For several months now, the discussion of internships has been unfolding in classes, school organizations and among friends. It’s a stressful time for many of us, yet it’s exciting to prepare for the next step in our career as young professionals. Part of that preparation requires practicing for an interview to nail that internship position!
Over the past several weeks, I have listened and learned from professionals and other students who have experience interviewing for internship positions. Some of my greatest takeaways are:
- Ask questions. Again, asking questions will allow the interviewer to converse with you and you’ll get to learn more about them and the company. Questions show that you are interested in not only the interviewer, but the company you are hoping to work for as well! Some questions you can ask are:
- “What’s your favorite project you have recently worked on?”
- “What can I do in this position to not only benefit myself, but the company as well?”
- “How is (company’s name)‘s culture different from others?”
- “What’s an average day like here?”/ “What could I anticipate doing on a daily basis here?”
- Make it a conversation. An interview with mutual question and answering will create an atmosphere that breaks down the wall between the interviewee and interviewer. This can help reduce nervousness.
- Be personal. Don’t get caught up in being too professional. Expose your personality to the interviewer and show them who you are! This way, you and the interviewer will be able to tell if you fit in with the company.
- Show the company you are an asset. Figure out the core message points you want the interviewer to know about you and what you will bring to the table. Brand yourself and then embody that brand.
- In other words, know at least three distinctive things about you. These qualities need to be specific and set you apart from others that may be interviewing for the same position. Write your top three assets down and study how you want to verbally express them.
- Study common questions you will be asked. A few examples are:
- “What’s an ethical dilemma you have faced?”
- “Why are you interested in working forus?”
- “Why should we hire you?”( a great response would include the top three distinct attributes about yourself)
Be confident. This includes a strong smile, making eye contact with the interviewer and taking your time when answering questions. Companies want to hire individuals who are confident in their skills and speech. Remember it’s OK to not know everything! If you don’t understand a question, simply ask for it to be rephrased or repeated. Know that you received an interview because your resume shows you are qualified!
Rachel O’Morrow is a sophomore Strategic Communication major. Follow her on Twitter @Rachel_Omorrow!