By Faraz Haq
Congratulations! You have just been selected to interview for an internship at your dream company. You worked on your resume for hours, met with a career consultant at your school, and delivered a perfect elevator pitch to the company’s recruiter at your school’s career fair. All these steps led to you being selected for the interview. It’s okay to be nervous; after all it is your first interview ever! While interviews can be very daunting, think of them as an opportunity to show employers why you are such a great candidate to work at their company. Here a few steps you can take to maximize your interview experience:
Research: Researching the company you are interviewing is highly recommended. Various resources can be utilized to perform research. Examples include the company’s website, LinkedIn pages, and news headlines. Try to look for pieces of information that you would feel comfortable discussing in the interview. For example, you could look up ways the company gives back to the community, corporate culture, and key financial information (stock prices, year over year growth, etc). Make sure you perform relevant research that you can bring up in conversation with your interviewer
Prepare: Preparation is key in order to perform to the best of your ability in the interview. Many companies nowadays use the behavioral based interview technique. It’s not so much the specific answers you give that sets you apart in these interviews, rather your method of arriving at those answers along with delivery. Questions asked in these interviews are fairly standard and a guide on mastering this interview format can be found at Oakland University’s career services website (www.oakland.edu/careerservices). You can also participate in a mock interview session with a career consultant. A mock interview is a simulation of the real interview. Make sure to dress professionally and treat your interviewer as the person who would be interviewing you at a company or organization. This is a great way to practice and helps ease nerves you may have in the interview itself.
Follow-up: Follow up is essential in your interactions with your employer after the interview. The best way to do this is to email all of the individuals that interviewed you and thank them for their time. Along with thanking them, bringing up one or two specific talking points that stood out to you during the interview will help leave a lasting impression in their heads. Express your enthusiasm for the position, it can go a long way!