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Acing your internship interview

Tips & Tricks

Regardless of whether you've experienced hundreds of interviews or it's your first interview experience, you can never be too prepared for an interview. Here are a few tips to help you out.

 

 

First Impressions Matter

 

It may seem obvious, but grooming and punctuality go a long way. Have an early night, look sharp, smell right and don’t smoke a cigarette before you go in. Arrive 15 minutes early, minimum. Make sure you research your transport times to get to the location, so you’re not flustered, sweaty or late. Take a few deep breaths, turn off your phone and try to relax before you enter the interview room. Greet everyone with their names, smile and be friendly. Remember that body language is important too, so look people in the eyes and don’t slouch or fidget during the process.

 

Know the Company

A candidate who knows a lot about the company they are trying for an internship at is impressive. It shows you are prepared if they ask you what you would like to know about them. Plus, knowing a lot about the company can be helpful if they throw you an unusual question. Scour their website, read their business philosophy and look online for news articles about them.

 

Be prepared to answer certain questions

 

 

While you may get thrown the occasional curve ball, there are some standard questions that it’s likely you’ll be asked. You have to anticipate questions such as ‘why do you want an internship here?’, ‘what are your goals?’ and ‘tell me about your CV’. Prepare some answers beforehand, but don’t memorise them word for word. You want to sound like a self-aware human being, not some robot.

 

Prepare for behavioral interviews

A common form of interviewing today is known as ‘behavioural interviewing’ which involves the interviewer asking you to tell stories about moments in your professional past where you may have had challenges or been in positions of responsibility in some way. This is their way of gauging whether your talk matches your actions. Before you arrive for the interview, you should have practised telling a few stories that would address questions like; ‘tell me about a time when you’ve had to manage conflict,’ or ‘have you ever encountered a setback and what did you do to overcome it?’

 

Have a well tailored resume - and know what is on your resume

Although this might seem like another obvious point, you would be surprised how common it is for applicants to use the same generic resume for each position. Each position is unique, so make sure you show up to the interview with a resume tailored to the job description. It’s equally as important to know what’s on your resume. Interviewers will often ask you to explain a particular role that’s written down. Keep in mind why you put something on it and what story you can tell about it.

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