Exciting times. You are at the start of your career and an internship opportunity has become available.
The first phase to success is to get noticed by the Employer and to differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicants. Your resume is your chance to make it to the next step, the interview. Here are just a few online resources to help you writing a winning internship resume:
- FAQs about co-ops and internships by Virginia Tech Career Center
- Hloom’s internship guide, templates and samples
- Effective Resumes for Academic Internships by UC San Diego Career Services
The second and crucial phase is to truly impress the interview panel. With these easy to follow tips, you are bound to stand out from the crowd during an interview:
Handy Internship Interview Tips:
- Practice likely interview questions
Try to get hold of the job description or at least a proper advertisement beforehand, as this could guide you on possible interview questions. Take each duty and try to phrase it into an appropriate question. The Internet can also provide you with very applicable and more generic internship interview questions.
- Dress the part
It is always better to over-dress than to under-dress for an interview, even if it feels a bit odd. Choose your ‘power-outfit’ – the one that you know you look great in and that will be considered by others as corporate wear. If you look good, then you will feel good!
- Make a great first impression
Take a moment to breathe out and relax your shoulders just before you walk into the interview room. A positive attitude of ‘I am going to meet my future employers’, can get you very far. If the seating arrangement allows for it, make a point of shaking each panel member’s hand and make eye contact. Also try to remember as many of their names and try to refer to them during the interview, i.e. “thank you for the question Mr Smith …”
- Show that you did your homework
In most cases, there is likely to be a question on your knowledge of the Company, their top management, competition or the industry. It is therefore crucial that you make an effort to research the Company and find out as much as possible about the position, department and the Company. Take the time to read up on their official website, social media pages or talk to any contacts that you might have within the organisation.
- What do YOU bring to the table?
You can with almost certainty expect a question such as “why are you the most suitable candidate”? As an intern, the chances are that you probably don’t have a lot of work related experience. Therefore focus your attention on your most impressive strengths. Mention applicable technical and soft skills with key accomplishments that can be beneficial to the organization. Deliver your sales pitch with confidence and passion.
- Impress with applicable questions
Make a point of writing down questions that you have for the panel before the big day, especially ones that show that you have thought about the position and the Company. Ask yourself if there is anything that you need more clarity on? It is also a good idea to take notes as the interviewer answers your questions, to show that you’re listening and genuinely care about the responses. Asking questions can convey a sense of enthusiasm to your interviewer, but it can also provide you with valuable information regarding the actual position.
Be yourself, own the hot-seat and remember the mantra: “This is my position and I have the opportunity to show them why”. Best of luck with your interview!