How To Introduce Yourself at a Job Interview

Tips for introducing yourself at a job interview

Maddy Price / The Balance 

The first impression you make at a job interview is often the most important one. First impressions can play a major role in how an employer perceives you as a candidate, and what you say during the first phase of the interview can make a difference to the outcome—in a good way or a bad one. 

You don't want to come across as awkward and lacking in social skills. Rather, you'll want to show that you have the professionalism and communication skills to be an asset to the company if hired.


Little things make a big difference at this stage of a job search. That's why it's important to pay attention to interview etiquette and to think through how you will introduce yourself during the interview.

Review these simple steps for introducing yourself, with examples of what to do and say to everyone you meet during the hiring process so you can make a positive impression.

Key Takeaways

  • When interviewing in person, be prepared to introduce yourself to the person who greets you, mentioning your name, the time your interview is scheduled, and who you’re scheduled to meet with.
  • Greet the hiring manager by stating your name and letting them know it’s a pleasure to meet them.
  • Prepare a concise summary of your qualifications and background so you can respond to “tell me about yourself” questions.
01 of 08

What To Say When You Arrive at the Interview

business man at reception desk

Cultura RM / Igor Emmerich / Getty Images

Spend some time before your interview planning what you’re going to say and how you’re going to introduce yourself. Be prepared to make a quick introduction to the person who greets you. When you arrive at the interview site, introduce yourself to the receptionist by stating your name and the reason for your visit.

For example:

  • My name is Tim Jones, and I have an interview scheduled with John Smith at 2 p.m.
  • I'm Janine Bellows, and I have an appointment with Jacayla Clark at 10 a.m.
  • Hi. I’m Kyra Zhandri, and I have an interview with Michael Kyrin at 4 p.m.

Be courteous and respectful to this first contact at the company and to everyone else you talk to during the interview process. Many hiring managers will ask the receptionist for their impression of a candidate. If you act rudely or dismissively, you could put yourself out of the running for the job before you even meet the hiring manager.


It’s important to be polite to everyone you meet during your interview so you can be sure to make the best impression.

02 of 08

Introducing Yourself at a Video Interview

High angle view of businesswoman video calling female colleague on laptop in home office
Maskot / Getty Images

When you're interviewing via video, be sure to arrive at the meeting early so you're sure all your technology is in working order. Arriving late is one of the Zoom interview mistakes you don't want to make.

Look directly at the camera, and try to keep your focus on the camera during the interview. That's how you'll make eye contact with your interviewer. The interviewer will start the meeting with an introduction. You can reply with a simple introduction of your own:

  • Hi. I'm Sylvia. It's a pleasure to meet you.
  • Hello, [Interviewer Name]. I'm Katie, and I'm looking forward to talking with you.
  • I'm Jason. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.


Test all your technology well in advance of the call to avoid last-minute glitches.

03 of 08

What To Say When You Meet the Hiring Manager

Job interview introduction
Squaredpixels / Getty Images

When you’re interviewing in person, you may have to wait a few minutes for your appointment. Then, you will either be escorted to the interview room, or the hiring manager will come out to meet you in the reception area. Even though you have an appointment, take the time to introduce yourself so the interviewer knows who you are.

Stand up if you're seated, and shake hands if a handshake is offered to you first. Otherwise, don’t offer your hand.

Tell the interviewer that it is a pleasure to meet them, smile, and make eye contact. For example:

  • I'm Tina Lionel. It's a pleasure to meet you.

Avoid common interview mistakes such as not paying attention, dressing inappropriately, or not being focused on the interview. And if you know that you’re prone to interview stress, minimize the chance of it being a problem by researching the company, preparing for the interview, and practicing positive thinking. The more you prepare, the less stressful the interview process will be.


To avoid sweaty palms, stop in the restroom prior to the interview and wash and dry your hands. If that's not feasible, use a tissue to dry off your hands ahead of time.

04 of 08

Keep Your Introduction Short and Concise

Four business people gathered in hall, elevated view
Eric Audras / Getty Images

You'll have an opportunity to introduce yourself more fully during the interview. Many hiring managers will start an interview with an open-ended question such as "Tell me about yourself."

The core of your response should focus on the key elements in your background that will enable you to excel in the job for which you are interviewing. Be ready to discuss your strengths, creativity, leadership and problem-solving skills, and the contributions you can make to the organization.

To prepare an introduction that will help you sell your qualifications to the interviewer you can:

  • Create an elevator pitch and practice it so you're comfortable describing yourself. Your pitch will be a quick synopsis of your background and credentials. 
  • Carefully analyze the job before the interview so you can point out the interests, skills, experiences, and personal qualities that will enable you to meet or exceed the job and company requirements. 

Review answers to “tell me about yourself” interview questions to learn the best ways to highlight your skills, experience, and personality without sharing too much information or taking up too much interview time.

05 of 08

Focus on Your Qualifications

Business executive listening to presentation
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Your introduction should be concise enough to hold the interest of the interviewer. Generally, a quick recap of your most compelling qualifications will suffice. You could also mention a couple of tidbits that aren't essential to the job but reflect your personality, like the fact that you are an avid skier, have performed at comedy clubs, or collect African art.

Your goal is to connect personally with the interviewer in addition to showing that you're qualified for the job and would make a great new hire.


This is your opportunity to sell yourself to the hiring manager, so take advantage of it.

Of course, your initial comments should show your enthusiasm for the job and the organization. However, don't overdo it or spend too much time talking about yourself. The interviewer has an agenda and time is limited, so keep your introduction brief so you can move on to the next question.

06 of 08

Be Prepared for Follow-Up Questions

At a job interview
Eva-Katalin / Getty Images

The interviewer may follow up on your introduction with more questions, so it's important to remember that you will need to support and expand on whatever assertions you make during your introduction.

Share Examples

Be prepared to provide specific examples of how and where you have utilized your assets to successfully carry out work, perform in volunteer roles, or accomplish academic projects or other productive endeavors. One way to provide detailed responses is to use the STAR interview technique to describe your accomplishments and achievements.

Ask Questions

You should also be prepared to ask questions during the interview. Have a short list of questions ready that you'd like to ask your interviewer about the job and the company. Use the interview as a chance not only to highlight your qualifications but also to determine whether this job and employer are a good fit for you and your career goals. 

07 of 08

Remember: Manners Matter at Job Interviews

Business people shaking hands in office building
Dan Dalton / Getty Images

Regardless of the job you are applying for, you will be expected to act professionally throughout every phase of the interview process, from greeting the interviewer to saying thank you after your interview.

Make sure you know what to say, what to bring with you, and how to answer and ask questions politely and professionally so as to make the best possible impression.

08 of 08

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should you say at the end of a job interview?

At the end of the interview, restate your qualifications for the job and your interest in it, and thank the interviewer for their time. You can also ask about the next steps in the hiring process to get a sense of when the company will be making a hiring decision.

What’s the best way to follow up after an interview?

Take the time to follow up after the interview with a thank-you note or email that reiterates your interest in the job. Ideally, you should send your note within 24 hours of the interview. If you don’t hear back right away, another option is to follow up with a phone call to check on the status of your application.

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  1. CareerOneStop. “Interview Tips.”

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