30-Second Professional Introduction

First impressions matter

The beginning of any new relationship starts with an introduction. Your 30-second professional introduction is an opportunity to introduce yourself and show why you’re a good candidate. It’s the most important thirty seconds in your entire conversation with that recruiter, and helps to make a good first impression. 

To help you craft your introduction, we've created a few interactive templates.  

Create Your 30-Second Professional Introduction


30 Second Intro—Info Sessions, Career Fairs, Phone Networking, Usually Standing

- Introduce yourself with a firm handshake and smile

- Give full name, first and last

- Act relaxed and avoid any nervous tendencies

- Maintain eye contact and an appropriate distance

- Give a brief quick fact, such as area of study, hometown, dorm, and an interesting fact, such as being involved in student government, choir, varsity athlete, active in Investment Club, etc.  (It should be interesting but not too out of the blue)

- Why you are interested in their firm and sector – it would be that you participated in an SIBC project for this firm, met firm on a winter trek, have spoken with a few alums, etc.

- Consider 30 seconds as max with 15-20 seconds being fine. The key is being relaxed and smiling as if you were meeting a professor, roommate’s parents, or other friendly adult figure


90 Second Intro—More Expansive, as an Interview Introduction, Usually Seated

- State full name, first and last

- Make eye contact with all present, take visual cues and adjust accordingly

- Probably shorter for phone interviews or interviews with a faster pace (S&T)

- Prepare bullet points of what key points you will walk through. This should not be a rehearsed speech, as you will come off as robotic and tense

- Overall, this intro answers the questions of 1) why are you there and why they should be interested in you (tell your story) and 2) why you are interested in them

-  Start with late high school, where you are from, and work forward chronologically

 - How/when you got interested in the sector, whether it was in high school, SIBC as a freshman, or even just last week

- What you are studying and maybe why you are studying that

- You should have at least one differentiating factor, such as speaking several languages, interesting second major, something that defines you (played piano since you were three, passionate about working with children, family moved a lot growing up, one of 3 triplets etc.) This is key in getting the interviewer to remember you

- It is ok to mention how you chose your college if interesting, but be quick; not productive to emphasize that it was your life dream to go to ND, your grandpa and all of your uncles went to ND, etc.  This is ok if you know the interviewer is an ND alum and wants to hear this story

-  Quickly get through how you narrowed your search, became interested in a specific part of the sector, etc

- Discuss why you are interested in x position at y firm (not just the firm) and end by asserting that you are a perfect fit/a strong candidate, etc.

- Consider 90 seconds the max; can be as short as 45 seconds

- Don’t need to cover everything that you are trying to get across in the interview in the opening statement. Keep it brief and they will follow up on any points they find interesting

- Key is to bring positive energy, smile, be unique, show that you are not there by accident and that this is your top choice of firm