Interviews 101

Clinch that internship.

We know – “don’t be nervous” is the kind of advice that isn’t the most helpful. But when it comes to interviews, there are ways to take control of the situation and prepare to exceed all expectations. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll blow them away!

1. Do Your Research

There is no way you could overdo it when it comes to researching your specific organization. Find out everything you can – who are the key players in the company? What is the mission of the institution? What are some of its notable achievements?

2. Dress for the Job You Want

On any other occasion, we’re all for bold and daring risks – but not for this one. Your best bet for an interview is to play it safe and wear business casual/formal attire depending on the industry. If you are interviewing for a position within the fashion industry, creative choices are appreciated – but to an extent.

The old adage “dress for the job you want” comes into good use over here. You should definitely look the part for a position beyond that which you are applying for. Now if that position happens to be CEO of Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), then perhaps going for a gray hoodie is acceptable. Common sense should help you in such instances.

Speaking of common sense – flip flops, shorts, clothes that don’t fit – there are usually a sum total of zero instances in which they should be worn for an interview.

3. Practice Your Handshake

What you’re trying to go for over here is a firm handshake that doesn’t underwhelm your interviewer with its dead-fish-like weakness – but also leaves them with circulation in their hand (i.e. doesn’t crush them with a vise-like grip).

Asking a friend to rate your handshake is a good idea, as they can let you know the impression you’re delivering.

4. Prepare for the Common Questions

Interviewers usually do not spend a lot of time coming up with creative questions. In fact, you can basically assume you’re going to be asked a certain list of questions, with a chance of one or two curveballs. Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions, which you should definitely prepare for:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Discuss your resume.
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Why do you want this internship/job?
  • Tell me about a challenge you’ve faced, and how you dealt with it.
  • What’s your dream job?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Note: definitely ask questions, it shows that you are passionately and genuinely interested.

5. Believe in Yourself

This is a moment where your confidence matters. A lot. If you have prepared well and done your research, then take a deep breath and show them what you’re made of. It’s game time.

6. Thank Your Interviewer

Common courtesy suggests you take the time to thank the individual who interviewed you. If you really want to make a statement, send a handwritten note, but an email will do as well.

 

Cover photo shot by Jose Martin Ramirez.

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