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Interview Tips in English: How to introduce yourself effectively and create a good first impression

We recently did some free live English training to help you interview better in English. This is a recording of the training how to introduce yourself effectively and create the perfect first impression at an interview. Subscribe and you'll be kept in the loop about more free training!

Here's the transcript:

my goodness hello, good morning good afternoon good evening to you all

more people coming in just now into the room my goodness they're fairly full here we go hello everyone hello hello sir hello hi hello hi hello my goodness we're just waiting for everyone to to come along i'll just give it another couple of minutes and then we'll get started everyone okay everyone thumbs up everyone okay yeah

hello, i know a couple of people come and we'll just start in a couple of a couple of moments i just see there's more people kind of logging on my name's ken for those that don't know me hello my name is ken um

first impression when you introduce yourself to my interview my goodness

ah there we go so i'll just ask you if you just put yourself on mute just now how do we do this

okay so let me seeright so i could just ask you all is to put yourselves on mutes if you can mutes all there we go i'll just put you all on me there we go excellent one more person coming in good stuff so hello everyone my name is ken and uh today i'm just going to show you actually a couple of weeks ago i did something on my instagram and i asked um i asked people what what would you like to for me to teach you or what lessons would you like and there was a few things that came up vocabulary obviously is a massive thing for everybody teaches more vocabulary more idioms we want to know idioms so we had vocabulary we had idioms and we had grammar points ielts and a couple of things were to kind of introduce yourself when you're at uh maybe a speaking test or a job interview how to do it kind of effectively because i think everyone if you get put on the spot introduce yourself a lot of people will have a blank brain and they you know they they get confused with what they want to to say so this short presentation will kind of give you um an insight as to how to introduce yourself in english and this is something that i taught a lot of my students when i was living out in asia so and if you stay to the end of this there's a little kind of something for you at the end so i just want to make sure that everyone can hear me and uh let's have a look here know put this little presentation together if you if there's anything that you want to ask i know there's a chat box here feel free to ask me anything that you wish and i will try and answer it as we go along if there's anything you don't understand just hit the chat button and uh i'll certainly go through it with you and at the end there'll be plenty time for a q a hopefully at the end it's very very short maybe half an hour or so 40 minutes maximum and uh and uh so we can i'll move it there there's somebody latasha i'm not able to hear what you are saying i guess are you

from these everyone else everyone else put their thumb up if they can hear me yeah excellent fantastic latacha i don't know why you cannot hear me maybe is your speaker on maybe maybe that's what to do with it try your speaker latasha okay all right she's got the thumbs up now okay great so let's have a look

so this little presentation that i'm doing is how to give an impressive first impression when you go along to an interview and it's something that i have really kind of helped students as i've been living and working out in asia and at the end of this we'll have a formula that you can instantly impress and grab the attention of the interviewer right at the beginning first impressions are so important i'm going to show you exactly how to do that how to grab the attention and make a good impression and hopefully from then we're going to stand a better chance of success in the interview if you've got anything opened that's maybe uh kinda you know having a lag with the internet you know any uh apps or anything if you want to close them down that'd be fantastic if you've got a pen and a piece of paper if you want to take notes fantastic also and at the end we'll record this and we'll record this and uh i'll be made available and to you as well so who am i firstly let me just kinda up so someday i'm wanting in admit oh

so who am i for those that don't know me uh for those that don't know me my name is ken john ken my real name is ken but ajarn is the thai word for teacher or professor because i lived out in thailand for 10 years and john ken i've kept that name i am 21 years old if you believe that and i'm from scotland in the uk so i speak british english

well i've been teaching english since the year 2008

and since 2008 i've visited around 50 countries and i've worked in 10 countries so i'm quite aware of cultural awareness etc when helping students around the world

and in that time i've visited 10 countries i've actually worked in 10 and i've learned to speak four languages conversationally i'm not fluent i'm not smooth influenced by any manner of means but i did learn to to speak conversational uh english conversational portuguese when i lived in portugal for a couple of years conversational spanish when i was in spain for a couple of years as well and obviously out in asia a couple of the asian languages as well now i live for 10 years in bangkok in thailand and in the 10 years i've helped thousands of students kind of improve their english now i know you know it's all about speaking etc but learning english is all about having the confidence to be able to put into practice what you are learning and in particular i was helping university graduates become cabin crew and flight attendants i would help them to prepare successfully for interviews with airlines all over the world maybe air asia singapore emirates qatar etc and hundreds of my students have went on to have careers as cabin crew and flight attendants so that is where most of my um experience comes from helping university graduates a couple years ago i decided to come back to scotland and for the last two years i've been in scotland just this just as kind of the walk down started so i've been kind of living uh in an attic for two years unable to go out because of the lockdown thankfully it's getting a bit better so let's have a look there's two types of impressions that we give when we immediately go into an interview when we when we open the door and walk in there's two types of impressions that we give two types of impressions are

we can give a good impression of yourself or others or a bad impression of yourself this is immediately happens whether you are aware of it or not when you walk into a room the interviewer is trying to sush you out he's immediately he will make and he will make a decision whether he likes you or not now how do we create an impression well as i mentioned we will create an impression within the first couple of minutes of our body language the way we walk our gestures um how we how we look at someone etc all of these are giving off your kind of vibrations as it were whether they in the interviewer is going to decide whether they like you or whether they don't like you and once they've made that decision they are going to be spending the you know the next 20 minutes however long the interviewer is they will be spending the next 20 minutes justifying their opinion so if they don't like you if they if you've given a bad impression they will spend the whole of the interview justifying in their mind i don't like you because of this reason if you create a good impression they will spend the interview thinking to themselves i really like you and this is the reason why so first impressions are so important at the interview as well whether they like you or not they want you to do well at the interview they want you to give a good account of yourself so that they they can justify inviting you in for the interview

so a good first impression good first impression is really really important because it will help pass the first stage of the interview that's the beast maybe there's two when i was teaching university graduates there was always maybe three or four four stages of the interview and the first stage was always the most important how to pass the first stage and get taken on to the next one if you give a good first impression you're also going to get respect for the from the interviewer which is very important to take you on to the next part another thing as well a lot of students when they went for you know the first interview as cabin crew and flight attendants they maybe wait there for like an hour or two hours or longer there's maybe thousand you know about a thousand people waiting to get interviewed and then they would get called their number would get called they would walk to their desk and the interviewer would say what's your name they would say their name and they would say okay thank you very much goodbye and the interview was over in 10 you know in 10 seconds it was crazy so if you give a good impression the way you walk into the interview etc this is going to help the interviewer listen listen to you during the interview during the interview we can also if we give a good impression it also helps us to take control of the interview and if we do it through this formula that i'm going to show you we can actually focus on your strength when you're at the interview because obviously english isn't your number one isn't your main language for most of you so being able to put across your strengths in english is going to be very very important okay

so this is the reasons why giving a good first impression is going to be very very important you're going to pass the first stage you're going to get respect from the interviewer you're going to build a relationship with the interviewer they're going to want to listen to you they're going to want you to continue if you give a good impression you can actually take control of the interview and guide it the way you want it and we're going to focus on your strength so when we go for an interview the first question that we are more than likely going to be asked tell me about yourself the dreaded question what are you going to say or they might say well who are you they might say introduce yourself to us tell us a bit about yourself a bit a bit just means a little tell us a little bit about yourself so these are going to be the questions that in my experience and in my students experiences uh the interviewer is going to be asking you right at the beginning who are you another one is why are you here this always kind of stumps a lot of students why are you here i'm here for an interview so but it's always it's all about having the confidence to be able to to put across in a pressurized situation when you're on the spot an introduction to yourself so that's the first question now really really importantly is uh watch a lot of students they'll hand over their resume or their cv and then they'll proceed to tell the interviewer exactly what's on their resume and this is a big mistake that a lot of that a lot of students make they will just repeat and regurgitate regurgitate just means to copy what they have written down on their resume and this is not the point of introducing yourself it's not about what's on your resume the interviewer has this in front of them they don't want to hear that they want to know more about your personality they're there to make small talk during the first question they're there to okay my name's ken they want they want to know uh to want to make a little bit of small talk before they get into the main part of why you are here they want to find something to talk about with you we have a we have a word in english called rapport r-a-p-p-o-r-t rapport and if you build rapport it means that you build a connection with someone and this is the whole part of the first question you're building a relationship at the beginning of the interview so that we can move on you're building report

report maybe finding out things in common since you've done the research on the company and the interviewer going back right back to the beginning the interviewer is sussing you out this thing is a great english word quite a common word actually and it's quite uh informal word and stressing means to to inform their opinion of you they're trying to form their opinion to sus someone out is to form an opinion of someone that you think is true okay so with the first question remember they they know they have your resume you don't want to keep repeating what's on your resume very very important we're just there to make small talk to find something in common to talk about to build a rapport because the interviewer wants to make an opinion of you so when the interviewer asks you go back to the question tell me about yourself what are you going to say to them what are you going to say to the interviewer

well the most important thing as you know is having preparation is being prepared they say you know to be a success at anything you have to repeat and repeat and repeat and to be an expert in something you have to have 10 000 hours of practice so preparation is really really important and what we're doing here is to give you the the kind of ideas and skills etc and i and suggestions that you can prepare yourself effectively when you are going to introduce yourself we don't want to be boring hi my name is ken i am 21 years old i come from scotland we don't want to be that we want to give a good um you know a good personality to shine through as i mentioned we don't want to repeat your job titles what's on your resume it's very very boring and we don't repeat your resume so these are the the things to remember when we are preparing we have to be very prepared we don't want to just repeat and regurgitate what's on our resume we don't want to talk about titles we want to show our personality when we are when we have the chance to to introduce ourselves

so really easier said than done to be relaxed but if you are prepared then you will be if you are comfortable with what you are going to say you are going to be relaxed this is something that i always try and put across to my students they say ken i don't know what to say when you know if i'm speaking to a native i have it in my mind but when i come to speak my brain goes blank and this is all about preparation if you are prepared you're going to be relaxed you're going to come across as friendly you're not going to be panicking if you are prepared you're going to come across as confident you know exactly what you're going to say

and if you come across as confident and friendly people are going to like you you're going to be you're going to be likable to someone you're maybe not going to be best friends but they're going to listen to you and you're going to be likable to them and very very very very important if you are prepared and you're confident going through you're going to be you're going to come across as very very approachable and approachable means similar to likable in that the interviewer is going to feel comfortable in your presence when you are there they're you're going to they're going to feel very very comfortable which means they can they'll feel free to ask you questions and follow up questions they're wanting to speak to you so preparation is the number one is the number one thing that we need to do when we are going to be talking about ourselves we need to know exactly what we're going to say but not like a robot we just need to be comfortable and confident with what we are going to say so first things first the number one thing

you know when a lot of my students are terrified when they when they go for an interview in english they you can see it in their faces the color drains and they try and smile and they can't smile you know their mouth is all dry you know but the number one thing is to smile so a smile not a fake smile but a smile is really really important you have to be aware of yourself in english we have an expression called um a resting face resting r-e-s-t-i-n-g a resting face i have a very very bad resting face and what this means is when i am relaxed and i am not thinking about myself my face looks very miserable and very hard so i have to learn to smile all the time so number one thing when you walk in there you have to smile a lot of people say filler words or not are not good but there is one filler word that is very very good to know a filler word is a word that you use when you are thinking of what to say next common filler words are like uh um

a lot you know it's that is a very bad thing to have a filler word too many of them it means that you're coming across you don't know what to say but one filler word english english speakers use a lot and it is the word well now well is very very important because it tells us what you're going to see next is going to be important so listen to me so for example tell me about yourself ken well and then i go into the first part of my introduction well gives you a thinking time a couple of seconds to think it also grabs the interviewer's attention they're going to listen to you you've not went into the introduction yet what you've said well you've stopped them thinking and now they're focusing on you the really fantastic filler word to have the word well you're hopefully going to say your name

and i know in some countries you have nicknames when i was in thailand and you know you would have your official name you would have your thai name then you would have your english nickname you'd have three names so what you want to do is you want to put across a name that you want name to call you by for example my official name is kenneth but not only my mother calls me kenneth my friends call me kenny which is okay but in a in a business sense if i'm teaching people call me pen so that if i was in an interview this is what i would want them to call me by my nickname and if you put across the name that you want to be known by again it builds this rapport and as i mentioned rapport is building something in common that you can begin to talk about okay so the first things first filler words start with the filler word start with um

your your filler word well my um your name your nickname and it builds rapport so let's have a look

contractions more people will say tell me your name and they'll say well my name is ken that's okay but it sounds like a robot when you're introducing yourself it's really kinda i always feel it's really friendly to use contractions when you are introducing yourself don't say my name is it's very robotic and it sounds like you're let you're using the english when you know you've learned from school for example much better to use i'm okay i'm so for example which uh introduce yourself well i'm ken i'm if you use contractions in every part or most part of your english these formal contractions they help you sound softer when you speak okay so i'm ken much better to use

much more friendly as i mentioned now when we give our um our introduction to ourself we it's very very short we've only got maximum of two minutes to give an introduction to ourselves we have what we call or what i call um the present past future formula okay the present the past and the future formula this is a great formula to use when you're introducing yourself because you're you're giving them little blops and if someone hasn't met you before if you give if you make it easy for them they're going to listen to you so your present your past and then your future this would be the structure that i put across to my students when they are introducing themselves so what are you doing now that is what job are you doing now what's your job what past relevant experience do you have now this is really important to to know the job that you are going for we need to we need to talk about our past relevant experience relevant just means something that is important to that situation so for example if i'm going for a job as a as a cabin crew but my past experience was cleaning the streets it's not really relevant to that job okay we have to build our past experience and make it relevant important to the situation

and what plans do you have for your future really important when you go for an interview that you at least have an inkling an inkling i n k l ing and inkling which means a small idea if you have a small idea about what you plan to do for the future so the structure we've got is the present the past and the future okay

basically at this interview here so the present let's have a look when we start off we said well i'm ken we talk about our present experience and a great adverb to use is the word currently what you're doing at the moment okay you can use both of them together to emphasize currently at the moment i'm doing this okay so it's a great way to start so for me for example i would say well i can currently i'm helping prepare university graduates to develop themselves personally and in english to pass interviews as cabin crew and flight attendants with international airlines currently i'm helping prepare university graduates to develop themselves personally and in english to pass interviews in english as cabin crew with international airlines i've not told you i'm an english coach i've not told you i'm an english teacher i've told you how i am helping people okay really important when you talk about your present you're using a lot of uh positive vocabulary i'm helping and preparing i'm helping develop people and i guess i'm i'm also using the word internationally as well so i've not mentioned my job title i'm just telling you what the function of my job is what the end result of my job is currently i'm helping prepare university graduates to develop themselves personally and in english to pass interviews in english as cabin crew with international airlines so this is what i'm doing at present

as i mentioned i'm not doing any job

titles just told you what the end result from my job is now the second part of of talking about the present is talking about an achievement really important now there's three really really important words i always tell students to use when you're at an interview very very positive the words like the words love and the words enjoy really really key words really really important words next if you're using this it's showing off that you're that you're a positive person it's showing your personality you're not sounding like a robot

so we can talk if you're at university or work this this formula still works so for example i've told you that um i helped prepare university graduates and my achievement i could say something like i love it i love it when i can see my students grab an idea in the classroom and use it for themselves i enjoy it when i get a message from a student telling me they have got their wings they have become a flight attendant and inside i feel really pleased to be part or a small part of their success it really motivates me because i see how much it means to them and how it can change their lives i've been doing this for about 10 years but from there i've told you that i'm helping prepare university graduates and then i've now told you what i like what i love and what i enjoy about it i love it when i can see the students grab an idea and use it for themselves find out what you love about your current job what's real what you really love about helping people about making a difference about working in a team really important i enjoy it when i get a message telling me they've had some success they've become a flight attendant i feel really pleased with myself that i'm a part of their success it motivates me another positive one it motivates me because i can see how much it means to them it can change their lives and then i finish it with i've been doing this for about 10 years so the key words in there where we're talking about loving liking and enjoying we're talking about being pleased and proud we're talking about motivation how much it means to them how much you can change them and then we are talking about how long you have been doing that as well so that's the present remember the the the filler words well use contractions i'm and then talk about an achievement very important

so when we're talking as well remember i didn't actually list the tasks that i do i didn't tell you i had to prepare lesson plans i didn't tell you that i had to take them through exams i didn't tell you that i had to do the register of people that were there i just told you what the end result is for my job so think about what's the end result for your for your job be positive i've given you some great positive words there like love enjoy motivate encourage etc really important and if you if you give a really positive present this is going to set up the rest of the interview this is going to make the interviewer sit up and they're going to listen to what you are going to be saying for the rest of the interview okay one second for the pass with the present we've said currently with the past we say previously once i'm trying to get on the help and h okay

or we can say prior to this prior after this we can say previously or we can say prior prior just means before different to the word priority which means important prior to this just means before before this and then we give an example okay now it has to be kind of relevant to the job that you are going for and it has to show your personality that you are bringing to the interview so for example for me it would be prior to this i was in finance i helped people with financial planning helping families to plan for the future it was a highly responsible job it allowed me to travel and to work all around europe i really enjoyed it and loved getting to know my clients i built up many great friendships and relationships over my 10 years there so again i'm telling you how much i help people how much i enjoyed it what i was good at and again i've not told you the tasks that i had all i'm doing is here talking to you about your about my personality and what i can bring my experience that i can bring to this job

whoa so we've had them here we go how can okay there's a couple of questions i'll just go through this first

um what about when you don't have any experience you're just a college student what to say when they talk about uh we talked about your experience how can you say i'm a fresher this is a really good question because if you don't have any work experience a lot of my students came direct from university so they didn't have any job experience what they did have they they were they did some voluntary work and they had an internship okay so these are the two these are two things that maybe you've had a university that you can talk about if you don't have anything of that you talk about your strengths at university what you did at university and were you the leader in groups for example which is very important and how did you make a difference to your colleagues you talk about how you helped your your your fellow colleagues in university

and uh you talk about how you helped your fellow colleagues in university etc so all you you're not actually um talking about titles you're talking about your strengths that's the most important part someone else has asked me if i'll get this back and should you be talking about your your past and the introduction as i mentioned you're not actually talking about job titles as such you're talking about your personality that's the one thing that you're talking about the interviewer has all the details on your resume all you're doing is you're you're you've got something planned to talk about that hopefully the interviewer is going to grab on for you and he's going to like about you that's all you're doing at this part

so the future why do you want to leave your job big thing if you love your job so much why do you want to leave if you're working at the moment

very easy to to answer this question and again it's putting across your personality for example i'm ready to use all of that experience in a new role and from what i read about your your the position it sounds very interesting and it's something i feel that i can that i can be successful and so all you're doing is you're just confirming that you've got all this experience and you can bundle this experience and bring it to your new position so it's very very short the future and it's very important that you that you read about the position that you're going for very important this is where you have to do your research and you're also going to be telling the interviewer that you want to know more okay so the past present and future very very short it's only maybe a couple of minutes maximum maximum that you are that you're going to be talking about yourself you've got plenty time in the interviewer in the interview to to give across more information all you're doing is you're you're you're throwing something to the interviewer so that they listen to you and then they can get you on their side you're just talking about your personality you're not talking about job titles or anything like that you're just talking about your the good points the strengths of your personality

so the new job all about helping i the job interview i have talked about really here is all about helping it's all about creating a good teamwork it's all about being positive in a customer service example now obviously everyone's different maybe you're an engineer maybe a translator whatever your job that you you're the job that you're going for you're gonna have to adapt this to fit with your new position that you're going for okay but the structure is always there the present the past and a little bit of the future always show that you are helping people always show that you can work in a team and always be positive very important you have to read about the position and do your research very very important

this is okay you know the job and the company so when i was um helping university graduates the lesson i did on this would take about an hour and we would get get the students to write down what you know what their present is even if they are in university what strengths do they have at the moment what do they like what do they love what were they doing before

what what what was their strengths before and a little bit for the future okay good stuff does anyone have any anything they want to ask at the moment any questions that they want to put across i'm more than happy to to answer them no

this is where we talked about before someone's asked me if you're a fresher if you just graduated from university you don't have much experience talk about what you learned at university one of the another key interview question that they ask is you know certainly for a cabin crew job is what did you learn at university not what you studied but how did you develop yourself how did you develop from the minute you went to university to when you left how did you change yourself what things did you learn about yourself so even though you're maybe not in a job the what you learned at university and how you developed yourself is very very important and well as i mentioned before maybe if you don't have a full-time job maybe you had an internship a part-time job very important maybe you were volunteering as well a lot of students i worked with in asia they would all do a lot of volunteering in their uh university life which i always suggested to them to uh to use how to prove the interviewer that we are honest for our work okay how to prove to the interviewer that we are honest i guess the pr we haven't we have an expression in english called the proof is in the pudding and what it means is the interviewer is going to get um a sense of who you are if you interview if you give you give across yourself positively the interviewer is going to know who you are if you can back up which means if you can give evidence of how good you are during the interview this is how the interviewer is going to believe what you're saying is correct so this is how you prove you're honest you back it up with evidence

so that is that is an introduction to yourself okay how you uh prepare for introducing yourself to an interview very very short as i mentioned very very short i hope you've kind of gained something from this i'm going to be doing a part two of this and how you are going to prepare yourself and what to start talking about when you're actually in the interviewer

what would ask me here what to say if the interviewer asks why do you want to leave your current organization and are you considered to be a job hopper a job hop are you hopping from one job to another you will see it the interviewer will see on your resume whether you are a job hopper or not okay if you give across the key when you go for an interview is never say anything bad even if you hate your job your current job you hate your boss you never never never never never say that all you say is as i mentioned before i'm looking to take all my experience and move it into this job that i find really interesting from what i've read about that's all you need to say something along those lines that you're wanting to take your experience into a new position okay and the interviewer is going to know whether you are a job hopper or not okay so the next thing we've got i'm going to be doing a part two which are going to be the five things to prepare okay there are going to be five things to prepare okay and if you want to join this we're going to be doing this over the next week or so someone else had asked me why did you apply for this job again this is the same thing as ahmed as what what you want your future to be why did you apply for this job i applied for this job because i want to take all my experience that i've got and move it into a new position that's all you need to say and from there we can then show the interviewer your skills and how you can benefit that company okay no problem no problem so the part 2 is going to be up over the next week or so if you want to join that i'll be putting an email out for you if there's any other questions that you want to ask me there's any other questions put them in the chat box

i have my english club which you've probably seen and then here there's like 10 interview courses if you want to uh many interview courses that i use with my students interview questions we break them down into video lessons how you should prepare the vocabulary that you should use etc the most popular questions the video lessons will give you an understanding of the of the interview questions we're going to give you the vocabulary and structure how to answer these interview questions and also in the courses there are assignments also you can actually and do the assignment and i will mark it for you so that you are totally prepared for an interview question also in the club we do some coaching we have regular meetups we do practice conversations we can ask questions we get you confident in english also so that's in the english club that we do there's personal video lessons if you want to ask questions i will do personal video lessons for you and there's dictations if you're doing ielts there's dictation topics that will help improve your listening for ielts questions we'll speak and test examples as well it'll help to improve your writing so that's the english club that that's a lead on from here the speaking lessons as well i'll send out all these to you if you want to join it you're free to join it normally about 600 pounds uk pounds but we've got the membership pub and it's 12 pounds a month if you wish to join up to you if you want to join i'll send you an email with part two of this uh of the of these lessons and if you want to join then you're more than welcome if you have any more questions does anyone have any questions anything they want to ask me while we're here

no oh what i'll do if i'll upload this onto my um youtube and uh i'll make it and i'll send you i'll send you all the link for it so that you can have it as a reference and i'll send out the the slides for this as well so you can have them there as a point of contact okay anything else you want to ask anything else anybody wants to ask that's been about 50 minutes no nothing else okay guys if you have any questions please feel free to email me or get in touch on my instagram i'm more than happy to uh to go through things with you and there's no more questions i will say my goodbyes to you just now okay so thanks very much for your time guys and uh i'll speak to you hopefully on instagram yeah goodbye for now bye bye bye


Ajarn Ken Learn English

Ajarn Ken is a native English speaker from Scotland in the UK and has been teaching English since the year 2008. Most recently Ken has been teaching, coaching and mentoring university graduates in Bangkok, Thailand to prepare them to successfully pass interviews to be Cabin Crew and Flight Attendants with airlines all over the world

Ajarn Ken

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