Throughout your time at Temple, there’s a good chance you’ll hear how important internships are over and over and over again and it’s true! From learning new skills to discovering your niche, internships are the very foundation that will help establish yourself into a professional in the field.
However, the whole process of applying and interviewing for an internship can be a daunting task and at some times, stressful. Coming from someone who has had about 20 internship interviews in the last year, I completely get it, but as time has gone on, I have learned a lot about myself and the process, slowly becoming more comfortable with it.
That being said, here’s four things I wish I had known going into internship interviews that may be helpful for you!
- Reality Check: You are one of about 75-100 people who applied for the same internship so learn how to make yourself stand out.
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given came from TeamWork Online president, Buffy Filippell. “Everyone has a unique backstory…know yours and use it to your advantage.” If you know what makes you different and can prove how it will make you valuable to a company, how many other people applied for the position shouldn’t matter! Employers love meeting someone that’s a bit out of the “norm” from everyone else in their department so let that dictate your confidence going into an interview.
2. Researching both the organization and employee you will be interviewing with shows a sign of respect and desire.
When you go into an internship interview, most people believe that the same set of standard questions will always be asked, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my experiences, it’s that interviewers love to throw in some curveballs about what you know about the company. Researching the organization shows a true interest on your part and can only benefit you in the long run. Also, researching the person you’re interviewing with can help ease your nerves if you can somehow turn the conversation around and connect with that person on a more individual level.
3. A first impression is everything. Make it count!
This one might be stating the obvious, but I still think it’s something that can be easily overlooked sometimes! From the moment you step into the headquarters or office of the organization, all eyes will be on you. From how you’re dressed to how you carry yourself, every little detail will be made note of. Now, a lot of people might think this means wearing a real nice blazer, suit or some heels, but if you look uncomfortable in what you’re wearing, people are going to notice. Wear something that is the perfect combination of professionalism, comfortability and yourself and your confidence will come naturally!
4. Sending follow-up emails goes a long way.
This may be something that sounds so minor, but trust me when I say that a follow-up email can make a lasting impression. By no means does this have to be an extensive email, just simply thank the interviewer for their time and mention one thing you learned about the organization that day. First and far most, this shows that you were actually listening to the interviewer but also shows a sign of professionalism. Along with this, even if you don’t get the internship, reach out and ask for constructive criticism. The only way you can learn is to know what you’re doing wrong and asking for advice from the interviewer can greatly help you in the future!