Self introduction practice for interview: 1-to-1 course with a foreigner
Job interview self introduction tutorial
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How to introduce yourself professionally at a job or school interview
We will focus on understanding the interviewers' needs, requirements and worries, how they think, what they value and how they select the right candidates so you can design and practise a unique introduction that is relevant for their needs, requirements and expectations.
When you introduce yourself at the beginning of the interview it provides a first impression about you and influences the possible follow up topics and questions. A well prepared, professional self-introduction is a very important part of the interview but it is not enough. You need to prepare for every possible question and situation that can come up in the whole interview to have a real chance to succeed.
Your self-introduction at an interview is not about you. Don't think about you. Don't talk about all the details about your work, educational experience, hobbies or family background. Don't waste valuable time on things that don't help you get the job or school admission but rather focus only on those few items that the interviewers want to hear to hire or accept you.
The interviewers only want to know if you are the best person for the job from their points of view, whatever they are looking for. Everything else might make you look unfit to the company, department or school or at least you are missing the opportunity to draw their attention to your relevant values.
If you use the same introduction at every interview, you will get the same answer every time: "No." We are going to prepare a unique, specially designed and optimised introduction for each of your interviews with various lengths like 1, 3, 5, 10 minutes.
We're going to choose and package relevant events, achievements, experiences from your life and skills that are relevant to the job. Then we're going to practise when and how to present them to demonstrate your high values.
Do not follow a sample or typical self introduction template!
We're going to concentrate on the specifics of the interview that you are preparing for. Whether it's a new job, a promotion opportunity or a school admission for an overseas or local Hong Kong university or secondary school, you need to adjust your introduction about yourself to the specific requirements, expectations and needs of the decision makers of the 'organisation'.
You are not interviewed by a company, a government department or a school. You are interviewed by human beings. Thus, one of the objectives in the workshop is to understand, prepare and practice how to make your work experience and skill set appear to fit to the job and how to press the "I want to hire you" button in the interviewers.
Each table cell has a unique sub-structure. For instance, if you talk about your past work experience, you can have a sub-topic structure template for each employment:
- working period, job title, name of the employer,
- job duties and responsibilities,
- achievements and challenges,
- motivation: reason for taking and leaving the job,
- what you learnt, what was your experience,
Self introduction preparation strategy
'Tell me about yourself.' 'Please introduce yourself.' 'What is your story? And so on. These are the opening questions interviewers often use when they want you to talk about yourself.
But before you introduce yourself, try to sense whether the interviewer really wants a formal introduction or it is just a warm up question to start an informal conversation.
If you already had some small talk before they ask you to present a self-introduction, they probably interested in a more complete, formal presentation about you. But if it is their opening after exchanging hi and hello, they may just use it as an ice-breaker to start a discussion.
So you should prepare an informal and a formal version for self introduction. You should also create a shorter and a longer version.
We are going to prepare for different lengths of presentations. A 1-minute self introduction is appropriate if you think that the 'Please, introduce yourself' is just an ice-breaker and they will change the topic or ask questions about you to transit from a monologue to a conversation.
Being able to talk about your career, education and private life for 3 minutes is a standard requirement but it is better to prepare for a 5-minute and a 10-minute versions, too.
Past, present, future
When you talk about your work experience or educational background, start with the most powerful one and spend more time on it. The interviewer may ask questions about the details so you can direct the topic to the most relevant aspects of your past.
Talk about your future plans, too. Especially in a way that relevant to the job you apply for. Talk about your career plan, your self-development strategy, your goals and aspirations. Nobody does this so you can stand out of the crowd. Remember, not the past but the future connects you with the company and manager.
The video on this page is a compilation of 5 videos about self-introduction in a job interview. Each part discusses a different aspect of how to talk about yourself.
Self introduction in a job interview part 1 – how to create a tailor-made, specific speech
In Part 1 you can learn about how to prepare for self introduction at home, before the interview. Your presentation about you must be relevant for the company, the industry and the job so you need to tailor-made your speech. If you use the same introduction regardless of the specific of the situation, you will have little chance to get the job. Nobody wants to listen to a memorized self introduction template or sample. They want to feel that you provide relevant, specific information.
So read, understand and memorize the whole job description word by word and that part of the requirement list that talks about personality and skill requirements like they want someone who is initiative and good at communication. If you spend an hour to memorize their job description, you will really understand it and you can also think about examples from your work experiences to demonstrate that you are a good fit to duties and requirements. And you will be familiar with the words, jargon and lingo they use, so use those terms in your speech.
Self introduction in a job interview part 2 – at the beginning of your speech
In Part 2 I am talking about how to calibrate and sense which version of your prepared introduction you should use in the specific situation at the beginning of your talk. Do they really want you to talk long or they just ask you to tell something about yourself to start somewhere. As you speak you can process the feedback from the interviewers and modify your introduction to fit to the situation. Maybe you skip a part if you think there is no enough time or they are not interested in that topic.
Self introduction in a job interview part 3 - what to say, what not to say
This is the third part of my “self-introduction in an interview” series. In the interview you should say only those things that help you get the job. Do not waste your time to talk about other things. In each part of your presentation framework start with the most powerful thing rather than just following chronological order or trying to draw a full picture and talking about all of your job duties, skills, achievements. They can interrupt you, hijack your speech at any time so talk about the good stuff first and foremost. Then move to the second most powerful topic.
Self introduction in a job interview part 4 – structured presentation
This is the 4th part of my “self-introduction in an interview” series. You should have a well organised structured self-introduction, Use frameworks and nested frameworks to arrange your message. It will help the interviewers follow your talk and if they interrupt you, you know easier where you were in the speech, which structural elements. There are a lot of frameworks. Here are two. Past - present- future. Work experience - educational background – private life. And you can learn how to create and use many others and how to nest one into another.
Self introduction in a job interview part 5 – mindsets
This is the 5th and last part of my “self-introduction in an interview” series. Here I discuss both the interviewers’ and your mindsets. Mindsets are models, priorities, strategies, attitudes, values and goals that influence a person’s thinking, behavior, communication and results. I am talking about some useful ways of thinking and also how interviewers think and evaluate you.