From our coaching experience, many people struggle with introducing themselves with the right impact during the interview. Those first few seconds are both the most terrifying and the most crucial, so it is not surprising that the introduction is the biggest area of concern candidates have.
So where do you start?
Firstly, don’t wing it. Start preparing your introduction early. We would advise that you simply start from the beginning and work through your history in short, relevant segments. For example - Where did you first see a plane? What did you study at school and why? What A-levels or degree did you do? What about work? Hobbies? Build up through your life, focussing on your achievements and the decisions you made that will make you a better candidate. Once you write down your school, activities, sport, awards achievements, extra curriculum activities, results from school or University, then think about aviation/pilot related activities and how it all started. You want to paint a story, remember to think outside the box, you may think playing football or being a captain of the school cricket team may not be relevant. However, there are skills you will develop in this kind of activities that are transferable. For example, playing football for a number of years can show dedication, good work/life balance and your ability to work well within a team. Being a captain will show your leadership potential and good grades at school will show your determination. Also being part of the air cadets or participating in gliding or attending air shows will show your passion for aviation. Write everything down and then make points of things that you want to talk about.
Your list will probably be endless, and so it is vital to highlight the things you are the proudest of or things that will show your passion and drive for the pilot profession. You can start from your current situation or from the moment you first flew, or whatever it was that sparked your passion for flying, everyone will have their own story. It's important you keep your recruiters interested and have their attention, so we are aiming for an answer between 1-2 minutes in length when spoken.
Now practice. Don’t have a script - this will sound robotic and unnatural when spoken and leaves you open to forgetting it and getting yourself in a muddle. Instead, remember the items you wanted to talk about and try to tick them off as you talk – we suggest keep it chronological, as it will be easier to roughly remember what comes next in your answer, and this will help you speak with confidence and stay on track.
Remember to practice - practice prevents waffle. Practice introducing yourself to your dog, cat, hamster, your door, chair, and carpet. Most interviews we encounter start with an ‘introduction’ question (i.e, “Tell us a little bit about you”) and these first 90 seconds will set the tone for the rest of in interview - get this right and you’ll be confident and relaxed, and the rest of your interview will benefit from this strong start.