Back to the Basics
This blog is written by Ellie, our Campus Ambassador for Iowa State University. She is a junior majoring in Agricultural Studies with minors in Advertising and Animal Science.
Recently I was chatting with a friend about an internship she really wanted. She was telling me how her interview went and how she was one of four that interviewed: great chances right? Right! However, this makes the little things so much more important. I asked her if she had followed up the interview with a thank you email and asking if the interviewer needed more information, and to my surprise, she had said no. Now to me, following up with a thank you is an interview basic, but she didn’t know that. So, I decided that blogging about interview basics would be a great idea! Plus, who doesn’t like freshening up on their interview manners? Here are my top five to-dos for before, during and after the interview!
1: Research research research! Look for key words throughout the company’s website, and internship materials. Keep those keywords in mind for when answering questions, revamping your resume or creating a cover letter. You will impress them with your knowledge of the company, and they will believe that you are the perfect fit because you take into account their core values.
2: Before the interview, make a list of at least five questions to ask during your time with the interviewer, or heaven forbid, more than one interviewer! (Do not panic, it’s not that bad!) There is nothing more annoying than asking your interviewee if they have any questions and they say no. A good go to question is for them to describe a typical day as an intern. This allows them to do the talking for a while and lets you sit back and evaluate how the particular position fits in with your internship standards and your work style.
3: One of the biggest no-no’s in interviewing is showing up late! I had a professor once tell me that showing up ten minutes early, means you’re early, arriving five minutes early, means you’re on time and showing up right on time, means you’re late! Another plus to showing up early is to chat with the secretary. Saying hello and asking how their day is going as well as creating a conversation about the picture of their kids on the desk can make the secretary tell their boss how nice, sociable and friendly you are. Aww, go you!
4: Before and after the interview, shake their hand firmly; like you are an important person because duh, you are! No one wants to shake hands with a limp fish.
5: Send a follow up email thanking them for their time, as well as asking if they would like you to send any more information, such as writing samples or links to websites you blog for, etc. Make sure to send this follow up email within 24 hours of your interview, being too late will be like you never sent one at all.
I hope this is a good refresher course and that these tips compliment you’re outstanding resume, helping you land that dream internship! Good luck, interns!