Congratulations! You got an interview with a company or brand for which you want to intern. Whether it’s your dream internship or not, you should be totally prepared and ready to make the best impression you can.
Do Your Homework
Most importantly, research the company, brand or designer. What’s in the news about them? Have they launched any products recently? Are they doing a unique advertising or social media campaign? Who are their clients? What are they tweeting about? Why do you like this brand so much? What makes them different? Why do you want to work there? What makes you a good fit?
Secondly, find out with whom you’ll be interviewing (sometimes, it’s multiple people), and research them to no end. What are they tweeting about? Where else have they worked? What’s their exact title and responsibilities? Do they have a blog?
If you’re interviewing at a publication, read the last few issues and their website, and make sure you have an idea of some articles you could mention if necessary.
Know Your Resume
You should know your resume inside and out. In my experience, every single interviewer I’ve met with has asked me to go through my resume aloud. Make sure to highlight any skills that will apply to the job you’re interviewing for, and be prepared to not only describe what you did, but how it makes you a great candidate for the position your interviewing for. Also highlight any of your unique accomplishments. And, don’t forget the unconventional things, like leadership positions in clubs or a sorority.
What To Wear
I am a firm believer that, no matter where you’re interviewing, you should look professional and more formal than not. My go-to outfits: a pair of skinny black slacks, a silk white tank top with a black blazer over it or a 3/4 sleeve skater dress. I always bring my heels (I have a pair of black Louboutin pumps reserved for professional use only) in my bag and wear flats to walk around the city.
I personally do not think that looking trendy is ever appropriate. What you say should stand out, not what you look like.
In terms of makeup, keep it simple. Clear skin, mascara, blush, and a little lipgloss or sheer lipstick is classic and won’t ever fail you. Make sure your hair is done and tame. Don’t use this time to experiment with a new look.
Don’t forget: an interview is a two-way street. At the end of every interview, you’ll most likely be asked if you have any questions to ask.
This is the part I personally have the hardest time with: I get so wrapped up in saying all the things I want to that I forget my questions!
Some basic questions: What do you feel is the top quality an intern needs to succeed? What are the day-to-day responsibilities of an intern? What is the environment of the office? What do you think differentiates COMPANY X? Do you require college credit?
- Be enthusiastic! If this is your dream internship, act like it.
- Maintain eye contact, and be engaged, even when the other person is speaking for a long time.
- Arrive early and give yourself time to breathe and prepare.
- Space out multiple interviews so that you have a half hour to travel, touch up, etc. between each interview.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses.
- Observe the environment of the office. Is it social, or dead silent? An interview is not only about them liking you, but it is about you being a good fit as well.
Have you gone on interviews before? How about for this summer? What was your experience like? Let us know in a comment!