You’ve slaved over concocting the perfect cover letter that exudes professionalism and personality (tips here) and found the perfect “hire me” blazer only to find a rejection letter float into your inbox. It’s heartbreaking, but it happens to the best of us. Two options follow rejection: sit, sulk, and deem yourself a failure, or reflect on the mistakes you made that could have led to you not getting the position. The superstar intern chooses option number two, and we have the inside scoop for the mistakes he or she made.
Knowledge is power!
Without knowledge of a company and what they represent, a denial letter may be coming to your email. Knowledge is power! Not only may you be asked questions that imply a previous familiarity with the company’s work, a great way to stand out is to bring up their mission yourself and incorporate it into your answers. For example, if you’re interviewing for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, bring up their most recent work with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. If you’re interviewing with a PR firm like Krupp Group, bring up Jonathan Adler product placement on the blog Something Navy.
Do you research and troll the company’s website, Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This will give you a well-rounded understanding of the backbone of the company, its key players, and reveal any recent news or accomplishments.
You need to have a valid reason why you want to intern for a company. Merely finding the job posting online and applying, only wanting an internship for the sake of having one, or being a die-hard fan of the company are not valid reasons. The intern who gets the job is the one with a deep passion for the company and the work they do. If you are applying to the position for shallow reasons that are apparent, your name is sure to be crossed off the list.
Brag, brag, brag!
Bragging is a HUGE turn-off, right? In the real world, yes, but in an interview, brag to your little heart’s desire! One of the biggest mistakes interns make is being timid about their strengths and accomplishments and failing to sell themselves. Employers aren’t mind readers and haven’t read your autobiography, so if you don’t tell them all of the amazing things you’ve done, they’ll never know! Impress them by pointing out how you spearheaded the creation of your school’s fashion magazine or created a list of over 2,000 bloggers at your previous summer internship. Those are wow factors!
You kept your mouth shut
After flawlessly answering every question the interviewer asked with poise and eloquence, you’re exhausted and ready to beat it. You know the you nailed the interview, so what’s the point in sticking around, right? Wrong! While you may have razzle dazzled the interviewer in the Q and A session of the interview, answering “do you have any questions for me?” with a blank stare can negate all of the perfectly formulated answers you gave beforehand. No worries, though – check out our post on interview questions you need to ask.
The plague of Solo cups
Guess what’s the easiest way to take yourself out of the running? It’s not a fresh coffee stain on your silk blouse; it’s not stuttering over your answers; it’s inappropriate use of social media! Welcome to 2014, where everyone is social media stalked under every circumstance. For the low-down on how you may be using social media inappropriately, check out our posts on social media etiquette you need to know and the truth about social media.
Have any more advice? Comment below and help your fellow interns!