Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tips for a Successful Interview

With the fall internship application window rapidly approaching, it will be helpful to go over some ground rules for interviewing that you may have lost touch with over the summer months.

In order to be successful in an interview, there are things you have to do before, during and after. They may be interviewing multiple applicants, so it is important to do all that you can to make the best impression that gets you the offer! Below are some tips I have outlined to keep in mind.

  • Research the company. Check out their website before the interview and look at any recent news article that they may be mentioned in. If the employer asks why you picked their company and you don't have an answer, it makes you look as if you don't really care if you get the job with them or not.
  • Bring your resume and writing samples. While not all employers ask for a copy of your resume or writing samples, they will notice if you are prepared with them for the interview. They should be freshly printed, not crumbled or dirty in any way.
  • Get directions! While this may be obvious, if you are traveling to a part of town that you are not familiar with, make sure to look up the easiest way for you to get there ahead of time. It will look unprofessional if you show up disheveled from rushing there, or worse if you show up late.
  • Stay calm. You wouldn't be interviewing for the position if you weren't qualified. Be confident with a smile, strong handshake, good posture and eye contact.
  • Look professional. Make sure you are dressed appropriately and choose dark colors that give the feeling of authority. Ladies, leave the perfume and flashy jewelry at home!
  • Ask questions. If they don't already specify, it will be helpful to inquire about the types of projects you will be working on, how many interns they have, how you are supposed to dress, how many hours you will be working and if you will be compensated for your work. It could also be useful to ask when you will be hearing from them about the position.
  • Follow up. It is completely acceptable to call or email the employer a couple of days after your interview thanking them for the opportunity and to express that you are looking forward to hearing from them. Don't get carried away, if they give you a time frame make sure that you are within boundaries. Also, if you have any additional questions, this would be the time to ask.
What helpful tips do you think about when interviewing?

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