Interviewing for your dream internship can be rather nerve racking. There are many factors that need to be planned ahead of time such as clothing, research and transportation. These are key factors that can make or break your interview without even meeting the hiring agent.
I received an opportunity to interview with a company across the county. I figured it would be like any other interview I have done in the past, but as the date of the interview approached, I realized I was not prepared. Here are a few of my mistakes that can help you with any interviews that are driving distance or across the country.
• Book your flight immediately after receiving the news about the interview. Prices of hotels and airfare increase daily and if the company is not paying for your expenses, then this can cause tension between you and your wallet.
• Research the company ahead of time. I will say it again; research the company ahead of time. This is critical and can be very uncomfortable when the interviewer asks you “what do you know about the company” and you sit there with a blank stare. They expect you to know the basics of the company and the more you know, the better off you are.
• Arrive to the interview early. Leave for the interview with enough time in case there is traffic, or you get lost. Arriving late to the interview will immediately deduct you from receiving the internship because they will not see you as an effective leader with good time management skills. Aim to arrive 15-30 minutes before the initial interview.
I personally arrived an hour early and sat in my car for 30 minutes in the parking lot, which may sound boring but it’s definitely better than being late.
• Dress professionally. If you are a woman, try to wear a blazer, an appropriate length skirt and absolutely no “night club” heels. Save the high heels for Vegas ladies.
This first impression you make is important and will help you succeed with the interview – or not.
• Lastly, have confidence! The interviewer wants you to work for the company just as badly as you want to. They are not trying to ruin the interview, rather trying to help you receive the position.
Smile and thank the interviewer at the end and make sure to send a thank you note in the mail.
Sending a thank you note will show the interviewer you are interested and want the position.
These are some of the aspects I could have improved upon in my interview across the country and have been able to learn through these mistakes. You are ready to succeed with any interview if you keep these simple factors in mind before your next interview.
This blog post was written by Samantha Moheit, our Campus Ambassador from University of Arizona.