When you’re in college, people mention internships a lot. And by a lot, I mean every day. In every single class you will ever have. Professors will go on about how important they are, how they show you’ve had experience and how they will set you apart from the thousands of other soon-to-be college grads that are all vying for jobs.
When I was a junior at Michigan State University, I remember thinking that’s all well and good, but how on earth do you get one? These mystical internships that are supposed to be life-changing, door- opening experiences into the job market seemed daunting and quite frankly, impossible. Now as an MSU alum working at M3 Group full-time, I can tell you for a fact that they are not impossible to achieve. After some tried (and failed) interviews of my own, I compiled a list of my own personal interview tips to help you land an internship.
Do your research.
This one is obvious, but in all seriousness extremely important. If you get caught not knowing anything about the company you’re applying for, it won’t look good for you.
Know how to sell yourself.
You are different from every other person applying for this position. Now is the chance to show them why. Explain what you like, what you’re good at, and make it marketable.
Dress the part.
Know what kind of atmosphere you’ll be working in should you end up accepting the position. Understand that this is an interview; look professional! Remember that it’s always better to be overdressed than under dressed.
Never underestimate the power of real life interaction.
Most people these days want you to apply via the internet. But what about your personality? You can’t effectively sell yourself through an email. Don’t be afraid to stop by in person and chat with someone. Chances are they’ll take five minutes out of the day just because you took the initiative to come visit them (This was how I got my foot in the door here at M3 Group!)
This is something I think most people overlook. Don’t forget that whoever you’re interviewing with is giving you their time. Time is valuable in the work place, and there’s never enough of it. Always be sure to say thank you after the interview is over. I personally think sending a handwritten note is the best way to thank someone, but it’s up to you and your personal preference. Just know that they will appreciate it, and they will remember you.