Avoid the three major pitfalls of internship seekers. Be the one who gets the job.
Here’s the context.
The moment when Thao, a 1st year student, decided to step into the “Hunger Games” of seizing an internship, she became a soldier and securing a coveted role is the ultimate goal. That girl is me. I finally emerged victorious and in the spirit of sharing, here are my top three tips to seize that dream internship.
Pitfall #1 – Spending too much time preparing for the interview
Tip #1 – Focus on functional tests.
How can you know a person’s actual skills through just a few minutes of conversation. Actions speak louder than words, so it is only through actual functional tests can a person’s capabilities and character be correctly assessed. That is why most companies now give you tests during an on-going interview process, and Spring is no exception. This was the first time that an interview was not like an interview. I went through two impromptu tests that Imran gave me that I had no idea how (and no way) to prepare for.
So, you’d better ask yourself ‘How badly do I want this job?’
Otherwise you will just waste your time hopelessly going through the job search cycle. Once you decide to send in your application, you must have a strong desire to win the job. This is very important because it is the core determinant for the rest of following tips I am going to share with you, my fellows.
Pitfall #2 – Studying your resume by heart.
Tip #2 – Make the interviewers feel your words.
You may systematically scour career portals for jobs, but once you have an interview, you must go with the mindset that it’s the only job you ever wanted. Once you are determined to get this job, you would have won half the battle in any Internship Hunger Games.
Bring the best version of you to the interview. Enthusiasm, presence, and passion – these qualities excite hiring managers and the lack thereof will always tip the scale in someone else’s favor. When you are expressing those qualities, people can’t help but be captivated by your words.
‘Tell me about yourself’ is the ‘make-or-break’ moment for every candidate to create the first impression. Once people have formed the first impression of you – and it’s good – they look for information to reinforce their belief. Everyone wants to think they are a good judge of character, so they’ll be looking for things you say to reinforce their initial impression. This puts you in an excellent position in the interview – the person talking to you believes you are good and is looking for evidence of that belief. So use that to your advantage.
The idea that ‘I have to make the interviewers feel my words’ should spring to mind. Do not study your resume by heart! It’s a nightmare for not only you but also the listener. Pick out your best claim to fame, stay alive to every questions, and be genuine. This may not be easy to do, but please try to do it well unless you want to waste your golden chance.
Pitfall #3 – Being afraid to take up challenges and giving up too soon.
Tip #3 – Be brave no matter what. Never give up. Please!
No matter what you are facing ahead, never lose your hope. Be brave and always prepared to take up the next big challenge. Only when you step out of your comfort zone do you actually grow.
With every big challenge comes rejection, never give up. Even if you get rejected, you will learn valuable lessons to make sure you can successfully nail it the next time. To be a champion, you need to see the big picture. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about putting in the hard work and about overcoming challenge everyday.
That’s my story this week. What’s yours?