Saturday, December 3, 2011

How to Navigate the Internship Interview

The first internship interview is always the scariest. Many potential interns anticipate the quintessential formal interview, with rapid-fire question and answer sessions, but many completely forget about informal interviews. Informal interviews take place with employers who truly want to get to know potential interns and discuss elements of the job in a more relaxed way. This type of interview is not necessarily a trap, but a warning to all potential interviewees that every move you make and every word you say is being analyzed to a T. Professionals know what they are looking for in an intern, and no matter how comfortable they wish to make you during the interview process, they also note how comfortable you seem in their environment. So here are some tips for navigating the difficult waters that encompass the internship interview process:

Ask lots of questions: Asking a lot of questions demonstrates that you are interested in the company and what the professional does. Not only that, but asking questions also shows that you are thorough and like to know all of your information before delving into a project. In public relations in general, it is always important to have as much information as possible when pitching an event or doing some major crisis management. As an intern, it is vital that you demonstrate these qualities as early as possible in the interview.

Keep on your toes: Although this probably goes without saying, it is also incredibly important that you stay up to speed on what is going on in the news, and especially the news pertaining to the company you are interviewing for. Nothing hurts your chances more than not knowing a crucial piece of information or an event which occurred in connection to the organization.

Embrace questions about yourself: This is the time to pad yourself up and talk about how awesome you are. Your resume has hopefully done that a bit for you, and now it is time to go in-depth. Add on to your work experience by connecting what you have learned in other ways outside of your work. For instance, in a recent interview, I connected my work experience with PRowl Public Relations to how I benefitted with other organizations I am a part of. PRowl Public Relations has taught me to have better time management and how to connect with others to get a task accomplished, which I use elsewhere in my life.

Employers know life is not all about work, hence why they ask you questions about what you do outside of work. It shows a bit more about who you are and how you prioritize your time, and makes you look more like a human being, rather than an internship robot. Just make sure you present your self in such a way that you both stand out, and conduct yourself professionally.

For more internship interview tips, check out Claire Celsi’s article “20 tips for mastering an internship interview

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Celina Levin.

No comments: