Everybody loves interviews. Answering awkwardly phrased questions to the industry leaders that you are looking to impress isn’t exactly the stuff dreams are made of. However, it may be the only thing standing in the way of you securing that dream internship abroad. So you want to be prepared, right?
You can rest assured interviews are something you can plan for. It is inevitable that at some point the interviewer will ask you to tell them about yourself.
This innocuous question seems really simple to answer. However asked by the person standing between you an awesome internship and it can become quite hard to gather your thoughts. The best approach will be to work out a short response that will not only encapsulate your professional life but also who you are as a person.
This is not the time to recount your entire life in real time. This may seem obvious however if you are ill prepared, your original answer can transform into a bumbling mess that isn’t helping you acquire that position. Also, you want to keep some information for the rest of the interview. Try to keep your response within 1 to 2 minutes, timing your response can really give you an idea of the timeframe you are looking for.
Hit the key points
Formatting your response in the following manner will provide structure to your response:
1. Who are you currently
Luckily this also the easiest to answer. What are you currently doing, what you have studied and what you are focused on in your future career (ideally it lines up with the position)? This shouldn’t take up more than 1-2 sentences as it is just an outline.
2. Professional accomplishments
You can also demonstrate your value while answering this question by highlighting two or three stand out achievements that relate to the position you are applying for. The achievements can include projects you have completed at school or high profile clients you have managed at work. As always, the more quantifiable the accomplishments the better.
Bring it all together. Sum up how you have reached the point in your career to finally be applying for this position. For example: “With my business background, reputation for exceeding average sales and knowledge of the startup ecosystem, I think I would fit really well at your company and succeed in this role”.
4. You are an individual
They are asking about you! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. This will be your first opportunity to connect with a possible employer, you want them to know who you are. Including anecdotes and stories as examples show off your interests and passions, giving a complete picture and hopefully better candidacy.
Nobody likes interviews. Sometimes you wish they would just accept you based on your resume, but you know as well that your resume isn’t who you are. Embrace the chance to show your new employer all you can be in the role! Working on your responses to frequently asked response will not save you from anxiety however it will give you a structure to jump off from. It will all be worth it when you have an amazing internship abroad.