If any of you Gracelanders are like me, you have spent the last few weeks agonizing over perfecting the resume, finding an internship, and crushing interviews. I’m here to tell you to stay calm because things will (probably) work out.
It is officially crunch time, and if you have not figured out what you are doing this summer then you might want to pay attention to the following tips:
1. Schedule an appointment with the CAP center to practice a mock interview.
Interviews are scary and you do not want to go into one without some preparation and practice. After your mock interview, you will receive some feedback that will help give you an idea on what you should work on. They will also review your resume and let you know if there are any obvious errors in the format.
2. Search. Apply. Repeat.
The search for an internship often feels like a bottomless pit, but there are incredible resources on the Internet today that can help you find a perfect internship that tailors to what your interests are. I have made use of InternMatch and Internships.com and I have found listings for amazing internship opportunities that I probably would have never found on my own. You can also contact the CAP center and find a list of internships that might fit your interests.
3. Do your research.
Learn everything you can about the company and the position you just applied for before an interview. As you learn new things, make sure to jot down a few questions to clarify what is expected from you. Begin to generate specific ideas about what you could bring to the table. Make a list of things that you like as well as dislike about the company. If you do your homework ahead of time, it will show the person interviewing you how serious you are about the position.
4. Dress the part.
This tip does not really apply to phone interviews, but for a regular walk-in or Skype interview, what you wear matters. The dress code is different depending on the atmosphere of the company you plan to work for. However, in most cases it is best to to listen to Barney Stinson and “Suit up!” You want to leave a great impression on potential employers. The one wearing the suit, compared to someone dressed more casually, is more memorable and professional.
5. Do not be afraid to brag about yourself.
Once you score an interview it is important to speak up about how amazing you are. Tell them why you should be hired. Ask them what they are looking for and assure them that you have the same talents. I know many people are concerned with looking arrogant, but this is the time to be confident in the things that you have achieved. Employers search for people who are confident in their work.
6. Know the etiquette.
This could be an entire article within itself, so I encourage those who are reading this to look up etiquette for in person, phone, and Skype interviews. These tips are often common sense, especially if you follow through with doing your research. Think about the best way to present yourself no matter what form of communication you use. After the interview is over, always say thank you and follow up with a note that expresses your gratitude for the opportunity to be considered. Manners matter.
And last but not least…
7. It is not the end of the world if you don’t get the position!
It is heartbreaking when you find out that you didn’t get the position you wanted. This can be a good thing, though! It is practice for the next opportunity. Each experience, whether or not it ends in failure, teaches you something new. Stay calm and just remember to be yourself. There is a company out there looking for someone like you!