Having had my fair share of internships and internship opportunities, I collaborated with Rachel Scott, broadcast journalist on ABC and former White House intern to walk you through the entire process: How to get a good internship, the interview process, how to dress, and what to absolutely avoid.
On Getting a Good Internship
Don’t let fear keep you from pursuing any opportunity, Rachel says. “I found the application online and applied on the whim without expecting any results. Little did I know, that small decision to send in an application would change my life. When I received a call for an interview and later an offer for the position, I was in shock to say the least. The White House internship program is competitive but not impossible. I would encourage anyone who’s interested to apply.”
On that note, apply for everything you possibly can. Don’t be intimidated by opportunities you think you are not worthy of. Interning at your uncle’s shop may be a lot easier than fighting for a spot at Google, but you need to be willing to go the extra mile and fight for it.
Spend time to groom your C.V. Don’t use the same C.V for multiple applications. It can be a time consuming process, but it’s absolutely worth it.
Rachel adds, “Have multiple people look over your resume. The last thing you want is a spelling error or grammatical issue. It may be hard, but keep it to one page. Recruiters will appreciate you being concise but descriptive. Once you have your resume set, sign up for a LinkedIn profile or make a website that showcases your work. You want to make it as easy as possible for recruiters to find you.”
The Interview Process
Too many people jinx their opportunities with their remarks. In an attempt to be original and leave a lasting impact on the interviewers mind they try too hard to be witty or to stand out with their style.
Avoid saying things like, “I’m really nervous.” The interviewer is not there to cater to your psychological needs. While you might think that this makes you seem honest and brave, all it really does is tell the interviewer that you can’t handle yourself under pressure.
“Wear something that is conservative, professional and comfortable. You want to leave with the recruiter boasting about your accomplishments not focused on what you wore to the interview. Trust your gut – if you think it’s too revealing to wear, it probably is!” Rachel warns.
Some posts I’ve seen online encourage women to wear lower cut tops that show more cleavage but I’m not going to do that here.
Let’s be realistic at this juncture and give men the credit they deserve. Professionals don’t hire you based on your cleavage – and if they do are you sure you want to work for them?
You got the internship, what now?
You’re going to have to work hard to maintain the image you displayed during the interview process. A lot of people work hard at presenting the best versions of themselves at the interviews but a week later, they start to show their true colours. If you lie on your C.V and you want to be kept on the job after the internship, you’re going to have to be lying for a very long time. Moral of the story being; don’t lie on your C.V. The hiring office isn’t stupid, they’ve come across thousands of applications and they’re experts at fishing out unrealistic qualifications and investigating their authenticity.
“I would tell young people interested in journalism to get experience early on. There’s so many great fellowships, conferences and internships for high school students and college students. Those opportunities will help set you apart from the rest of the pack and you’ll gain valuable experience.”
For more Interview tips see Outfits That Will Make You Stand Out at Your Summer Internship
See my interview with Rachel here
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Wednesday 6 July: Rome Business School Review and Interviews
Monday July 12: Money Mondays; Business Investments You Can Make in Your Early 20s
Tuesday 13 July: Tested, Tried and True Tuesdays; Asian Beauty Secrets