No two job interviews are ever alike.
Every role requires an individual approach, with specific questions to determine if you fit the role. All companies have a different culture. And each interviewer has a unique communication style. This gives you a lot of variables to prepare for, from paying attention to your body language to effectively answering any behavioral interview question that comes your way.
But one thing you can count on during every interview process is having to introduce yourself. Your self-introduction sets the tone for the rest of the conversation, whether it’s over the phone or in person.
It’s your opportunity to convey who you are and what makes you stand out from other applicants. A strong, confident introduction can make a lasting first impression, positioning you as a memorable and competitive candidate.
Learning how to introduce yourself in an interview requires you to balance professionalism and personality, showing off your value and giving a preview of what it’ll be like to work with you. Here are the tips and personal introduction examples you need to seize this opportunity and make your mark.
How to introduce yourself in an interview: 6 tips
Although you should tailor your professional introduction to the job description and company culture, there are universal pointers to help you deliver an impactful answer. Here are tips to keep in mind to develop a memorable introduction for an interview:
1. Pay attention to body language
An estimated 70% of communication is nonverbal, so how you deliver your introduction is just as important as the words you choose. Body posture, eye contact, and vocal tone round out the meaning and impact of your answer. When your words and nonverbal cues don’t match, you may come off as insincere, like explaining your excitement about the job opportunity in a flat, monotone voice.
Like everything else in life, practice makes perfect. If you don’t prepare for your job interview beforehand, the pressure of responding on the fly may distract you from consciously using nonverbal cues that leave a positive impression. And your nerves may show up in your body language and make you seem unsure.
Practice your response to a “Tell me about yourself” question beforehand — in the mirror, with a family member, or with a career coach. Knowing what you want to say will help you focus on every aspect of your response.
2. Use a proper salutation
A great first impression starts with a salutation. The tone of your greeting tells your interviewer how you’ll approach relationships with coworkers, clients, and partners, so be kind and confident. Start with the basics like “Good morning” or “Good afternoon,” with “How are you?” and “Thank you for taking the time to meet me” to follow. A few simple sentences will ensure you get off on the right foot.
Don’t forget to smile, and if you’re in person, shake the interviewer’s hand. Studies show that people with firm handshakes are friendlier and more open, which can give you points even before the interview starts.
3. Start with a unique opener
Whether you’re talking to a recruiter or hiring manager, they likely have a set list of questions they want to ask each candidate. Before they get into those questions, your self-introduction is your opportunity to develop a stronger back-and-forth, taking more control of the interview.
An opening that highlights a unique experience, character trait, or skill set can lead to follow-up questions that dive deeper into what you bring to the table. Starting with something unexpected or personal can pique their curiosity and build a more authentic conversation.
A self-introduction example for a project manager role might include, “One of the proudest moments in my career was leading a team to build our company’s mobile app. The lessons I learned about teamwork and community shaped how I approach leading my teams.” It shows off your work ethic and valuable soft skills, creating a pathway for more dynamic and personalized interview questions.
4. Show them you’re a problem solver
Problem-solving is an essential skill, regardless of the position you’re applying for. Hiring managers want to know that you can handle the job role without micromanagement, leaning into your valuable soft skills like critical thinking and resourcefulness to handle challenges.
The STAR method is a useful way to describe a past professional experience that required creative problem-solving, and you can work it into your self-introduction as you explain your background. You set up the situation, explain your action, and finish with the result, telling a story from beginning to end.
If you’re applying for a marketing position, you might begin with, “I discovered my love for marketing when I launched a small side hustle in college to help pay tuition. I had to experiment with different techniques to convert customers despite a limited budget. I always felt a rush when I found the right equation to boost sales for a particular product.” The answer lets the interviewer in on a piece of your life story and demonstrates your value.
5. Share your career goals
Your career goals are more than just personal ambitions. They illustrate how you envision your professional growth within the organizations you work for. Showing your aspirations can demonstrate a mutual benefit, highlighting how a new job fits into your professional development plan.
Strike a balance between your goals and the company’s mission and explain how they connect. Otherwise, you might come off as overly self-focused or disconnected from the company culture. Check out the organization’s website and social media and read the job description thoroughly, noting clues about the vision and core values. Remember: be genuine. Dishonesty about your vision or goals may land you a job that ultimately isn’t a fit.
6. Keep it brief
In all the excitement of sharing your experiences, you may over-explain or drift into a lengthy narrative. While showing off your personality is valuable, balancing substance and brevity is key to leaving a good impression. If your intro goes on too long, you may lose your interviewer’s interest, dilute your impact, or show a lack of self-control.
Think of your self-introduction as an elevator pitch or quick career recap. Present the most relevant and engaging information about your background, enticing the interviewer to dig deeper with thoughtful questions.
To practice a succinct introduction that hits all the key points, write down important requirements or responsibilities in the job description. Compare what the organization wants to the work experience, technical skills, or current role. Aligning these elements will show you what it takes from the beginning, setting the stage for a productive conversation.
8 “Introduce yourself” examples for different job seekers
Your answer to “Tell us about yourself” will be entirely personal — after all, you’re describing your own life experience. But to help you find the right words, here are some samples of how to introduce yourself professionally. Feel free to mix and match these sample answers based on your needs.
Here’s a basic response that covers all the bases and can apply to any job search:
Hello [interviewer’s name]. I’m really delighted to be here today. Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you.
I am a [job title] who’s been working in [industry] for the last [number of years of experience]. Throughout my career, I’ve always focused on [relevant skills or goals], leading me to [job role, achievement, or project milestone].
Right now, I’m interested in [professional development goal]. When I saw the job posting on LinkedIn, I was immediately interested. I read more about [company name], and I really identified with [vision or core value].
To illustrate how you can edit these samples to emphasize your soft skills, milestones, and career objectives, here’s an example that imagines what a mid-career data analyst would say.
Hello [name of interviewer]. I’m really excited to meet you today. Thank you for taking the time to meet me.
I’m a data analyst with eight years of experience in the healthcare sector. My mother is a nurse, which compelled me to focus my expertise in that industry to create a positive impact for other nurses. Throughout my career, I’ve always focused on empowering healthcare providers to deliver better service and healthier work environments with statistics. I just wrapped up a project with a family care provider to improve efficiencies by fully digitizing 10 offices, which has increased efficiency by 40% in its first two months.
Right now, I’m interested in learning more about complex data sets and artificial intelligence to pitch ideas for healthcare practices. When I saw the job posting on LinkedIn, I was immediately interested. I identified with [company name] mission to provide service to underserved communities and hope to contribute positively to the organization.
In the absence of experience, beginners in the job market can highlight skills they’d like to acquire while emphasizing personality traits like eagerness, resourcefulness, and adaptability. The combination will show that you have what it takes to learn and step into your first role confidently.
Good morning, [name of employer]. Thank you for having me here today.
I graduated last fall from [name of university] with a [type of degree and major]. I’m really motivated [future growth goals]. For my [valuable academic experience], I developed [describe measurable accomplishment].
I’d like to use my [name skills] to work for a [describe company values] like [company name]. I was drawn to the company’s [core value] and hope to have the opportunity to [experience to acquire with the company].
For niche job roles, hiring managers seek expertise and accomplishments that demonstrate a deep understanding of the position. Use this opportunity to emphasize your unique value and separate you from applicants with similar skill sets.
Good afternoon, [interviewer’s name]. It’s a real pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for considering me for this opportunity.
I’m a [most current job title] with [number of years of experience] focused on [most important or relevant job responsibility]. In my most recent role with [company name], I worked with the [describe an important milestone or accomplishment].
I have completed several certifications and specialized studies in [list continued education or professional growth areas]. I read about [company name] work in [specialization] and sent a letter of interest. I was thrilled when you responded with information about the [job title]. My expertise in the [industry] in [specialization] can significantly contribute to the company, and I’m excited to hear more about the position.
If you’re applying for a managerial role, showing off clear communication skills is key, and the beginning of the interview is your first chance to do so. Clarity will signal to a hiring manager that you have what it takes to lead people, whether motivating your team or explaining new strategic planning objectives.
Hello [name of interviewer]. Thank you so much for inviting me to interview today.
I started in [industry or field] working on [describe experience]. I spent the last [number of years] developing [measurable skills that demonstrate your leadership abilities]. Last [year/month/quarter], I [describe career milestone].
While I have enjoyed my time with [previous or current company], I’d like to use my experience to work with [describe career objective]. I was impressed by your company’s initiative to [mention a core value or mission]. I think my experience working [tie to a skill or experience] can positively contribute to your growth strategy, and am happy to pitch some ideas.
A career shift already demonstrates important skills like courage and initiative. In your introduction, show off your holistic background by explaining the transferable skills that will help you adapt to the job role. Consider explaining past experiences that align with your new career direction.
Good morning, [interviewer’s name]. I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you.
I’m currently an [job title]. I [describe job role, responsibilities, and skill set]. I’m interested in [career motivation or objective].
Throughout my career, I’ve worked [describe a professional experience or relationships that motivated you to make a career change].
I want to leverage my [transferable skills] to [explain the value you will bring to the new role]. My ability to [most relevant skill] will help me excel in the new role at your organization.
Learning how to introduce yourself in an interview is a vital skill that sets the tone for lasting impressions. Conveying your passion, experience, and alignment with the company is a mouthful, but remember, you don’t have to say everything at once.
A strong introduction shows off a few key points with a mix of authenticity and professionalism, opening up the doors for deeper questions and a more personalized interview.