If the application resume says apply online, then apply online. If you’re supposed to send a cover letter, then do it. One of the fastest ways to get yourself OFF the contenders list is to fail to follow directions during your first interaction.
Most people know to do their research before an interview, but you should start long before that. When you start writing a cover letter or preparing your resume, research the company online and tailor your application to fit. Do not, under any circumstances, ask an interviewer, “So what do you guys do here?” Chances are, there’s another candidate out there who has used the power of Google to find out what that company does so this question is your ticket out the door.
If you make it to the interview stage, this tells you that your application made a good impression. Don’t ruin it by showing up late, failing to bring copies of your resume or knowing nothing about the position. One candidate actually told our team he was “kind of busy” when he “skimmed the job description” and wondered what exactly the responsibilities were. Yikes.
So maybe you haven’t interned with a Fortune 500 company, or you were never the president of a student organization, but you should have at least done something. If you always worked in retail because you needed the money, that’s commendable, but you should expect to explain how that experience, or your classes, or life in general has prepared you for the position.
Show the interviewer that you’re interested and paying attention. Do you think any company wants to hire someone who can’t even muster up enough interest to be engaged during the interview? Answer: NO. So maybe you don’t have the perfect answer for every question, but you can at least be something better than boring.
Asking questions can serve two purposes. First, it helps you clarify whatever you don’t understand. Secondly, it’s a great way to demonstrate that you know how to ask an appropriate question. Don’t ask what the company does (remember step three), but you could ask for clarification about what a particular services entails, or how your role will help contribute.
When an interview comes to a close, take the final opportunity to show your interest by asking about the next steps. Should you check the status online? Should you wait patiently to hear back? Now you know what to expect, and how to stay engaged without going overboard. Then when you leave, send a thank you. Written thank you notes get a lot of attention, but at the very least you could take a few minutes and send an email. To this day, I have a thank you note from a current full-timer (and former intern) pinned to my bulletin board.
Now that we’ve just told you how to score an internship with our team, visit our Job Opportunities page to see what we have available right now!