Should I introduce myself at the interview?

Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie Smith

Sunday, February 17, 2019

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Dear Career Advisor:

Please let me know if it is okay to introduce myself at an interview. I have been on interviews and felt a bit awkward and unsure about whether I should introduce myself or not.

Regards,

Alecia R

Dear Alecia:

It's always important to make a good first impression. This includes presenting yourself as a professional who is polite, pleasant, and respectful and not lacking in social skills. Generally, if there is any uncertainty that the person with whom you are speaking does not know or have ready access to your name, it's appropriate to introduce yourself. It may also be useful to add a line from your personal sales pitch that would indicate what training and experience you are seeking to offer the organisation.

As you did not specify what stage of the interview process your query relates to, we'll give a broad response. There are potentially three times during an interview when it might be appropriate to introduce yourself — on arrival, while waiting, and on entry into the interview room.

On Arrival

Always bear in mind that each person you meet at the premises — the gardener, the security, the receptionist — has the potential to contribute to your interview outcome as some organisations sometimes ask frontline and support staff about their first impression of the candidate. Therefore, on arrival, greet the receptionist, introduce yourself and say why you are there. It's useful to tell the time of your appointment and, if known, give the name of the person with whom you are expecting to meet.

In the Waiting Room

Politely acknowledge others who are also in the waiting room. It is customary for a staff member to escort you to the interview room. If you were seated, stand and return the greeting with a warm handshake. If you are acknowledged by name, there is no need to introduce yourself to this person. If the person introduces him/herself, and thanks you for coming but did not use your name, seize the opportunity to respond with an appropriate greeting and introduction of yourself.

Inside the Interview Room

If you were escorted to the interview room ahead of the interviewers, stand on their arrival and greet each member of the panel. Introducing yourself at this point is appropriate. Along with stating your name, indicate how delighted you are for the opportunity to meet with them to discuss the requirements of the position for which you are being interviewed. If the interviewers are already in the room before your arrival, take the initiative and greet each person before taking your seat, unless it is a panel of many people. In the latter case, follow the directive in respect of seating and offer a polite greeting and briefly introduce yourself to the panel collectively. Rule of thumb: Be observant and move with the flow. Don't allow your perceived need to introduce yourself to dominate the interface.

In closing, whatever you do, do not respond to the popular interview starter, “Tell me about yourself” with a redundant response such as “As you already know my name is …”

All the best for your next interview.

Sincerely,

Career Advisor


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