Whether you are searching for a full-time job or internship, it can be a lot of work and intimidating at first. You have to search through what seems like endless job sites, polish your resume, and finally, prepare for the dreaded *pause for dramatic effect* interview. Being a college student with not much experience in the real world yet, the interview process was the most daunting element of my internship search. Alas, here I am alive and loving my summer internship with Imagine Media Consulting, so I thought I would share some tips that I found helpful when preparing for and during the interview phase.
1. Do Your Research
Hopefully, you have already done some preliminary research about the company and position you are interviewing for, but take your search a step further and see what else you can find on their social media, website, or from their partners. It is key to be knowledgeable about the culture and team that you are asking to join!
2. Arrive On Time (aka EARLY)
I am a huge stickler for time by nature, but this tip can significantly help reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety before an interview. I would suggest arriving at your destination 15 minutes before the interview is set to begin. Maybe sit in your car and take deep breaths or review your strategy for the interview before walking in. Be inside and ready to go 5 minutes before the scheduled interview time. This will give you a moment to take in the atmosphere and relax, plus it shows you are prompt and respect others’ time.
3. Ask the Right Questions
We all know that it is vital to ask questions in your interview to show that you are engaged and listening, but the key is to ask the right questions. Before going in have some questions in mind that you are genuinely curious about. Think beyond general questions that they are expecting and go deeper. For example, you could ask “What has this job shown you about yourself that you didn’t necessarily know before?” or “What is the most meaningful interaction you have had with a client that reaffirmed what you are doing is meaningful to yourself and others?” These types of questions will show your employer that you are interested in more than just the basics and genuinely want to know more about the company as a whole.
4. Be Confident
This one has been the hardest for me personally. It is incredibly intimidating walking into a setting where you are being assessed for an important position, but remind yourself that you are there for a reason. In most cases, interviews are used in more of a conversational manner for the employer to get to know you better and see if they think you would fit well for the role and within their company. Remember that they have been in your exact position before and can relate, so be confident and professional as well as comfortable.
5. Be Yourself!
We have heard it a million times before, but it still rings true! In an interview, it is vital to be 100% yourself so that you feel the most comfortable. The employer will be able to recognize and appreciate your candidness and it will immediately create a positive and calming environment in the room. By being yourself, you will be able to gauge how you could fit into the company and its culture, and the interviewer will be able to tell if they think you would be a good addition to the team!
Story By: Katherine Tomlin