Getting That Interview
If things went well you may be invited to an interview to discuss a possible internship with the organization you applied for. This is a fantastic opportunity to advertise yourself and your abilities to the interviewer and hopefully land that coveted Internship.
There’s a lot of great interview advice out there and, while it’s usually targeted for interview for proper jobs, the same rules apply – after all you’re still trying to get a place with the employer! Some of the essential things to remember include:
Doing Your Homework: Learn everything you can about the company, the position and the responsibilities of the role you have in mind. Learn about their history, and their values. Being knowledgeable about the company demonstrates an interest and enthusiasm.
Go In Looking Good: Your Employer needs to feel that you’ll fit well into their team. Dress appropriately for the company in question (something that research should help you with). Make sure you are clean and well-presented and, while deodorant is recommended, avoid overpowering scents.
Prepare Questions: Great questions make you look good. You appear thoughtful and interested in taking the initiative to find out more. But be careful – if you ask questions that are easily answered by visiting the company’s website you’ll just look lazy.
Be Polite, Professional, Courteous and Thankful.
Manners go a long way and you’ll stand out further if you make sure you send a thank you letter to the people who interviewed you for your time that day. It helps ensure you stand out from the crowd and appear in a favourable light to the interviewer when they reflect on who they want to recruit.
Getting an Offer
If all has gone to plan, you may very well get an offer for an internship. Perhaps even several if you’ve been correctly exercising your initiative and making multiple applications at once. Congratulations!
Sadly even in this best of situations, you can probably only pick one. Therefore you will have to do some thinking about which to accept. Your written offer, when you receive it, will confirm the particulars of your internship including your responsibilities, your hours and any remuneration provided, as well as when they expect to hear back from you. Since you’ll be on a deadline, you’d better make a decision soon.
If you only have the single offer, then it should be fairly obvious if, given what is on offer you wish to accept it or not. In truth, relatively few Interns will be in a position to negotiate the terms of their internship given competition from other potential interns and the low level entry position of many of these roles. However, some leeway may be possible if courteously and politely asked for. Ensure you get any such agreements confirmed in writing.
Getting an Internship is a great way to kick-start your career. You’ll get the experience and skills you need in a professional environment to really get in the door of whatever sector you choose to work in. But like regular jobs, interns have to show their initiative and be active if they want to get the best they possibly can.