What To Say At The Beginning Of An Interview

You have your job interview scheduled – Congratulations!

Job interviews are an essential part of the hiring process in today’s world. This is an opportunity where hiring managers can assess if you’re fit for the role, and you could assess your suitability to work in the organization.

You might be thinking, “What to say at the beginning of an interview”?

First impressions are critical to setting the tone for your interview. Dress professionally, be polite, and greet the interviewer. The interview usually starts with “Introduce Yourself” – Practice and be ready with your summarized experience, accomplishments, skill sets, and how you could contribute to the job.

If you have researched what to bring on the interview day, you are all set to start with the interview process.

You might have got busy preparing the list of commonly asked interview questions and accomplishments in your resume but don’t forget to prepare yourself for the basic start of an interview.

In this article, we will explore what you could say at the beginning of your interview.

How To Start An Interview As A Candidate?

How To Start An Interview As A Candidate
How To Start An Interview As A Candidate

Remember – Interview preparation is different from memorizing the script. The ideal approach is to prepare and create a visual mind map of the important bullet points you want to touch.

During your interview, you can elaborate more on each bullet point. Memorizing bullet points are helpful because you don’t want to keep thinking about what to say during your interview.

Never try to memorize the entire script, or you would sound too robotic. There should be an element of human touch when you’re speaking.

So you have arrived at the interview venue; how do you start?

  • Arrive early – Arrive at the interview venue 20 minutes before the interview starts. Reaching early helps to calm your nerves and think straight. Drink water, go to the restroom, take deep breaths, and be comfortable and relaxed.

  • Dress Well – Dress professionally to boost your confidence and set your mindset to win the interview. If not, it sends out the message that you don’t care. Remember – hiring managers are humans and form biases and first impressions from seeing you. Creating good first impressions gives you an early advantage, and you win 50% of the interview.

  • Be Polite – Politely ask the security guard or receptionist for directions to the interview room, relax and wait for your interviewer to arrive. If the interviewer is late, wait patiently and take this opportunity to revise your interview bullet points.

  • Greet the Interviewer – When the hiring manager meets you, start with a polite greeting and thank the interviewer for meeting with you today. For example, say, “Hi, My name is <your name>, and I’m here today for the interview. Thank you very much.”

Create a visual mind map of the important bullet points you want to hit during your interview.

How to Nail a Job Interview in the First 5 Minutes?

How to Nail a Job Interview in the First 5 Minutes
How to Nail a Job Interview in the First 5 Minutes

It’s human nature to begin forming first impressions about the people we meet. Hiring managers are not different and tend to make judgments based on initial impressions.

When you make a good first impression, it’s easier for the interviewer to subsequently view your behaviors in a positive manner. The biases of the hiring manager will be at play, and you need to utilize this to work to your benefit.

So how do you impress the interviewer in the first 5 minutes?

  • Create a great first impression via Confident Dressing – The first impression gets created when you arrive early, dress professionally (it boosts your confidence as well), and generally be polite.

  • Create a great first impression through a Confident Attitude and Actions. – When you meet the interviewer/s, make eye contact, smile confidently, shake hands, and give the interviewers the feeling that you’re happy to be interviewed and excited to get that job.

  • Summarize your experience and skillsets in one or two sentences – Yes, it may not be easy to summarize your entire experience in a line or two. But, it would help if you had this summary of yourself ready because it shows that you are very clear about your accomplishments and what you can deliver for the company. It helps the interviewer assess how you could fit into the organization.

  • Be ready for light talkInterviews are not always about skillsets, knowledge, and professionalism. Hiring managers are also humans, and they usually try to put you at ease with small talk. The interviewer might talk about the day’s weather or about you getting to the interview venue. (for example, if it unexpectedly started raining and you got wet). Be ready for this and be your natural self. You may also ask friendly questions to the interviewer.

When you make a good first impression, it’s easier for the interviewer to subsequently view your behaviors in a positive manner

How To Introduce Yourself In An Interview?

How To Introduce Yourself In An Interview
How To Introduce Yourself In An Interview

Sit down and be relaxed and confident when the interviewer offers you a seat. The interviewer might then start by saying something like, “Welcome to the interview. Can you start by introducing yourself”.

The way you introduce yourself in the interview helps interviewer to form a good first impression about you. This sets the tone for rest of your interview.

Once you set an excellent first impression, the interviewer will see your subsequent interview and behavior in a positive light.

This article will go through some helpful tips and examples on how to introduce yourself in an interview.

  • Talk about the skills and qualities that match the role you’re applying for – Study the job description to understand what the employer wants, research the company, and tie your skills and qualities to the position they are looking for. If you have skills that set you apart from other candidates, don’t forget to include them.

  • Talk about your experience and relevant qualifications – Ensure you don’t put anything on your resume that you can’t prove. Demonstrate your experience and industry knowledge by giving strong examples from roles you have executed in the past.

  • Talk about your significant accomplishments – Instead of saying you’re good at something, always try to quantify your achievements. For example, instead of saying you’re a great swimmer, say, “I won a gold medal in FINA World Championship 2022”. For your case, it could be “successfully executing a $5 Million project to migrate XYZ system”, or “generated cost savings for your company by doing XYZ activities,” etc.

  • Talk about what you’re going to do in the role if they hire you
    • Carefully analyze the job description to discover the critical aspects of the job role where the hiring manager needs the employee’s help.
    • Relate this to similar roles from your past jobs.
    • Prepare a 4-step structured answer – Describe the situation, explain the task you had to accomplish, explain what action you took to complete the job, and illustrate the result.

  • Practice introducing yourself, but don’t memorize – “Tell me about yourself” is the first question you can be sure all interviewers will ask. But surprisingly, many candidates come unprepared on how to answer this question. Prepare a script that summarizes your skills, experience, qualification, accomplishments, and what you’ll do in the role – then practice this loudly and confidently days before your interview.

Introduce Yourself” example script.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed for this job role today.

My name is John. I have been working as a software engineer for the past x years in y company/industry. (If you don’t have much work experience, start with the time you graduated and walk them through your job experiences. And if you have a lot of work experience, stick to the most relevant job from your past experience, that fits the role you’re applying for).

I have a good track record of accomplishments. For example, in my previous role as a business analyst, I helped save the company $ 1 million in cost savings by implementing an effiicent approach to handling customer complaints in internet servicing.

I have gone through the job description and I’m confident that I have the skills, qualifications, and expertise required to excel in the job. If you hire me for this role, I can help the company accomplish xyz and you will see a quick return on investment.

The way you introduce yourself in the interview helps interviewer to form a good first impression about you. This sets the tone for rest of your interview.

Final Thoughts

Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality.

Eliyahu Goldratt

First impressions are critical and set the tone for the rest of your interview – Arrive early, Dress professionally, Be polite and Greet the interviewer.

Practice summarizing your experience and accomplishments in a few sentences – use that as your starting pitch at the start of the interview.

Quantify and show data for your accomplishments and experience, don’t simply talk about your experience.

After the interview, don’t forget to thank the interviewer and send a thank you note.

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