This is a guest blog post by Campus Ambassador Jade Carmosino.
Imagine this, you apply to your dream internship/job and about a week later you get an email from them. Yes! Your resume building, obsessing over your cover letter and working really hard in school has paid off and you’ve stood out in the pool of applicants! But wait a minute; the next step in the process is either a group interview or what some companies call, a “casting call”. How in the world are you going to stand out among all of the other internship hopefuls?! Here are three tips that will help you make a lasting impression that separates you from the crowd and will enable you to land the internship of your dreams.
1. Start with the outfit and overall presentation. When a company holds a group interview it means that they have many similar applicants and are trying to weed out the interviewees who will not be a good match. This means that it is absolutely essential to do your research! I recently interviewed with a luxury retail startup and based my interview outfit and overall look on some YouTube videos of actual company employees. I printed my resumes on resume paper and made sure that my nails were un-chipped; all of the little things that made me appear clean and well prepared. When I walked into the office I felt as though I fit right into the culture and had the extra boost of confidence. One VP even complimented me on my resume paper! Putting those little extra touches into your outfit and presentation will not only stand out to your interviewers but will give you internal pride and confidence as well!
2. Make personal connections with the people you talk to. The interviewers are going to be asking the same questions over and over again, don’t give them the same boring answers! Interject your personal and unique experiences into what you say, and I’m not just talking about your customer service skills or your community service trips from high school. In my most recent group interview I mentioned my true love for Shonda Rhimes TV and told a story about one of my favorite restaurants in my college town, both during the more casual part of the questioning. Not only did I stand out by taking that risk but also I got the interviewers laughing and made the room way less awkward. Don’t be afraid to take smart risks and bring up interesting facts about yourself that they’ll want to ask you about on a later date!
3. Always remember your manners. You know, those things that your parents taught you when you were a little kid? It is very important to not interrupt, not to take unnecessary control of the conversation, keep eye contact while speaking, and to listen attentively. Handshakes at the beginning and end are a must-do as well. It is all of these little basic gestures and common courtesies that help you to blend in, in a good way. You do not want to be remembered as the interviewee who was too loud or too commanding. Make yourself stand out with your answers, but only when it’s the appropriate time. Do this, and you’ll leave them wanting to know more.
Overall, the whole atmosphere of a group interview or casting call can be filled with a lot of tension and pressure. But that’s where your personality comes in! Follow those three tips in order to not only present the best version of yourself, but also emphasize the things that make you unique. Take a few breaths, fix your blazer, and walk right into that room with a smile. You got this.