Our advice: Interview preparation
Banking Analyst Advai offers advice as you prepare for interviews.
When it comes to applying for internships, it can be hard to get straight answers on anything. Is it really all about who you know rather than what you know? Do you have to memorize every last factoid about the company or role to pass the interview? And does the recruiter really want to hear from you? Current Human Resources summer intern Lauren S., is here to give you the straight answers you crave.
Myth #1: You can’t get an internship if you don’t have a connection already working at the company
“This is simply not true. I put feelers out everywhere. I must have sent upwards of 50 applications out and tried not to get my hopes up for places that I really wanted to work – like Barclays. Hearing from Barclays was unexpected because I knew no one who worked here and couldn’t find anyone on LinkedIn from my school to connect with via another connection. But here I am, living proof that you don’t have to have an inside connection to be hired. My advice? Make yourself stand out in your application and put your best foot forward at the interview – both will get you farther than you think.”
Myth #2: Your recruiter doesn’t want you to ask questions
“While I would not recommend sending multiple emails a week to your recruiter, consolidating questions into one thoughtful and succinct email is appropriate. Do your research before you ask a question though, as a lot of the information you seek can likely be found on the company’s website or social media pages. But if you can’t find something or have a concern, that is what your recruiter is there for – use them as a resource!”
Myth #3: You should know everything about the position you are applying to
“As someone pursuing a liberal arts degree, I thought it would be impossible to find an internship in the business world because I didn’t expect anyone would take me seriously. However that was absolutely not the case! If you show up to the interview with confidence and speak honestly about what you know and your skills, you will be considered. Interviewers are more interested in how you think than what you know. You can always be taught skills, but it is harder to teach intellectual curiosity and rigorous thought processes!"
Myth #4: You can’t get a sense of company culture until you start working
“I found you can feel the company culture when speaking to employees at events or in the interview. As much as they are interviewing you, you are interviewing them. Understanding the way the office runs or what others in the firm like or don’t like can help you get a better idea of how you’ll fit in there. Look out for cultural giveaways like a genuine interest in you as a person or mentions of teamwork, supportive managers and friendships among coworkers.”