disclaimer - i’m not a career coach. this is just advice based on personal experience. as a business/marketing major i interviewed with companies like google, nike, philips, and am now interning at microsoft. these tips will not guarantee you a job and some things might not work in your country/industry (but hopefully they will help you along the way!)
1. your resume
- this is your ultimate marketing tool. make it work for you. i personally prefer resumes that are limited to 1 page. it’s true that recruiters only glance at your cv for just a couple of seconds, so make yours stand out, yet keep it minimal/simple.
- for each job, list bullet points and make them result-driven (and make your first bullet your best bullet).
(i will share some example layouts soon)
2. the application process / preparing for your interview
- you have nothing to lose. see a job that interests you? just apply! even if you don’t meet all the requirements, it’s worth a shot. what’s the worst that can happen? you might think “but i’m not good enough for this job” - lemme tell ya, that mindset is not gonna land you ANY job at all.
- don’t wait until the application deadline.
- prepare a pitch about yourself and memorize this so you’re good to go when the interviewer asks you to tell something about yourself.
- there are many websites out there that list basic interview questions. make sure you prepare for these. just google (common/top) interview questions”. make sure you have an answer in mind.
- it’s okay to indicate some of your weaknesses, but either conceal them with a strength or tell them that you’re working on improving yourself. no one is perfect. show that you’re eager to learn and grow.
- study the company. don’t just look at what they sell, but also study their mission, history and what they do “behind the scenes” (e.g. philanthropic initiatives). also have an answer to why you would want to work for this company (and why you choose them instead of their direct competitor).
- ALWAYS prepare questions for the interviewer, too. one question that i like to ask is “what is one thing you DON’T like about working for this company?”. i have asked this to managers at google and microsoft, and some didn’t have an answer for me hehe. surprise them.
3. the interview
- BE YOURSELF! i can’t stress the importance of this enough. it’s totally ok to be nervous, but try to relax anyways!
- practice a firm handshake.
- always be prepared to elaborate on your cv and job experiences. this shouldn’t be a problem as long as you don’t lie on your cv lol.
- dont worry about awkward silences when the interviewer asks you a question. take some time to compose your answers rather than simply trying to bridge the silence by blurting out something . some companies also like to hear your think out loud.
- take some time to get to know the interviewer. if s/he doesn’t do so already, ask the interviewer to tell something about themselves.
- dress accordingly (some companies require you to dress smart, others are fine if you show up in a casual outfit). if you don’t know what the dresscode is, don’t be afraid to contact the recruiter about it.
- didn’t get the job? don’t be so hard on yourself. you tried your best, so consider your interviewing process a lesson and a training.
4. on the job
- networking is important. schedule coffee with your teammembers so you can get to know them better one on one (maybe you’ll even make some friends along the way). are you interested in what other teams or departments do? don’t be shy and get to know them too. (note: do check your organizational structure. by that i mean: don’t just schedule coffee with all senior managers and directors if that is not a part of your company culture lol)
- if another intern is onboarding you and showing you the ins and outs, always take notes. you tell yourself you will remember everything, but trust me; you won’t. write down any instructions you receive and you will thank yourself later.
- never ever be afraid to ask questions. don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- don’t be afraid of new challenges.
if you have any q’s, shoot me a message. got any additional tips? feel free to send me those and i’ll add them to my list (ofc i’ll credit where due).
good luck everyone!