Summer break is coming to a close, and that means it’s time to start interviewing for your Fall internships. We’ve broken it down into 5 steps to ensure you’ll stand out from your competitors.
Research the company
Make sure you know the company before you ever speak with them. For example, if you’re working for an advertising company, write down a few favorite advertisements that they have done so you sound knowledgeable of their work - plus, they will love the compliment! It would be extremely embarrassing if you were asked what your favorite aspect of the company was and couldn’t come up with a legitimate answer.
Change your greetings
How many professionals do you hear answer the phone simply saying, “Hello?” If you know potential employers will be calling you, start answering the phone more professionally, saying “Hello, this is _____.” You will sound more professional than your competitors from the start.
Similarly, most people have the standard voicemail greeting that comes with their new phone. Change your voicemail to be personalized and professional in case you ever miss a call from your future employer - which I hope you don’t!
Prepare for your interview properly
Practice possible interview questions, so you sound well versed when answering them. However, don’t make it sound too rehearsed. They will likely ask you “What do you consider three of your biggest weaknesses?” Avoid the cliche answers like “I’m a perfectionist”. This is your opportunity to stand out from your peers, so let the company get to know the real you - imperfections and all!
Moreover, you should become familiar with the typical structure of an interview and how you plan to execute each step seamlessly. Typically, an interview consists of: small talk, an opener such as “tell me about yourself”, an exploration of facts like questions about your experience, education, and goals, then concludes with a summary of the interview and your opportunity to ask questions. Make sure you have questions prepared that are meaningful for the interviewer.
Know your qualifications
A common interview question is, “what makes you the right fit for this job?” or “what makes you stand out from the other applicants?” Do you know the answer? Make sure you know what individualizes you. We all have special talents and skills, but you need to know how to communicate those properly in an interview. Take some time to brainstorm before you go in and see what qualities you possess that would be an asset to your potential employer.
Maintain professionalism throughout the interview
Even if the business space is casual, you are still entering upon a professional business meeting. Stick to dark colors, and only add a small pop of color if you feel it’s necessary. If you plan on wearing jewelry, keep it simple. A class ring, wedding ring, or classic jewelry are preferred.
When you greet your interviewer, offer a firm handshake - greeting them by name. Although it may be nerve-wracking, keep a relaxed and enthusiastic energy throughout the interview. Lastly, maintain eye contact for 70% of the time. You won't be able to calculate what 70% of the time is during the interview, so try to make eye contact for most of it so the employer can clearly see the confidence instilled in you.
Do you have any interview tips that you swear by? Share them below!
Story by: Anna Grady Wilson