If you are interviewing for an internship opportunity, chances are that this is your first job interview. Acing this interview will take you a step closer to landing your dream internship. As your first stint in the corporate world, it is natural to feel anxious during the interview preparation process. However, the more you prepare, the more confident (and less anxious) you will feel.
While preparing, you may come across several articles explaining the tips to ace a job interview. However, as an internship candidate it is important to understand that internship interviews are generally different from regular job interviews.
The interviewer knows you are less experienced and doesn’t expect you to fit the bill of being ‘corporate-ready’. That means the interviewers are generally a little more forgiving and you have a little more leeway being a first-timer.
However, this does not give you the freedom to go unprepared. In fact, the more you prepare, the better you will perform to outshine the competition and emerge as a winner. Here are certain dos and don’ts to follow during internship interview:
Do a Lot of Research
Research about the company, the job description, and the interviewers. You probably did some research while writing your cover letter but that doesn’t suffice. You should read about the company’s past, its growth, and the future goals. Specific facts about the company when presented during the interviews confirm that you have spent time researching about the company and preparing for the interview.
Do Prepare Well
Study and prepare a list of potential interview questions and answer to them. Have a mental note of answer and rehearse with a friend or family member. There are countless online resources with potential interview questions. Even if the questions are different from what you have prepared, this exercise will give an idea about the line of thought process you should achieve. Watch the above interview by Ru Buzzing, an Indian YouTube channel that aims to re-create video bytes of real life interviews.
Do Get There Early
Reaching the venue 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled time is perfect. This gives you the leeway to manage any unwanted disruption on the way. When reaching venue ahead of time, you can settle and calm yourself down before heading to the interview.
Do Dress for the Role
Don a professional look and ensure that you smell good. You need not wear a formal tie-suit but a corporate attire is a good idea. Even if the company follows a casual dress culture, it makes sense to attend the interview in a more formal dressing.
Do Carry All the Important Papers
Even though you have emailed your resume and cover letter to the HR, it is a good idea to carry extra copies of your resume, cover letter and references with you. Also, carry a pen and a notepad to take notes or just to explain things while answering a question during the interview. Show the interviewer that you pay attention to details and do not want to risk forgetting anything important.
Don’t Reschedule the Interview Unless Absolutely Necessary
In most cases, an interview is scheduled after communicating with the candidate about his/her availability. And once you have agreed to your availability on a given date and time, it is considered as highly unprofessional to reschedule the interview. It imparts an impression about you being an unplanned person and when repeatedly done, the employer may feel that you are not serious about the position.
Therefore, it is important that you give a date where you are very sure about your availability. Reschedule only when it is absolutely necessary.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Right Communication
Given that most internship applicants are college students with text messages and hence SMS lingo as their primary mode of communication, they sometime use the same language while applying for internship. This is a strict no-no. Always write proper sentences with correct grammar and complete words.
Here are some tips:
Never use short-forms like Plz, Chk, Rd, k, etc in your communication email
Never write the whole email in the subject line
Never send follow-ups without waiting for 1-2 days
Never CC people who are not involved
Never leave the default cover letter unedited
Don’t Just Read Out Your Resume
When an interviewer asks you question regarding your skills, experiences or career aspiration, don’t just repeat the things written on your resume. Instead, explain thoroughly about the things mentioned with proper examples. Provide additional information with relevant anecdotes that you weren’t able to include in your resume.
Don’t Get Off-Topic When answering a question, be careful not to ramble aimlessly. It is important to stick to the topic and have short crisp answers. You might have some casual conversation during the interview but don’t just joke around too much.
Don’t Lie. Ever
Lying during in an interview is a strict no-no. There are high chances that you will be caught. If not now, then maybe in future or during the internship.
Don’t Show Your Nervousness Its normal to be nervous during an interview, but don’t let it drive you. If you feel you aren’t able to answer anything, take a deep breath, drink some water and start fresh again.
Remember, if you want to ace the interview, you have to prepare well. Dress well, give clear answers, ask questions and you will be on your way to cracking the dream internship.
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