With spring in the air and summer getting closer (it’ll be here soon – I promise!), you may be wondering, “What am I going to dooo this summer?” For those of us graduating in May (congrats!!), the somewhat daunting search for a job may already be on your mind. And for those of us who still have some time left here at Carolina, maybe you’re thinking about finding a summer job or considering doing an internship once classes end. If jobs or internships are part of your summer plan, this probably means that you’ll have to do some interviews! If just reading that sentence made you a little nervous, this blog post is for you. Interviews can definitely be a little nerve-wracking, but they can also be a great learning experience! Here are some tips that will help you tackle your interviews with confidence and hopefully will help you land that job or internship you’ve got your eye on!
- Do you research. Wherever you’re interviewing, read up on the organization/company. Go to their website – look at their mission and vision, look at the different services they provide – try to find out as much as you possibly can about the organization and what your job or internship might entail.
- Come up with two or three questions you can ask your interviewer. There is usually time at the end of an interview for you to ask questions – this is a time to show the interviewer how well prepared you are! Do you have questions about specific duties of the job or internship? Ask! Do you have questions about the office environment? Ask! Interviews are also a time for you to find out if the job/internship will be a good fit for your needs and skills, so take this time to figure that out.
- Before your interview, make a list of questions you think the interviewer might ask you. Try to anticipate what you think they want to know about you, and try to think from their perspective. Is there a past internship you think they might have more questions about? Are there skills they are looking for that you can highlight in your responses to their questions? Once you have your list, practice your answers to these questions! Write your answers down, practice your answers with a friend, or practice your answers in the mirror! This will help you feel confident and ready for anything the interviewers might throw your way.
- During the interview (and when you’re practicing your answers to potential questions), try to think of concrete examples of things you have done or learned in past jobs or coursework to strengthen your answers. Be as specific as possible! For example, when asked about your strengths, rather than saying you’re a good public speaker, talk about your strong public speaking skills and give examples of times when you have given presentations or facilitated group discussions.
- Be aware of your body language. Don’t be afraid to make eye contact with the interviewer while you’re talking, and try not to slouch back in your chair. This will show the interviewer you are engaged in the conversation.
- Be honest, and be yourself. You’re awesome and qualified – let that show!
- Be sure to take advantage of campus resources when you’re prepping for your interview. UNC’s University Career Services has some amazing resources to help you prep for interviews on their website, and they also host a TON of great workshops that will help you with your job search. And guess what?!?! They are hosting an Interview Tips and Strategies workshop on February 12th from 3:30-5:00pm in Hanes Hall, room 239B – be sure to check it out!
- One final tip to keep in mind when interviewing is to be sure to thank your interviewers. This can be done in many ways, but one suggestion is to send each person you interviewed with a personalized email (or hand-written thank you card if that’s your style!) thanking them for taking time to interview you, and reiterate your enthusiasm about the internship/job and why you think you’d be a good fit.
Good luck in your search for that perfect job or internship! And for those of you graduating, be sure to check out one of our blog posts from last semester about for some additional tips. Do you have any additional interviewing tips you’d like to share? Feel free to comment!