Most common mistakes in an internship interview

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Being able to perform well in an interview is a skill that you can learn. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can avoid the mistakes that can cost you an internship.

1. Lack of Research

It is a great idea to research questions that are commonly asked before the interview, particularly industry specific questions. This gives you the opportunity to do a mock interview with a friend or write out dot point responses to anticipated questions.

You should research the company’s services, staff and if you can, get an idea of their client basis. It can help if you get to know your interviewers by researching their position, and if they have any specialisations. If you happen to want to specialise in the same area you could mention your interest in that subject if it is appropriate.

2. Arriving late or too early

The ideal time to turn up for your interview is 10-15 minutes before the start time. If you arrive too late, it will seem like you have poor time management skills, and that you do not value the opportunity you were offered. Alternatively, if you arrive too early it can be a hindrance for your interviewer as you may catch them unprepared. If you find yourself arriving too early, you can fill in time by going for a walk or studying your prepared answers in a café.

3. Poor presentation

It can be difficult to try to gauge a dress code before an interview, so if you are unsure, try to dress on the more professional side. Ensure that your clothes are clean, ironed and free of stains. Make sure that you are well groomed with your hair neat and tidy. You need to present your best self.

4. No Resume

Interviewers often have their own copy of your resume. However, if you do bring one you will look organised and leave a good first impression.

5. No Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Interviewers often ask at the end of the interview if you have any questions. This is a great opportunity for you to show that you are interested in their company and have done your research. If you cannot think of any questions on the spot it is good to have a few prepared for example:

What qualities would your ideal candidate have? This question can allow you to respond with how you have these qualities)

What is the workplace culture like here? This can allow you to respond with a reason why you would fit in well in the workplace culture

6. Worrying too much

Often if you find yourself stressing it can hinder your ability to think and speak. Just remember that all you can do is try to prepare yourself as much as you can, and not to worry about factors that you cannot control. You may find that if you prepare well with the above pointers you will be able to perform better as you will feel ready. If you are nervous remember to speak slowly as your responses will sound more considered and you will have more time to think. Do not be afraid to pause before answering, your interviewer will appreciate a thought out response rather than an aimless ramble. If you are unclear on what they are asking, try asking clarifying questions so you can directly answer their question.

If you take on these 6 points into your interview preparation, you will be in a good position to present yourself. Good luck!

Published on by Daniele L.