Tag Archives: Internship

10 Tips for the Prospective Intern

4 May

Hello, blogger world! I have recently been invited to an interview for a summer internship. I was excited and ready for the opportunity and then I scheduled the interview for the next day at 10 a.m. I’m not going to lie… I panicked at first. I kept thinking; I need to prepare and knock the socks off my interviewees. Since I had less than 24 hours to prepare and I have never been to an internship interview I did what most people would do… I Googled.

Here are my 10 Tips for the Prospective Intern

  1. Take a deep breath and stay calm. They contacted you for an interview for a reason. Show them they were right in their choice.
  2. Research the organization. Go to their website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blog, YouTube channel, etc. The more you know about the organization the more intelligent and insightful answers you can give.
  3. Think about your outfit. You might not be applying to a fashion company but appearances matter. If you’re not a fashionista then ask someone you trust. Interviews should be business casual and wear calm colors. Take advice from someone who has a dress shirt in every color of the rainbow, me, that bright yellow might be off-putting even though it looks wonderful in casual settings.
  4. Look up directions and plan your route. You don’t want to find out ten minutes before your interview starts that there is construction and you need to drive 10 minutes out of your way. Also, you want to save time for making wrong turns and finding parking. This advice is crucial because if you’re rushing and flustered the interviewees are likely to notice.
  5. Bring a portfolio or packet of useful information. Use your judgement on what types of information you might want to include but I would suggest you bring your résumé, a cover letter, and letters of recommendation. The interviewer might not ask for these articles but it’s better to have them and need them than need them and not have them.
  6. Use some sort of breath freshener. I’m not assuming everyone’s breath is bad but it’s not a bad thing if you show up with minty fresh breath. Use it about a half hour before the interview so the smell isn’t too strong.
  7. This might sound creepy but it’s useful. Research your interviewers if you know them in advance. You might find common interests or connections that could lead to small talk. In my mind, small talk can lead to a great lasting impression with your résumé floating to to top of the stack. It never hurts to know where they graduated from, hometowns, or other organizations they worked for.
  8. Bring two pens. My manager/best friend always told me “professionals always have a pen,” and I truly believe this. What if the first pen doesn’t work? What if the interview’s pen doesn’t work? You have the extra to use or lend and it shows that you are prepared for any situation.
  9. Accept their hospitality. I was offered a water and I gladly accepted. The interviewee wants you to feel comfortable. I’m not saying no matter whether you’re thirsty or not you should take the drink. Don’t be afraid to accept their kind offers. 
  10. Be yourself. Yes, it’s an overused tip but seriously if you’re upfront and honest the employer will be appreciative. If you wait until they offer you a position to tell them about a week of vacation you’ll need off they might not be as happy. Leave the interviewer happy and then they can spread the positive feedback to other people in the field.
YouTube interview tips to get more advice on how to succeed in your interview. 

My tips aren’t groundbreaking or overly special. These are real tips from someone who has been in those shoes. When you get that call or email read Tip No. 1 and you’ll be just fine.

-Alex