This post is sponsored by Basic Invite, but all opinions are my own.
I’m a junior in college and I’ve been going through the whole internship search lately. I have a full-on spreadsheet to keep things straight. If you’re in the same position as me, you’re probably in the same scenario. I’m going to be upfront: interviews for internships are hard. But don’t stress!
Lucky for you, I have several interview tips and tricks to make your interviews stress-free.
1: Tailor your resume to the job. If you’re looking at a retail job, having your experience working at a clothing store is helpful. But if you’re applying to a communications internship and trying to decide between putting your PR position in your sorority on your resume or your retail job, go with the PR position. It shows experience and your willingness to step up in your sorority instead of just an extra job on the side to make money.
2: Be prepared! Have a physical copy of your resume and cover letter (paper-clipped together so they don’t get lost) to leave with them, even if you submitted digital copies online. If it’s a phone interview, have your resume pulled up on your computer, your portfolio, and some speaking points that you want to address.
3: Dress professionally. I would always advise against jeans, even if the company typically wears jeans at the workplace. A lot of the creative companies that I am interested have super-casual attire, but I’m still not going to show up to the interview wearing workout leggings and a t-shirt.
Some common questions the interviewer may ask:
- What are your strengths?
- Here you have the opportunity to highlight what’s on your resume as experience and elaborate. Talk about your responsibility and dedication when working crunch deadlines at a previous internship. Reference a class project and your ability to work well in groups.
- What are your weaknesses?
- Always word these carefully! Don’t just come out and say that you’re never on time and you get bored easily. Instead, talk about a time that you struggled with a previous job and what you learned from it. It’s okay to admit your mistakes but showing that you’ve learned from them and have improved is essential.
- What do you know about (subject)?
- I was recently asked “what do you know about advertising?” Talk about a loaded question! I spoke about how advertising makes an impact on others outside of just the professional community, but I also expanded on a certain campaign that the ad agency (that I was interviewing with) had done and how several of my friends were talking about it, therefore it made a big impact on the Kansas City community. Always tie broad answers like this back to the company to prove you’ve done your research.
4: Have questions for them! I always ask what their favorite part about the company is. If they’re an ad agency, then I ask their favorite project they’ve gotten to work on. This is another way to show you came prepared to the interview and that you’re interested in the company.
5: Elaborate. You don’t need to ramble about your answers, but if they ask if you have experience with a certain program, don’t just end with ‘yes.’ Talk about a specific project you did and how you learned the program through the project.
6: Always send a thank you note within 36 hours. An email is good but a handwritten thank-you note can be even better – it shows that you took the time to consider the company and send them a personal message. Include another point about why you would be a great fit for the company and be sure to name everyone in the email. It would also help to reference something they brought up in the interview and reiterate your interest.
For this post, I paired up with Basic Invite to showcase their range of thank you cards! They have over 1500 thank you card designs, which is crazy. There are ones for everyone’s style out there. Basic Invite not only has thank you cards, but they also have a ton of different stationary and invitation cards to fit your needs.
I was able to customize each design to my liking, color scheme and all. I love the gold foil on some of the designs! Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. You can also choose from over 40 different envelope colors to match (and they’re all peel & stick instead of having to lick them – bonus!)
Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual card so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order. I loved this option and I think if you’re ordering bulk cards for a graduation party or a wedding save-the-date, this is an option that helps you be sure of your decision.
Thanks to Basic Invite for pairing up with me on this post!
What are you go-to interview tips?