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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manhattan chapter.

By Jocelyn Visnov

Interviewing for an internship or job is an art that is very tough to master. Whether you’re sitting a desk length across from your interviewer, or in front of a computer screen for the dreaded “Zoom Interview,” interviews can be truly daunting, especially if you have limited prior experience. 

Depending on your career field, you may find yourself scheduling dozens of interviews before you receive an offer you’re genuinely excited about. 

Now, I’m no interviewing expert. However, I have learned from experienced professionals and job recruiters about what they look for, and what to avoid during interviews. In addition, as an upperclassman in college, I can guarantee you I have had my fair share of “bad” internship interviews. While I didn’t get the job, I did get to dabble in the art of interviewing, and was able to learn from my mistakes. 

Here are my tips for how to be prepared for the worst, and aim for the best when it comes to interviewing. 

  1. Apply widely and often. Before you get an interview, you have to apply first. If you’re a student or recent grad, you can’t be too picky when you only have limited experience to show on your resume. A job is a job, even if it’s not your favorite. 
  2. Familiarize yourself with the company. Surf the company website and explore their social media pages. Get to know the company culture and history. What is their mission statement? How is it structured? How was it founded? These are all questions that should guide your research. 
  3. Find out what they’re looking for in a potential candidate for this position or others. This can be done by digging deeper into the job description and qualifications. Never lie about having a specific skill if you don’t (they will find out eventually). However if you know what they’re looking for, and can emphasize specific desirable skills of yours in your interview. 
  4. Practice responses to common interview questions. Here are a few you can expect to answer, regardless of the position or industry: 
    1. Tell me a little about yourself.
    2. Take me through your resume. 
    3. Why do you want to work here? 
    4. What are your strengths and weaknesses? 
  5. Always have follow up questions for your interviewer. After you get asked a slew of questions, they will likely ask if you have any questions for them. Always have questions prepared. This could be anything about the company, position, or work environment. Again, this demonstrates your interest. 
  6. Prepare notes about yourself. If you’re interviewing in-person, this will help you get your thoughts together for some of the common questions. If your interview is online, then you can reference these by putting them slightly out of view, but close enough you can read. 
  7. Dress the part. Whether it’s in-person or over zoom, you need to dress for the position you want. This shows professionalism, and can help the interviewer visualize you in your desired role. 
  8. Get rid of distractions or outside forces that could derail the conversation. Have you ever had the lights randomly turn off in a motion censored room during a zoom interview? I have. And it’s not fun to get up and wave your arms around to turn the lights back on mid-sentence (you will lose your train of thought.) So silence your phone, put the cat in another room, and do whatever you need to do to focus. 

If you can casually mention something specific about the company or the job posting (see tip numbers 2 and 3) then the recruiter will know you took the time to do your research, and see that you’re serious about the position. 

Above all, be prepared and have confidence. Don’t get discouraged after one bad interview or rejection letter. 

Eventually, I did get the internship offer! More than one, actually. And though it may take some time, eventually, so will you. 

Jocelyn Visnov

Manhattan '24

Jocelyn is a communication major studying journalism and advertising at Manhattan College. She's the Editor-in-Chief for The Quadrangle Newspaper and previously served as a Creative Director and Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at Manhattan. Jocelyn aspires to pursue a career in advertising with a special interest in creative direction and campaigns. She is a passionate writer who is always on the go, but never without an iced coffee in hand!