress more formally. We want you to look like a leader. Meanwhile, fresh graduates are usually given leeway regarding interview attire.

Still, whether formal or casual, grooming is a must. Smell good, iron your clothes, and clean your shoes. Don't walk into an interview room if your shoes are dusty or dirty. Trim your hair before the interview if it's a little shaggy, and color it if the roots are showing.

Adapting your introduction to different interview formats

How to adapt your introduction for a phone or video interview

A study done by StandOut CV and JD-Library found that 79% of employers now conduct their interviews online, and 45% of employers said video interviews speed up the hiring process. Meanwhile, the global coaching platform BetterUp concurs that virtual interviews are here to stay.

Now that online interviews have become a norm, how do we prepare for a virtual interview ?

  1. Make sure that your background is not messy. Situate yourself in an isolated area where no one will walk by behind you.
  2. Use a plain wall as your background if it's not filled with graffiti or posters. This way, there are no distracting items behind you.
  3. Sit in front of the camera as if you're having your passport photo taken. Your neck to the top of your head should be visible.
  4. Turn off your phone, tablet, or anything that could ring during an interview.
  5. Dress as if you’re going to a face-to-face interview. This includes pants because you never know when you might need to stand up.
  6. While there's a handshake in live interviews, there's also a virtual handshake. This is in the form of eye contact by looking into the camera.
  7. Fully charge your laptop. Check your mic and speakers. Check the speed of your internet. You don't want to lag during the interview.
  8. Mute your desktop's other applications or exit them altogether. You don't want the sound of notifications distracting you.

Overall, a virtual interview is just like a face-to-face interview. Follow all the interview rules to properly introduce yourself, but perhaps enunciate a little more clearly in case of microphone issues.

Tailoring your introduction for a group interview

But what if it's a group interview? How do you manage that? Here are some interesting tips:

  • Volunteer first if you can. Either go first or last but never be interviewed in the middle. Otherwise, you might become less memorable in the eyes of the interviewer.
  • Stand out by smiling or moving your hands to catch their attention. You're going to need a lot of body language for this.
  • Engage in active listening even when it's not your turn to talk. According to Rob Reeves, CEO and President of recruiting firm Redfish Technology, this will show interviewers that you are polite, attentive, and can multitask.
  • In your introduction, answer 3 questions: who, why, and where. Who are you? Why are you applying to the company? Where will you be a couple of years from now?

How to introduce yourself in a behavioral interview

Behavioral interviews are a technique used by employers to evaluate your interpersonal skills, test your work ethic, and determine your workplace behavior. This type of interview is more about citing examples of how you led a team rather than stating that you led a team. For example, the questions can be:

  • What was your most stressful situation, and how did you handle it?
  • How did you learn the ropes when starting at your last job?
  • Was there a time you had so many tasks? How did you manage?

Seeing as behavioral interviews are more interested in your personality and competency, introduce yourself during an interview in the same way. For example, talk about your achievements or describe how your last job was similar to the job you're applying for now. But give more emphasis to your work ethic and concrete examples of how you are in the workplace.

Handling difficult introduction scenarios

woman holding a laptop in the office

According to Murphy's Law, "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." And that applies to job interviews too. Because you're entering uncharted territory–at least on your part–you don't know how the interview will go, who will interview you, and what will be asked.

For example, in your nervousness, you forget the name of the person interviewing you. One way to avoid this is by asking beforehand who will interview you and taking note of this.

Another difficult situation is the language barrier. For example, you can't understand what's being said because of the person’s accent. You can overcome this through mirroring, where you repeat what the other person is saying for clarification. For example, if an interviewer says, "Do you jog?" in an unfamiliar accent, follow up with, "Jogging? Like exercise? Do I run?"

Another challenge of language barriers is using jargon and idioms. Avoid using these during a cross-cultural interview in case you get them wrong.

On another note, you might be asked by the interviewer to re-introduce yourself. That can be difficult because it might seem like a trick question. Are you supposed to repeat your first introduction, or are you supposed to add something else? It would be wise to follow the pattern of how you would re-introduce yourself to people who don't remember you.

  • State your name again, and this time, do a quick rundown about yourself.
  • Say something light or funny. Pretend this isn't an interview but just a conversation about fun facts about you.

Follow-up strategies

The importance of following up after the interview

It's both important and advantageous to follow up after an interview as it speaks well of your manners. Here are some reasons why you should follow up after an interview:

  • You can ask questions you weren't able to ask during the interview.
  • It shows you are professional and courteous. To the interviewer, it looks like you're enthusiastic and exerting effort to follow up.
  • This is one way of being remembered, especially if they still haven't hired anyone.
  • You can thank the interviewer in your follow-up to show your gratitude.

How to follow up with a thank-you note or email

In your follow-up email, it's important to start it off with a thank-you note. Express your gratitude that they took the time to interview you. Here's what else you should mention in your follow-up email.

  1. Make your email brief and concise but still friendly.
  2. Restate your enthusiasm for the job.
  3. Ask if they need any more information about you.


First impressions matter. Half of the reason you land a second interview could be because of the way you introduced yourself during the first interview. First impressions can become a company's barometer of your suitability for the role they seek. Prepare for your introduction by writing down key notes and putting your best foot forward during the interview.

And most importantly, be sincere and honest when introducing yourself.


  1. How long should my introduction be?
    ⁠Ideally, it should be a minute or less. But you can up it to 2 minutes if you make it conversational or if the interviewer asks questions in between.
  2. Should I mention my weaknesses in my introduction?
    ⁠If an interviewer asks about your weakness, mention them. Honesty is always appreciated by an employer. Show sincerity but avoid sounding self-deprecating.
  3. What if I have no experience in the industry? How should I introduce myself?
    ⁠It's not something to be embarrassed about. For one, you could be a fresh graduate; secondly, we all have to start somewhere. Emphasize your strengths instead by describing your skills and how they will fit in the company and the job.
  4. Should I bring up my salary expectations in my introduction?
    ⁠In the Philippines, the hiring manager usually brings up salary expectations toward the end of an interview. Wait for it to be put on the table. If they give you a number, assess if this is enough for you. But if they ask you to share your salary expectations, be upfront with what you think you deserve.
  5. Is it okay to use humor in my introduction?
    ⁠Humor is an interpersonal skill we could all use, but in job interviews, it's better to show your humor through your wit instead of with jokes. If done right, you can use humor to show your cleverness instead of silliness.
  6. Can I introduce myself differently in the second round of interviews?
    ⁠Absolutely. Look back on how you introduced yourself during your first interview. Determine which points were strong and use them again. Pinpoint which ones you found weak and tweak them for this second round of interviews.
  7. What if the interviewer cuts me off during my introduction?
    ⁠It's not always a bad sign if the interviewer cuts you off during an interview. Most of the time, they have already gotten their answers and want to move forward. So if they cut you off, don't take it personally.
  8. Should I memorize my introduction word for word?
    ⁠It would be wise to have a memorized script but there is the risk of sounding too scripted or robotic. Memorize keywords of what you want to say, and improvise on them during the interview.
  9. What if I am nervous about introducing myself during the interview?
    ⁠Everyone is nervous during a job interview. The best way to overcome it is by learning how to let go of job interview nerves. You may get the job, or you may not, and the only thing you can do is your best.
  10. Should I include personal information in my introduction, such as my hobbies or family background?
    ⁠If this relates to the job, include your hobbies and family background in your introduction. But remember, introductions usually last just a minute. So focus on the job at hand and elaborate further on your hobbies and personal matters when asked.

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