Internships are a great source of experience in your field of study and fantastic resume builders. It’s recommended to try and get at least one, if not two, during your college career—summer is prime-time, but there are also opportunities during the academic term.
But to get that experience, first you’ve got to get the internship—and that means interviewing. Here are some key interview tips that will land you an internship:
Do Your Homework
It’s not enough to just find the internship ad, read up on the requirements, and submit your resume. Take your time to research the company, the people, and the position. Knowing more about your potential new employer will show a level of maturity and initiative that will set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Plus it’s always a good idea to know who you’re working for.
Practice, Practice, Practice
It helps to grab a parent, friend, or roommate and set up a little mock interview, where they ask you common interview questions and you respond. Of course, you can always visit your campus’ career center and do a more professional mock interview. It’s nice to have an idea of how you want to respond to a question, and might set your nerves more at ease. You should avoid word-for-word memorize an answer, however. You want an interview to feel like a conversation—natural and at ease.
Come Prepared to Your Internship Interview
Bring along a folder with a few extra copies of your resume and other materials—three is a good number. One for you, one for your interviewer, and one additional one just in case someone else from the company sits in. Also bring a pen and a few sheets of paper so you can jot down any notes or questions you have.
Engage and Pay Attention
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s very important to maintain eye-contact and assure your interviewer that you’re paying attention. Even simple things like nodding your head, or making “mhmm” sounds while they’re talking lets them know you’re completely focused on the conversation.
Additionally, when you first meet your interviewer(s), be sure to give them a firm handshake, smile, and thank them for meeting with you. Being upbeat and friendly is very important—no one wants to hire a stony-faced grump.
Have Some Questions Prepared
Towards the end of your interview, it’s likely your interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them—your answer should always be YES! Have two or three questions prepared; this will show them that you’ve given serious thought to working there and are curious what it would be like.
Rest, Fuel Up, and Dress Well
Nothing’s worse than being sleepy and having a big task that day. So go to bed early, eat a good dinner and breakfast, and get a little dressed up for the interview!
You got this.
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