“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I’ve realized that a lot of people find it difficult to introduce themselves during an interview. That ‘Tell me about yourself’ question is the ice breaker and most candidates are scared to break it because they are not too sure of themselves.
Before I go into tips to a winning introduction, I would like to address a foundational problem that hinders us from selling ourselves properly and the “Lack of CONFIDENCE”.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it.
On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” Mahatma Gandhi
Are you a fresh graduate or a prospective intern and not sure what to say when asked to introduce yourself? Here are some things that would guide you:
Think through what you want to say before opening your mouth to talk
Mental preparation and a mirror exercise would do. You don’t need to cram a speech or start reciting it verbatim, rather it should provide a guideline on what how each point should be said.
Avoid distracting words
Words like ‘urm’ ‘erm’ ‘izz like’ ‘you know’ etc could be distracting for your interviewer and may imply you’re not prepared for the interview If those interjections are too much, it can be a huge turn-off.
Keep it concise and simple
I remember one of the interviews I sat in a few months ago, this guy legit talked about himself for a whole 30minutes.
Do you know that’s where the interview started and ended? At a point, he was just blabbing and we didn’t understand what he was saying but didn’t want to be rude and interject him.
Besides, we already knew he was a NO and allowed him to land before saying we had no questions and dismissed him.
Self-awareness is important
If you are self-aware, it is easier for you to understand other people and detect how they perceive you in return.
How well do you know yourself and the kind of direct or indirect message you are passing? Here are some things you need to build on to prepare for the next interview:
1. Your Bio
Start with your name, your school and course of study, the aspect in your course that interests you and why (this is not compulsory if it’s not related to your course of study).
2. Your Strengths
This could include something like being very organized, being able to manage your time and setting priorities, being able to communicate in a clear manner, being able to manage people regardless of their temperament, being able to work in a team.
Take note that while talking about this strengths, you should include one or two examples of how you have demonstrated them while in school as a leader in your school project, school activism, Student union or department association and finally through religious bodies you have belonged to.
3. Your Value Proposition
Talk about the value you would be adding to the team or organization. I would advise that you do extensive research about them and ensure what you are saying is relevant and relatable. If you have done your homework properly, they will fall in love with you!!!!
Finally, this is a piece of golden advice that is like the icing on the cake for people who want to give a winning introduction.
4. Humility won’t help you
I have met superb people who have great skills which companies are looking for but because they haven’t worked in a formal organization, they think those skills acquired through volunteering, internship, and personal development aren’t relevant.
Sister, if you don’t sell yourself, who will ??
Be proud of your little achievements and don’t be too humble about them. In the end, the best salesman gets the contract!
I hope you digest this information and deliberately work on your confidence. It may not happen overnight but with time, you can grow and become better.