Interviewing for a potential job or internship can seem like the scariest event of your life. But I learned while preparing and reflecting on a recent internship interview that it doesn’t have to be.
Although preparation is key to any interview, I learned that just breathing helps. It may sound obvious, but for those of us who are in panic mode trying to find some summer work may forget to do this important task.
Along with breathing, knowing aspects about yourself and the company you’re applying at will help make you more confident and therefore less nervous. Don’t cut corners.
On April 28 I interviewed at Oshkosh’s Business Success Center with Amanda Stobb, the HR intern. Afterward, Amanda critiqued how my interview went and gave me some valuable tips that I’d like to share with you.
- Be ready to discuss your strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and accomplishments for almost any interview you go to. Don’t assume these questions are too “obvious.”
- If it helps, take notes during the interview so you can remember specific questions you have about the company. If you feel uncomfortable taking notes, ask the interviewer ahead of time. You should always come prepared with questions about the company.
- Use the STAR method to answer questions specifically.
Situation: Where/when was this?
Task: What did you have to do?
Action: Specifically what action did you take to accomplish this?
Results: End with a positive outcome.
- It’s normal to be nervous. Nervous about meeting new people, saying the wrong thing or going to a new area? Relax and leave those nerves at the door. Nervous because you aren’t totally confident that you are qualified? Take steps beforehand to make sure you know yourself and the company as completely as you possibly can.