First impressions go a long way. There are a few general rules that should always apply. First off, always arrive about five to ten minutes early and never arrive late. If that means that you have to get there 30 minutes before your interview and walk around the city streets for 20 minutes, then do it. Nothing makes you look more irresponsible than tardiness. If you show up late, not only does it show irresponsibility, indifference, and disrespect, it also may cut your interview shorter so that the intern coordinator may get back on schedule.
- When being introduced for the first time, make sure you get up from your seat and give a firm handshake. It exudes confidence.
- One of the biggest mistakes you can make is thinking that you are going to go into the interview and "wing it." Preparation and research are keys to a great interview.
- During the interview, you should ask questions. It's an opportunity to show that you are genuinely interested, prepared, and curious. This is where your homework will pay off.
- Towards the end of the interview, be sure to ask what the next step in the process is. Find out when decisions will be made and when you should follow up.
- Get the correct spelling of the person you interviewed with and their title. This will be important for you thank-you letter. Send the thank-you note as soon as possible and try to personalize the note with something specific from your interview. The intern coordinator probably gets many thankyou notes, so anything you can do to make yourself stand out can only help you!
You are what you wear
Another basic rule that should go without saying is that you should dress neatly and conservatively. If you don't have a decent suit (this applies to you ladies as well) then it probably a good investment for you to make. It doesn't have to be an expensive suit, just one that looks professional.
Dress for success - The Guys
- In general, conservative is safe. It's hard to offend anyone's sense of style or professionalism if you come dressed conservatively.
- That means men ought to wear dark "power" colors that exude professionalism and character. Navy blue is always a safe bet. Again, the mantra...conservative is safe.
- Also, long sleeve button down shirts are a must, even in the summer. Short sleeve button down shirts are a definite no-no. It is preferable that the color of the shirt be a solid white or light blue. Remember...conservative!
Dress for success - The Gals
- Women should also dress conservatively for the same reasons. Suits are not just for men. Not has it become just as traditional for women to wear suits as men nowadays, but it is even expected. Navy blue always exudes confidence as does other base tones, like dark brown or beige.
- When it comes to jewelry, again less is more. Nothing clunky that would bring attention to it. No large bangles or large earrings. Subtle jewelery is the safest, and therefore the best way to go.