If you are interviewing for an internship opportunity, chances are that this is your first job interview. Acing this interview will take you a step closer to landing your dream internship. As your first stint in the corporate world, it is natural to feel anxious during the interview preparation process. However, the more you prepare, the more confident (and less anxious) you will feel.
Performing well in an interview can increase your chance of getting selected. Knowing what to do and what not to do can be the difference between receiving the offer and losing an opportunity.
Internship interviews are different from job interviews
As an internship candidate, it is important to understand that internship interviews are generally different from regular job interviews.
The interviewer knows you are less experienced and doesn’t expect you to fit the bill of being corporate ready. That means the interviewers are generally a little more forgiving and you have a little more leeway being a first-timer.
However, this does not give you the freedom to go unprepared. In fact, the more you prepare, the better you will perform to outshine the competition and emerge as a winner.
Interview Dos and Don'ts
Here are some things you must do to get an edge over other candidates during an internship interview -
- Do Research the Company - Researching your prospective company helps you answer questions about the company you're interviewing with. You should read about the company’s past, its growth, and future goals.
- Do Plenty of Preparation - After you've researched the company, practice the interview by considering your response to frequently asked questions and developing confident body language. Also, make a list of thoughtful questions about the company and job description.
- Do Arrive Early to the Interview - Reaching the venue 10–15 minutes prior to the scheduled time is perfect. When reaching the venue ahead of time, you can settle and calm yourself down before heading to the interview.
- Do Carry Physical Copies of Important Documents - Even though you have emailed your resume and cover letter to the company, we suggest you carry physical copies of your resume, cover letter, and references with you. Also, carry a pen and a notepad to take notes or just to explain things while answering a question during the interview. Show the interviewer that you pay attention to details and do not want to risk forgetting anything important.
- Do Showcase Your Interest in the Position - At the end of your interview, reiterate that you're interested in the position and thank the interviewer for speaking to you. The interviewer should provide you with more details about the next steps if they're interested in speaking with you further. Send a follow-up email 24 to 48 hours after the interview to underline the insight you got from the interview and get an update on your candidacy.
Here are some things you must avoid doing while appearing for an internship interview -
- Don’t Reschedule the Interview Unless Absolutely Necessary - In most cases, an interview is scheduled after communicating with the candidate about his/her availability. Once you've agreed to your availability on a given date and time, it is considered as highly unprofessional to reschedule the interview. It imparts an impression about you being an unplanned person.
- Don’t Just Summarize your Resume - During the interview, the interviewer will most likely ask you about your past achievements and educational qualifications. When you're describing them, don't just repeat what’s on your resume. Instead, expand upon what you’ve written by giving in-depth answers.
- Don’t Get Off-Topic - When you’re answering the interviewer’s questions, be careful not to go off-topic. When you’re nervous, it’s easy to ramble and lose the thread of the answer. If you feel that happening, pause, take a deep breath and get back to the question at hand.
- Don't Lie During the Interview - Lying during an interview is a strict no-no. If you lie, there are high chances that you will get caught. If not during the interview, then maybe in the future or during the internship.
- Don’t Forget to Send a Thank You Note - As soon as you get home from the interview, send off a thank you email. This should just be a quick email thanking the interviewer for their time. You can also briefly reiterate your skills and mention your enthusiasm for the position.
Pro Tip - Dress Appropriately
The first impression that you make on the interviewer is the most important one. Experts say the first judgment that the interviewer makes is 80?sed on how you present yourself and what you are wearing. Sure, your interview is not entirely dependent on your attire and looks, but if you are well and neatly dressed, you will get an edge over others.
Here are 4 quick rules on how to dress up for your next interview:
- Jeans or casuals are a big No!
- Always wear neatly ironed clothes
- Avoid flashy outfits
- Do not wear ill-fitted clothes
The Importance of Internship
Completing an internship is an excellent way to get experience. Internships are temporary, supervised assignments designed to give students or recent graduates practical job training. Companies typically offer these temporary positions in the summer or part-time during school semesters, often for school credit or base hourly pay.
Internships can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. The experience often expands your skill-set and provides you with knowledge about an industry. After graduation, internship experience on your resume can set you apart from other job applicants. The company you interned with may even offer you a job if you performed well during your time with them.
So, prepare well and ace that internship interview!