Preparing for an interview

So you have already sent out the resume and received the phone call scheduling you for an interview. Here we have some tips to help make sure you are prepared for your meeting and ensure that everything goes smoothly. By following a few tips, you will soon be on your way to being the most prepared person for the internship interview. Whether you are an accounting intern or a human resources intern, these tips will still apply. 

Being prepared

You can prepare for the interview by doing a few things beforehand. Get your suit organised and ready, research the business and prepare your questions to ask at the interview. Make sure that you take a copy of your resume with you in case it is needed, and the interviewer doesn’t have yours on hand. Prepare yourself for answering questions by going over common interview questions to help you remember what you’re going to say before the interview. Think of some examples where you have demonstrated relevant skills in past jobs. This way you will have some real-life examples to communicate and solidify your interview answers. 

Make a good impression

Your interview is a chance to market yourself and it is the reason that you prepared and handed out your resume. Once you get the interview, you then need to make a good impression by being yourself, being prompt, maintaining eye contact and always giving a firm handshake. You need to appear poised but also relaxed and comfortable throughout the interview. A good first impression is what will set the stage for your successful interview.

Emphasise your accomplishments and skills

You need to focus on your accomplishments and skills including volunteer work, computer and language skills and co-curricular activities. Previous work experience is important as well as your transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving, strong analytical skills and organisation.

Give examples of your skills

Behavioural interviewing is a form of interviewing that is growing in popularity. The interviewer will give you a certain scenario and then get you to explain how you would handle that situation. If you prepare for these questions before your interview, you can then have a quick reference to previous experiences that are relevant. Many companies offering internships understand that you will not know everything, but they will expect some sort of work experience. 

Understanding the question completely before answering

If the interviewer asks you something, don’t be afraid to ask the person to repeat the question or give clarification. It is important to know what they are looking for before you assume that you have the correct answer. It actually looks better to the interviewer that you are not afraid to ask for clarification before you commence answering the question. 

Follow their lead

Make sure that you are not spending too much time on just one question, but ensure that you have answered the whole question properly before going to the next one. Check with the interviewer if you have answered to their satisfaction or whether they need additional information.

Point out the positives

You may be asked through your interview to explain your weaknesses and strengths. It is these types of questions, you need to focus on the positives. When you are referring to your weaknesses, explain the things that you feel you need to work on but then shift the weight quickly to the actions that you have gone through to improve. If you give specific examples, it can be helpful to show your progress.

Don’t be something that you are not. This will really stand out as if you are asked something and that you don’t know, you could be in trouble. Be yourself, be truthful, and you will do just fine.