By Luke Armour
Congratulations – you finally got that internship interview! Wait. Now what? Here are a few tips to make that interview go smoothly.
Dress appropriately. Seems obvious, but internship and job interviews are “business professional” events.
Be early. Also, obvious, but getting there early gives you a chance to relax, collect your thoughts, and get mentally prepared. Arriving "just on time" might increase your anxiety. Avoid that. Best to avoid the 5th cup of coffee prior to the interview as well.
Always take notes. When the interviewer is talking about the job, the hiring process, basically anything that isn’t a direct question for you, take notes. It shows you care about the answers, and you can use those notes for your thank you note, which I’m also about to tell you.
Thank yous. Send a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview. If you want to send a hand-written note, kudos to you, that will also help set you apart from the rest. But still send the email. You can use those notes you took to reference something specific from the interview that will help them remember you specifically: a joke, a shared interest, something that sets you apart from the other 20 students they met that day.
Ask Questions. Read the press releases, read a few weeks' worth of Facebook and Twitter posts. Doing your homework allows you to impress them with your research at the end of the interview. They’ll be pleased to answer questions about their campaigns or programs, and you’ll learn SO much more.
If you don’t have an internship or job interview line up – consider doing an informational interview with a professional you admire or a company that impresses you. All the same rules apply and many PR pros are happy to provide guidance and mentorship. Plus it hones your interviewing skills from the other side of the table.
For more info, read, 'Why Asking This 1 Question in a Job Interview Increases the Chances You Get Hired,” an interesting article I read recently that gives some additional significant advice: https://www.inc.com/jt-odonnell/managers-say-asking-this-1-question-in-a-job-interview-increases-chances-you-get-hired.html