The clock is ticking! We’re in the second week of April and most students have either decided or are actively browsing for summer internships in 2017. And then there’s you, secretly worrying over your chances to even clear internship interviews, because of one small, defining thing – you’re an introvert.
Being an Introvert is a superpower
Generally shy or painfully so, 43.1% of us are introverts by nature in the world. And they prefer the dark comfortable corners rather than the spotlight, choosing solace over crowds and carefully playing with their thoughts before laying them out for all to see. An introvert is seen in both positive and negative shades – they can be considered solitary, aloof, inhibitive or overtly sensitive – when they could just be thoughtful, serious, gentle, placative and self-sufficient.
However, preparing for internship interviews is no easy task, especially if you’re an introvert. General shyness is one thing, but when it strikes in a position where you need to take advantage of the spotlight, it’s concerning. What you then need is a plan of action, a focussed strategy by which you can prepare and be ready to perform when the spotlight is turned towards you.
For ease, this guide has been divided into three segments:
How to prepare for your internship interviews
You’ve sent your internship resumes out with just the right cover letters. They liked it and gave you a call. Now’s the hard part. And this is how you can plan on a great moment in the spotlight, counting down to the day.
Generally, companies schedule interviews, especially internship interviews, two or three days in advance – though you can easily be called the next day.
Practice and prepare
Research on the company – know the industry they are in, how they are performing, internal organisation specifics and recent news. Prepare as well – know the job role inside out and chalk out answers to possible questions, especially on why you’re perfect for the role and what would you individually bring to the company.
Bring physical evidence:
Are you an expert at digital marketing. Well, ensure that your certificate for it is a part of your portfolio. Cite your achievements and keep certificates, citations and the like as part of your interview brief.
Small talk, check:
This is important, especially if you’re an introvert. You don’t want to begin tongue-tied or be noticed for squirming through what’s supposed to be candid conversation. Prepare ‘on’ the weather, politics, sports, your interest areas and things of this sort.
Plan your arrival
Yes – this is important, especially if you may get flustered for arriving late. That’s a no-no and a sure sign of muddling up your interview ahead. Chalk out the fastest route to your destination and leave well in advance.
Conducting yourself during internship interviews
You’re here. And the first one of your internship interviews is about to begin. Then these are the steps you need to take.
Take a breath, relax:
Do your 5-minute jig – the relaxing exercise which best works for you. It can be emptying your thoughts, a little stretch, taking a glass of water or deep breathing.
Make personal connections:
Whether it is one person or a panel, don’t forget to make personal connections through the course of your interview. Make eye contacts, address them while answering or even turn your attention towards them.
Focus, think, refocus:
Focus on the question that is being asked, take your time in responding to it. And if you feel that you have lost course of where you began, take a minute, re-assess and come back to the point, instead of meandering about. Also, try to share your achievements, your opinion and your worth objectively – turning braggart can put your interviewer off.
Ask the right, insightful questions. They show you’ve come prepared, are confident enough to seek clarity and overall, keen for the job.
How to follow-up after your internship interviews
Phew! You did it – the tough part is over. Now, you just need to ensure a few more things -a subtle follow-up, thanks, suggestions and winding down.
Drop an original Thank You as you part from the interviewer. It o could be for the opportunity, for their time and consideration or you could even take a moment to close on how you’ve learned a few things that you weren’t aware of when you had originally come for the interview.
Taking a cool down moment is important, especially if you’re an introvert who does not generally like the spotlight turned towards them. You did well – prepping yourself for the interview meant much, much more than just turning up. And whatever the result maybe, you would be more confident then you were before you had done it.
Send a follow-up mail
Drop a follow-up mail, thanking them for their consideration and enquiring into whether they have decided on your candidature. Generally, a follow-up is best within two to three days, unless you had gone to a big organisation, where they had called in multiple candidates.
Are you an introvert too? Hope we’ve able to help! Drop your comments and suggestions below and we will try to connect with you accordingly.