Many first-round interviews for internships take place over the phone. They’re more informal — you don’t have to dress business professional or even leave your room. Often, the recruiter tells you more about the position and wants to learn whether or not you’d be a good fit for the role.
But a phone interview lacks nonverbal cues: the opportunity for a firm handshake, eye contact, smiling, nodding, etc. The more you interview, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become, but here are some tips to set you up for success:
1. Research the company.Expect them to ask you how you heard about them and/or why you’re interested. Find their company values online and talk about which ones resonate with you. See if the company has been in the news recently or won any awards. Read any blog posts, employee spotlights or case studies you can find online. Bringing up examples from these will show them that you’ve done your research.
2. Know the job description.Go through the bullets provided and come up with an example for each that shows you’re qualified. Or if you’re completely unqualified, using bridging techniques to highlight how the work you’ve done will help you succeed in this role.
3. Practice walking through your resume.Recruiters will often ask you to do this at the beginning of an interview. Don’t repeat what’s on your resume word-for-word because they have a copy in front of them. Expand upon your bullet points or talk about some of your favorite experiences by providing specific examples.
4. Expect the obvious questions.
A first-round interview is likely to be more broad, as the interviewer tries to get to know you. Expect them to ask about your strengths and weaknesses. Expect a question about leadership and another about a time you failed. Be prepared for the “Why us?” question and have a good answer for it. Look up common interview questions online and practice.
5. Prepare your own questions.
This is one of the most important parts of an interview because it’s your chance to show your interest in the position and company. Some of my favorite questions to ask include: What is the culture like? What is the best part of your job? What is the most challenging part? Why do you love working for your company? What is the most important skill for interns to have?
You don’t want to feel like this after your next phone interview…
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