Internship Interviews: Making a Lasting and Positive Impression
I recently had a series of interviews for a summer internship in New York City. Because an internship in the city will require me to relocate, I knew I needed to schedule more interviews than usual and really get all of the necessary information needed to make a well-rounded decision. It was even more important that I put my best foot forward and really made a positive impression on each of the interviewers. When it came time to prepare for each of my interviews, I made sure to cover all the bases and enter the interview ready to show each company how determined I was to spend the summer completing an intensive, education internship in the city. Below you will find several tips and tricks that I utilized rock my interview.
1. Research each company thoroughly and see what the company is up to.
As a music business student, I had set up several interviews with record labels. Just as PR firms have clients, record labels have a roster of artists. Therefore, I spent time looking over each label’s roster, visiting each artist’s website, following all of their social media outlets, and seeing what current projects they are working on. This made it far easier for me to go into the interviews and discuss the artists’ work. You can be almost certain that you will go into an interview and have the interviewer ask you which clients you are familiar and aware of, so do your research ahead of time if you’re not familiar with the clients already.
2. Develop a list of questions for the interviewer.
For each interview, I developed a list of questions to ask the interviewer. These questions ranged from basic information about scheduling and time requirements to detailed questions about the company. I had interviews with many companies I’ve been passionate about for quite some time, so I used the interviews as an opportunity to get some burning questions answered. Every one of my interviewers was impressed by the effort I had taken to develop a list of questions. It’s so important to get those questions answered in person rather than sending multiple emails after the interview. Show how serious and prepared you are by coming into the interview with a list of things you want to know.
3. Take cues from the corporate culture.
It’s likely that the person that you’re interviewing with will be your boss during your time at the company. Pay close attention to their personality and manner as well as the company’s overall environment. I really went off the vibes that I got from the interviewers, because ultimately, I want to be somewhere where I feel comfortable and welcome. You may have the skills and the talents needed for the position, but if you don’t fit in well with the personalities of the other employees, you might be better off somewhere else. Don’t get discouraged if your top companies don’t seem to be as great as they thought they would. You’ll feel so much better if you end up at a company where you think you’ll fit in and be able to get along with everyone.
4. Say thank you and follow-up.
Whether you gain or lose interest in the company after the interview, always follow up and thank the interviewer for their time. Although you may not have any interest in interning for the company following the interview, it’s critical that you demonstrate professionalism through a thank you e-mail or letter. You never know if you will be working with that company later on, because so many companies work together and have professional relationships that are critical to the business’s success.