You don’t need to have experienced many failed interviews to learn how to introduce yourself professionally. Even if you’re just preparing for your first job interview next week, knowing how to introduce yourself professionally is an absolute advantage. Aside from what your personal profile and resume say, you need to make a great first impression. Why? Because it matters. Many great and qualified job candidates that didn’t make it can tell you why - they know they failed to make a good first impression. For that matter, many hiring managers can also tell you that they have rejected many candidates not because they were unqualified, but because of what they failed to do during their first meeting.
Do a little research about the company. Visit their website or page. That way, you will learn about their culture and be sensitive about it. For example, many IT companies are quite relaxed when it comes to dress code, and therefore you can report to the interview in smart casual attire. On the contrary, other more serious industries have more formal cultures stricter dress codes.
When you reach the interview venue, greet the office receptionist courteously. For example:
“Good morning to you. I’m Michael Garcia and I have an interview appointment with Mr. Jim Hammond at 10 am.”
Remember to treat the receptionist with warmth and respect. You can never tell if the hiring manager also relies on the receptionist’s judgment of your character. Some companies don't begin the hiring process with an interview with the boss, but rather just a simple diagnostic exam and essay. Regardless, you have to treat everyone you encounter with respect and a smile, even if you have no clue whether they're your boss or not.
Start of the interview
Regardless of your first impression of the hiring manager’s behavior, initiate a handshake. After that, in a clear voice, with a pleasant smile, and looking at the hiring manager in the eyes, introduce yourself:
“Hi, good afternoon. I am Michael Garcia. I am pleased to meet you, Mr. Hammond.”
Make an impression as if you are about to start a speech.
Answering the questions
When asked to say something yourself, your response should contain only relevant information. Give your background and personal qualities. Remember to maintain focus on your qualifications and why you are the perfect candidate. After you’ve done so and the hiring manager’s body language signals you to go on, you may mention your interests and hobbies. Doing so gives the hiring manager an idea of the kind of person you are outside of work. It also might create a personal connection, something that many hiring managers view as important.
Prepare for follow-up questions
This is where your honesty plays a part. Companies also invest in their employees’ character. So when talking about your qualifications and experience, do not exaggerate information and don’t pretend to know about something when you don’t. If you fabricate stories about your qualifications, chances are the truth will eventually be discovered by a background check. Worse, you will embarrass yourself once you can’t answer follow-up questions. But if you focus on your true qualifications, you’ll be able to answer follow-up questions with ease.
Manners before, during, and after
Mastering how to introduce yourself professionally doesn’t just involve the details in your resume. Regardless of how the interview went, be polite and smile. Bid the hiring manager a polite goodbye after and do not forget to extend your greeting to the receptionist. The possibility of landing the job and finally deciding on a chose career path doesn’t just depend on what’s in your resume. It also depends on the way you carry yourself, your attitude towards your potential workmates, and the way they view you. Remember, first impressions are not everything, but they are lasting. Your qualifications matter. Your manners, too.
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