11 Tips for a Successful Interview

Interviewing successfully is probably the most crucial element in securing that dream internship. Here are a few tips to help you succeed:

  1. Fit the part. Your attire should be neat and professional. A button-down shirt and khaki pants or skirt would work well. Avoid crazy patterns and heavy makeup, and take it easy on the perfume.
  2. Practice! Go over how you would respond to common interview questions. Ask a friend or family member help you out.
  3. Do your homework. Research the company. The more you know about what they do, the better impression you will make on the interviewer. This will show them you're interested.
  4. Be prepared. Know exactly what skills and experience you have that would benefit the company. Your interviewer wants to know how you will contribute to the organization not how you can benefit from working there.
  5. Be Polite. It's important that you be professional and positive.
    1. Shake your interviewer's hand firmly but not like a vice.
    2. Make eye contact.
    3. Don't slouch in your chair.
    4. Don't use slang.
    5. Never swear!
  6. Know Your Schedule. Walk in knowing your availability. You may even want to have it written down. This makes it easier for an employer to arrange a work schedule.
  7. Be on Time. Arrive a few minutes early. You should get directions and plan how to get there ahead of time. Plan for delays, just in case.
  8. Go on Your Own. If you have to bring someone along (maybe they gave you a ride), ask them to wait outside. You want your interviewer to see that you can speak for yourself.
  9. Ask questions. Usually at the end of an interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. Always ask a question! You can ask about the organization or the job you're interviewing for. Some examples:
    1. What skills are you looking for in an intern?
    2. How can I make myself a better candidate for the position?
  10. The end of the interview is a good time to emphasize how interested you are in the job and why you're so sure you're the perfect candidate.
  11. Send a thank you note. This could cinch the job for you. We’re fans of handwritten notes but if that’s not possible, at least send an email thanking the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.

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