Internship Interviews: From Getting In to Walking Out | Shreya Pattar

This article was originally published by Shreya Pattar on LinkedIn.

A Guide for #Interns

1. Getting an Interview:

i. Be specific

Fill in this sentence for yourself: ‘My name is _______ and I want the position of _______.” Now memorise this sentence, and say it to yourself multiple times a day. This will help you be clear about exactly what you want.

ii. Do your research

Once you are sure of what you want, you can take out your laptop, look up the companies you want to work for, and explore your opportunities with them. Study their location, history, work ethics, etc and shortlist the companies you want to work for. Also, look for recommendations- they can make the process easier!

iii. Approach many companies

Share your resume recklessly. Get the contact details of your shortlisted companies, and email them your resume. Send emails to multiple companies. Some will take weeks to reply, some will deny a position, some may call you back, some won’t reply at all; but your job is to approach as many companies as you can.

2. Before an Interview:

1. Know what to expect

Before you get to the interview, clarify a few key points. If it is a stint, make sure they know you are looking for an internship of a certain period, inform about your college/ other commitments, and enquire whether it is paid or not. If they deny your requirements, then you must reconsider your options and only go to interviews where you may get what you expect.

ii. Prepare and… prepare

Practice a few sample questions, dress neat, be calm, relax, focus, and everything will be great. Simply learn from all your previous experiences and prepare well. Carry all required documents, preferably even a work portfolio showcasing your best work.

3. During an Interview:

i. Sell yourself

  • Show why you are indispensable. Put your strengths out there! Share your qualities, skills, previous work and accomplishments. Give all the numbers to add credibility to your claims:
  • “I led a 4-person team to create content that garnered over 1 million views in 3 days”,
  • “My project saved the company 5,000 euros in one month”, etc.

ii. Talk, answer, discuss, question

If you are an intern, you may not have much (or any) experience in the professional world. In this case, you have to talk about yourself, remembering that experience isn’t only from employment. Share everything you did in school and college. Mention every skill you learnt and implemented, any social work you did, any events you organised. Mention the sports you played, the societies you joined, the projects you undertook and the events you organised.

iii. Share a story

Your qualities are listed on your resume. It is now your time to show the interviewers how you develop, hone and use these skills. Share a story, give incidents, talk about your work and make sure you use numbers!

4. After an Interview:

i. Email a ‘Thank You’

Make it memorable- write a brief email to the company thanking them for the interview, and mention that you are awaiting their response by XYZ date (as mentioned in interview).

ii. Await a response, follow up after said-date

If you haven’t heard back from the company after the said-date, contact them. Remind them that you are awaiting a response. But, know how many times to follow up. If you don’t hear back after multiple attempts, simply move on. Use your time and energy in working for your next interview!

iii. Keep going!

Keep approaching companies, be persistent, improve your pitch every time, and you will definitely get an internship! The trick is to keep going!

Good luck!