Applying for internships can be a daunting task especially if they are far away from home but in turn if you fail to apply you are bound to feel a bit like a failure yourself.
You might be looking for an internship so you can fulfil a ‘year in industry’ as part of your course or your might be graduating in the immediate future like myself and are faced with the fear of leaving university and amounting to nothing.
We all have this fear – so do not threat. To feel anxious at this stage of your career is not unnatural for there is a whole lot to feel anxious about. For most the future is filled with many uncertainties and to not feel anxious about that in my opinion is a whole lot crazier. But it is better to be productive than to let fear stop you climbing the career ladder which in this current economic climate appears to have a few steps missing.
But let’s not be completely pessimistic you could apply for an internship of your choice and get invited for an interview. It could happen and it did happen for me – which induced great fear the second I read the e-mail. After questioning whether I was going to attend the interview, since it was in London and I am from Scotland, I decided to just go. The company were paying the travel expenses so there was no great reason for me not to and not give it a shot.
Being invited and deciding to attend is just the first hurdle though. I have prepared a short list of tips to help aid those who will be faced with this situation in the upcoming months and remember if you fall at the last hurdle you can always get right back up (with a slightly bashed ego) and try again.
1. If like me you are not familiar with the area where the interview is then do a dry run and find out exactly where it is, how you are getting there and how long it takes to get there. Take rush hour into account if your interview is early morning.
2. Get to the interview/assessment day early so you can talk to some fellow applicants beforehand. It will make you feel less awkward. If it is only you there for the interview then it will give you time to have one last look over your prep note – which leads me to…
3. Have some prep done beforehand – Find out about the company and any important developments they have coming up. Make sure you know which position it is you are applying for and know as much as you can about it. Think of some questions you could ask so that you look keen – even if you already kind of know the answer already.
4. Always keep a copy of your answers from online application forms so that you know exactly what you have told the employers in case you are invited for an interview and it speeds up the process for filling out future application forms.
5. If it is an applicant day rather than an interview then prepare yourself for the fact that you might not get through to the interview but be proud of yourself that you tried.
6. What you should expect on an applicant’s day from my knowledge so far is to participate in some form of group work – perhaps an ice breaker followed by a small presentation.
7. Keep in mind that you will never see any of these people again in your life – unless you secure the internship. So really give it your all.
8. Look smart but not dull. Wear something that you feel comfortable in and remember that there is no rule that says you need to wear black. Make sure your shoes are clean before the actual day.
9. Prepare and leave out any documents you may need to take along with you such as passport or travel claims forms.
10. Be yourself and be fabulous. If you do not get the place – go get drunk and start applying all over again.
Or be like me and go hang out with T-rex…whatever floats your boat.