By Priyanka Jaisinghani Staff writer
You’re one step ahead of the game. After months of waiting you have the chance to interview with employers who see potential in you. You have something they want in their organization. If you are at a stage where this is your first interview, it is an exciting time. You’ve moved up the pile of hundreds of applicants and into a smaller, more qualified one. All that’s left to do is dazzle them in your interview.
The way you present yourself is a key factor contributing to your acceptance or rejection. One of the main ways to show that you mean business is to ask questions. At the end of the interview, an employer (or a group of them) will turn to you and ask: “Do you have any questions for us?”
For those of you who are in your first interview, this is not the time to cower and say you have no questions. Before you get to the interview, you need to do research about the organization. You’re not “stalking” them, you are ensuring that you are informed and understand exactly what they want and how you can contribute. Let them know that you will be dedicated to the organization.
Find out about the interviewer: If you can, find out whom you are going to interview with. This is where LinkedIn comes in handy – it’s like the professional version of Facebook. Often, your interviewer will be the person emailing you (unless that person is from human resources). This person could very well end up living in your hometown or being an alumnus from your college. Use this to your advantage to connect with them or to find out something really cool about them from their LinkedIn. Once you find this information, ask them valuable questions that you found from your research.
Find the organization on social media channels: The whole secret to asking questions is to stalk your employers in a non-creepy manner. Through the organization’s social media channels, you can find out about new programs they are about to initiate, future events they will sponsor or even core values and what the organization strives to accomplish. Ask questions about that.
Sometimes an organization won’t have any social media presence and this also has potential to be beneficial to you. You can ask if there is any strategic reason for why they don’t. Whichever way the ball rolls, you can get a question through this approach.
Visit the website: Don’t forget about the basics and visit their website. They should have all their information on their website, from videos to products, sponsors or partners. You can easily inquire about specific information you see there. You can also find out information about sponsors or partnerships they may have.
The internship: Don’t forget to ask questions about the internship and how you will be supporting the organization. It is vital to gain new skills and hone in on the skills you already have. By asking more questions about the internships and your tasks, you can see whether you truly want this internship and if it will aid to your learning. You have a limited time at college and it is important to choose your internships wisely. To ensure that you do that, remember to plan ahead and you will get much more out of the interview that will help you make the wisest choice.