Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Top 5 Tips for Surviving Intern Interviews

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How to survive intern interviews, is certainly an important aspect of your intern application process, which could secure you the internship. Below, I have listed 5 top tips for surviving an intern interview. These tips will cover when you enter the location of your interview, right through till when you leave.

1) Reception Area

Once you enter the location of your interview, your interview has basically started. This is because you don’t know who is watching and where, so be professional at all times. Remain this way even when greeting the receptionist as some receptionists are told to record their initial impressions of the candidate. This will apply to all other staff that you may meet before you meet your interviewer.

2) Initial Interview Questions

Usually, interviewers will asked you the standard initial questions, which essentially are all about your knowledge of the company. This is when your preparation and research will be under scrutiny. For instance, if you have applied for an events internship, make sure you do your research about the company first (check out the ‘About Us’ page), and then check out what events they host. This would be the standard preparation for your interview, and obviously the more you do, the more knowledgeable you become, which leads to better answers, and creates a good impression for your interviewer.

3) Standard Interview Questions

I’ve never had an intern interview go beyond the questions ‘why have you applied?’ and ‘what experience have you got?’ – These questions are standard, right? However, in the graduate world and the internships with stiff competition, then there will be other typical questions that employers will ask, such as ‘What are your strengths?’ and ‘What are your weaknesses?’ These types of questions you can prepare for at home, because many interviewers ask them frequently. Make sure that you’re honest with your answers, but at the same time, make sure that you are clever with them. For instance, you’re not going to set a good impression if you tell them that your weakness is time management. Don’t slip up on these standard interview questions.

4) Body Language

Keep eye contact and don’t cross your arms. People do notice body language, from how you sit, down to how you talk. Make sure that you are aware of what impression you’re giving off.

Control your voice. Sometimes we get a bit nervous and our voice starts to suffer because it. Stay calm and speak in a coherent manner.

Make sure you use your ears properly and listen to the question. Don’t worry if you take a second or two to answer.

If you initially don’t know how to answer an interview question, then create an educated answer. For example, I once had an interviewer ask, ‘If I want a red ladder how would you get me one?’ my initial thought was that I had no idea what I would do. Subsequently, I rushed my answer and it wasn’t thought through correctly. However, had I of stopped to think then I would of said something along the lines of, ‘I would see if the company had any contacts, or I would ask another member of staff if they would know what to do’. So be smart, even it means admitting to not knowing everything.

5) Once the Interview has finished

Similarly to my first tip, don’t forget that you are being scrutinised before and when you leave the interview. Always think about the impression you’re giving, even if you aren’t directly giving it to the interviewer, as they are bound to find out any you say that may be classed as ‘unprofessional’.

Lastly, keep your happy face on and be professional throughout the interview process.

Don’t forget if you want to contribute to this blog email me at steff.lever@gmail.com

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