How to prepare for your internship Interview ?
Job or internship interviews can be daunting for all of us! There are many unknowns that are always going to be out of our control. But the more you prepare for an interview and prepare for all of the potential outcomes, the smoother it is likely to go.
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Here at Internshipmapper we discuss some of the best ways to prepare for your next internship interview.
Firstly, there are different types of interviews and depending on your industry and/or position, you may have to participate in several of these before even being offered the job.
It is essential that you prepare to undertake all or a combination of any of the following :
- Phone interviews: are generally used as a preparatory or screening tool for employers. They will firstly contact you via telephone to ask a series of basic questions to assess whether you are a viable candidate.
- Skype/video conferences: can also be used as a preliminary screening before asking for interviews in person. They are also especially used when interviewing overseas or long-distance.
- One-on-one interviews: the ‘traditional’ interview of sitting with one person and going through a series of interview questions.
- Panel interviews: consist of 2-4 interviewers who will ask a series of questions and follow-up questions.
- Group interviews: you participate with other candidates in a series of activities which are monitored by recruiters. They are generally used to assess team work and cooperation skills.
- Assessment centres: are less about ‘traditional’ interviews and are mostly used for tests and practical assessments, such as writing, typing, reading, accounting etc. Some positions and industries will require you can demonstrate your knowledge and skills.
Before your interview it is best to have also completed the following :
- Research the company you are interviewing with.
- Who is their main client?
- What is their main form of income?
- What is the structure of the company? For example, are they B2B or B2C?
- Who are the key players within the company? What are the names of the CEO, Managers, and Directors?
- Know the brief history of the company – have they recently moved site? Changed ownership? Changed any of their company policies, etc?
Compare the job’s description and the required qualifications with your own. Be realistic. Do not lie, but do not underestimate your abilities either. Work through each point in the job description and explain exactly why you can or cannot do certain tasks, or why you are/are not the most suitable for certain tasks.
Be prepared to list all of reasons why you are suited to the role and why any issues, such as inexperience, should not be a concern for the employer.
Come to the interview prepared. Bring a pen, paper, a diary or calendar, an extra copy (or four) of your resume, water and possibly a snack if you have been told the interview will go for a few hours (and many interviews do last for hours!).
Be well dressed and well presented. Arrive as if you were coming into your first day of work. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed in an interview!
Behave professionally at all times. Your interview begins from the moment you enter the reception to the time you walk out of the office doors. Always smile, make eye contact, have straight posture and remain calm and relaxed.
Interviewing is ultimately about connecting with people and making a good first impression. Authenticity is the key.
It really doesn’t matter if you make a few mistakes or answer a question incorrectly, as long as you can walk away from the interview knowing that you were completely yourself, you behaved professionally, and you did all that you could to be offered the position.
Internshipmapper is a career portal for students and graduates. We also provide range of graduate recruitment services to help sourcing candidates for internships or graduate jobs, and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs, visit their website.