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  • Writer's pictureCarin Nardone

Tips for Landing an Internship

Updated: Feb 27


Interview Tips to Land Your Dream Job

I have been having many conversations lately around the subject of internships. It’s that time of year with deadlines for internship programs quickly approaching and interviews and networking conversations being conducted.


There are so many resources outlining ways to nail the interview and step by step processes of how to land an internship. All these things can be helpful. Even with all the preparation that is available, I’m hearing that candidates feel uncertain about how to approach an interview and trying to discern what things to highlight, especially when they feel they have limited work experience.


It can be tempting to focus on what you think the interviewer wants to hear versus staying connected to who you are and your unique story, as well as how your experience lines up to the job and why you want to work for the company.


Here is my advice for navigating the process of landing an internship:


#1 - ALL OF YOUR EXPERIENCE MATTERS

It is easy to think your part time jobs or extracurricular activities may not be relevant or impressive enough for that corporate experience. Remember that especially for internships, the company is looking for qualities, traits and attributes in addition to skills.


Skills they can teach but attributes are something that you have built over time and shape who you are. Think about all of your life and work experiences, classes, projects, interests and hobbies and what qualities you developed through those pursuits. See if you notice a pattern. Even better, ask someone who knows you well what they feel are your strengths and why. Another good question is “What are the top three things that come to mind if they were to describe you to someone?”


All these things can help you gain insight about your unique qualities you bring to a role in addition to skills. Both skills and attributes are important but for an internship interview, you will rely on the qualities you developed through all of your experiences and those are what leave your interviewer feeling like they really know the whole person.


#2 - ORGANIZE YOURSELF

Organize your examples and your experiences so you’re ready for anything. I always advise you have a repository of work and life experiences ready to share depending on what questions come up. You can draw from those experiences and provide a holistic picture of your background that conveys your potential. The process can be as simple as listing out each job or experience you have had and what your role was, what you did, how you felt about it, the outcome and what you learned.


#3 - TAKE ACTION

The one pattern I’ve seen in many of the candidates who land internships quickly is they take a series of actionable steps that lead to success. Taking action could be:

  • Creating your list of target companies

  • Applying to online job postings

  • Reaching out to someone who could provide some informal coaching or sharing advice for your next interview

  • Attending information sessions, panel discussions or talking to your professor about contacts they might have in the field

  • Constant and consistent follow up and remembering to communicate with anyone who has helped you along the way

  • Being curious and asking questions that can lead to your next connection

Taking action is about creating momentum to help connect the dots of your job search and keep the ball rolling.


Through the combination of knowing yourself, organizing your experience and taking action consistently, you will find the momentum that will lead you to your next opportunity.

 

To learn more, click HERE to visit the CNC-Search website.

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