Whether you’ve recently graduated and are planning the next step in your career or you’re looking for a productive way to spend your summer, applying for an internship is a great idea. But, getting invited to your first interview can be incredibly nerve-wracking.
To help you feel more relaxed and ensure that you arrive well-prepared, we’ve put together our top four tips for acing your internship interview. Read on to find out more…
Research the company
Whenever a company invites you for an interview, it’s vital that you research the organisation’s work and history. Ideally, you will have done this when you first applied to work there but, in order to convince the interviewer that you’re interested in what they do, you should go over everything to make sure you know as much as possible.
Also, employers tend to be very impressed by candidates who have knowledge of their competitors, according to The Muse. This will show that you have a keen interest in the industry, and will also let them know you’re capable of thinking about the bigger picture and the company’s overall success. If you spend an afternoon researching the organisation you’ll be visiting, the industry it’s in and any competitors you can find, you’re guaranteed to be head and shoulders above a lot of the other applicants.
Look the part
It’s very important that you make a positive first impression, so you should ensure that your outfit is fit for the occasion. When you’re picking your clothes out, you need to think about what kind of company you’re going to be visiting. If you’re hoping to intern in a corporate environment, then a crisp white shirt and some black trousers or a knee-length skirt will be perfect. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to join a start-up or a company that’s more relaxed, you’ll be able to get away with a more casual outfit as long as you still look put together.
Regardless of what kind of interview you’re attending, there’s one particular aspect of your outfit that you can’t afford to overlook: your shoes. 80% of hiring executives say shoes are ‘incredibly important’ in creating the right impression, according to Business Insider UK. So, they’re certainly worth investing in. Pritchards offers a wide range of men’s formal shoes that you can order with free delivery, while Missguided has a huge selection of work-appropriate footwear for women, ranging from court shoes to sophisticated loafers. Those on a tight budget could also try scouring the fashion section of eBay for brand new men’s shoes and women’s flats and heels.
Prepare answers to common questions
While it’s impossible to predict exactly what you’re going to be asked during your interview, you should prepare answers to common questions that are likely to come up. For example, you should be well-versed in talking about your strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, you should be ready to deal with questions like ‘Why do you want this job?’ and ‘What unique skills do you have that make you perfect for this job?’. To ensure you’re as prepared as possible, check out Business News Daily’s list of the 50 most common job interview questions.
It’s also a good idea to take along a portfolio if possible. While being able to talk about your achievements is great, having evidence of them is even better. So, consider putting some of your past work into a folder so you can impress your interviewer with it on the day.
Make sure you have questions of your own
Of course, you’re going to be asked plenty of questions at your interview, but you should also have two or three of your own. This will show that you’re genuinely interested in the company, and will make it clear that you’re keen to learn.
Big Interview has a great guide about the best questions to ask at the end of an interview, which will give you plenty of ideas. So, give it a read and make sure you arrive armed with some pre-planned queries. But, you can always ask something different if you think of any new questions during your conversation.
Take these four tips on board and you’ll arrive at your interview relaxed and well-prepared. We wish you the best of luck (not that you’ll need it).
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