Now that you have completed your internship with us and had an amazing time in Cape Town or New Delhi with our programme, its time to start applying for opportunities back home. You’ve sent out your Resume/CV and cover letter and you’ve gotten the hiring manager’s attention and been invited for an interview. Congratulations!
An interview can make or break your application. To help you we are sharing some tips on how to do it right. Here are our best tips for interviews!
Showcase your achievements from your internship. Having an international internship with if i could… is a valuable conversation starter in any interview. Going out of your comfort zone to make a difference shows initiative, ambition and a strong work ethic – qualities that are valuable in any position. Prepare to share details on the unique skills you learnt, how you contributed to your host organisation and how you took initiative and built resilience and character in a foreign city!
Dress for the job you want. It is important to dress to impress! Don’t dress like you are still backpacking around South Africa or India. Consider what is appropriate and do some research on the company beforehand – find out what their dress code is. Fitting in with the company culture can help you stand out from your competitors.
Research your interviewer. LinkedIn is a great tool for researching your future employer. Find out if they have written any articles or publications, and mention it during your interview. Here are some helpful tips on how to make LinkedIn work for you.
Research the company. There’s a very good chance that you will be asked “how will you contribute to our company?” and having done your research beforehand will help you prepare for this question. Highlight some skills you have learnt during volunteering or interning and which the hiring team is looking for, and then say how you will apply those skills to the available position.
Succeed at Skype interviews. In today’s global world, Skype interviews are becoming more and more common. Before a Skype interview, make sure you look smart and professional – nothing says unprepared like answering a call in your pyjamas! Ensure the interviewer sees a tidy background behind you, and clear your space of any clutter.
Don’t carry a heavy backpack or purse with you. When going in for an interview, leave all personal belongings in your car or at home. Invest in a sleek leather portfolio with a couple of copies of your CV – that is all you will need unless otherwise specified. There’s nothing worse than having your phone ring in the middle of an interview!
Ask questions. Asking intelligent questions show that you’re interested in the position and the company. Here is a great list of smart questions to ask during an interview.
Send a thank you note. Following up after your interview is an easy way to ensure you stand out. Follow up with a courteous email thanking the interviewer, and mention something you discussed during the interview.
References matter. For personal support and advice from our team on next steps after your internship and settling back into the world of work drop us an email. Consider asking for a reference from our programme or from your host organisation.
If you are planning ahead and want to find out how to intern with the if i could… programme, contact one of our Programme Coordinators, or apply online. See you soon!