Looking for an internship is a trippy experience: you want to aim for the best agencies and brands. These agencies are getting hundreds of application from students in the same position as you, and having to invest in a person they don’t know personally for 6 months. For some big groups that doesn’t have too much of an effect, but for smaller actors an intern won’t go unnoticed.
As you’re doing interviews you want to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, your experience and aspirations. Especially in marketing, I need to know how to best sell myself to an employer – if I can’t even do that for the person I know best (i.e. myself), how will I do it for a vacuum cleaner?
And that has truly been my thought process at the beginning of each interview: I want to begin my career with honesty, sharing my hopes and dreams with a fellow human who is also just trying to do their best over there. Sure, I wouldn’t spend 20 minutes talking about all the things I could be better at, or everyone of my past failures (even though those have been the best teachers for my life!) – because it’s an interview, not a confession! All I can think of is that I want to be proud and confortable with how I acted during this process, using my communication skills for good and not manipulation. Darling Magazine always brings my mind back to what matters.
In any case, here is what I’ve been learning as of late about interviews:
- The person I am talking to also went through an interview, was nervous and probably felt overwhelmed. Unless I interview to be in the FBI someday, the employers I will talk to will be kind, open-minded people.
- When I remind myself that they just want to find the best fit for the position I am interviewing for, it helps me be so much more confident! If they don’t ask me to do another interview, it just means that I would probably not have been a good fit for them and the 6 months would not have been as good as some other place could be (or I truly messed up my interview – good lesson too!)
- Preparation is the best stress-reliever. I usually print the position announcement and note all my ideas by each bullet point, as well as questions I have and answers to the usual interview preguntas (strengths & weaknesses, past experience, why this job/position/company, what would you do about this problem we have?).
- Take notes during the interview, and write down your impressions after it. I also like to note the questions they asked and what I answered – satisfies my obsessive post-interview self-analysis.
And most importantly, you actually do have something to offer! Honestly, even those with little experience can be really hard workers and perseverant interns which is worth much more in my eyes than someone with the best names on their resume and no motivation.