I’m so excited for one of my students, Jenna, who has a big interview with a fashion magazine that I set her up with in NYC ! She wrote me today to ask how she can best prepare for the interview. Here are a few internship interview pointers I put together:
1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Take an evening and plan to study up on the company you are interviewing with. First, find the company website – most WILL have websites. Study the “About us” tab on the company website. You want to be familiar with when the company was founded and who the founders/leaders of the company are.
2. KNOW THE MISSION. Become familiar with the company mission statement. This information can be found on the company website. You want to slightly reference the mission statement of the company in your interview. If they ask why you think you should work with the company you can say, “Well, I am familiar with the company’s mission to ________ and I’m interested in ______which goes hand in hand with the company goals. (or something like that).
3. GOOGLE ‘EM. Play around on Google.com and search “News Results” and the company name. You want to be familiar with any recent news that the company has been involved with. You also want to be familiar with their clients and any recent projects they are working on. If any names/topics are “off limits” you will most likely find out from a news article on the subject.
4. PICK OUT YOUR CLOTHES. As if it is the first day of school, your clothing for the interview should be prepared beforehand. You want to dress the part. If the company is extremely formal than you should dress like you already work there. You never want to go TOO casual. If you aren’t sure what to wear – always go with a simple suit – for both guys and girls.
5. SPEAK SLOWLY. Don’t talk the interviewers ears off. Speak slowly and clearly and don’t let your nervous energy speed up your pace.
6. SHOW YOUR PASSION. You want to go into this WANTING this job more than anything. Your passion and excitement needs to shine through. If they ask you if you’ll have trouble handling a task, the answer is “NO, I understand that I need to start somewhere and that I can learn something from any situation. This is what I want to do and I can’t see myself doing anything else.” An employer WANTS someone with a positive attitude and not someone that is going to roll their eyes with every task. This is an internship – you are going to have to do things that aren’t that glamorous. You are starting from the bottom!