Posted tagged ‘interview’

Q. What’s the outlook for business internships this summer?

March 12, 2010

A. Good news! The New York Times, in the recent article, “Job Market Stabilizes for Business Students,” reports that business students and career advisors expect an increase in internship opportunities this summer. According to the article, banks are climbing out of the recession and more business students are finding banking internships. 

And more good news—you can find lots of business internships right on internships.com. Check out Kinderhook Industries, which is searching for financial analyst interns. Located in New York City, Kinderhook is a private equity firm that manages $800 million of committed capital. The firm targets orphaned non-core subsidiaries of corporate parents, existing small capitalization public companies lacking institutional support and management-led recapitalizations of entrepreneur-owned companies. Why not target Kinderhook for your internship experience?  Be part of the Kinderhook team that matches unique investment opportunities with high quality management in its “Search for Value.”  Help Kinderhook in its search by being a valuable intern.

To find out more, click here.

P.S. Have you had a business internship or do you know anyone who has? Write a review and let other students know what to expect. Or offer advice on how to prepare for a business internship interview. Thanks!

Tip #4: Confidence begets confidence

March 5, 2010

You’ve got to believe in yourself in order for the interviewer to believe in you.  

I like quotes. There are so many that are perfect for conveying an important point about the interviewing process. For example, Jesse Jackson said, “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”  I love this quote because people tend to believe that only the brightest get the best opportunities. That is totally and completely bogus!Interviewing is like a chess game. Often, it’s not the person with the most assets that wins. It is the person who uses his or her assets most skillfully that wins. The reality is that you can be the absolute best candidate for a position and still not get the offer. The way to consistently get the offer is by influencing interviewers to believe that you are the best candidate.  As Michael Jordan said “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” Having talent, genius and education is useless if you can’t convince the interviewer you possess these attributes.

Here is the important TIP you absolutely have to get your head around: Interviewers will hire you because they LIKE you. This has to do with how they feel about you more than it does with what you actually say in an interview. What I’m saying is that WHAT you say is not the only factor in interviewing well.  HOW you present what you say is even more important. Think about it, we remember how we feel about somebody much more than we ever remember the actual words they say. To be liked, you need to “like” being you in that interview – prepare and get comfortable with yourself and your abilities. I assure you that you will like the interview process a heck of lot better if you go in prepped and feeling confident in yourself.

Tip 2: Be prepared, not fake–authenticity is everything

February 26, 2010

The best way to be authentic in your interview is to pursue an internship in an industry and/or profession that truly interests you!  

It is really hard to fudge PASSION. People can detect real excitement for their work over those faking it. Employers want interns who are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty because they love the opportunity to be involved in a role/function that is helping to expand their scope of knowledge, skills, and abilities. For these guys, there is no such thing as grunt work. Getting coffee for the boss is the opportunity to get a glimpse of his/her world every morning and pick up on snip-its of conversation that impact a leader’s life.  Boring or mundane tasks quickly transition into opportunities to get face time with people in positions that you otherwise couldn’t easily meet or interact with, if not interning there.    

It is very true that when you are doing what you love – it really doesn’t feel like work. That’s not to say that all of us don’t do tasks that are less enjoyable than others.  I know I certainly do, but it is completely worth it because I recognize it as the minor cost I pay in order to do what I love the rest of the time. It is not only important to choose a summer internship that “fits” you because you will interview better, it is important because it will be a more exciting summer.  

When you are in the wrong place, it is like being right-handed but having to perform your daily functions as a left-hander. That would be completely exhausting! If you are reading this and thinking, “Well that’s just great IF you know your interests, but I don’t,” that’s okay because we created the Internship Predictor to help get you started down the path of career exploration. Try it out and let us know what you think.

Stay tuned for additional tips coming soon!

Tip 1: Prepare for your internship interview

February 25, 2010

1.       Prepare the longest and hardest for the first 2 minutes of your interview.

 Most people know within minutes whether they want to form a relationship with someone. There is a great book called “Blink” that shows us how we make huge judgments and decisions in the “blink of an eye.” The same holds true in internship selection. The decision to hire is frequently a snap decision made within the first few minutes of a meeting. Since first impressions are so important, dedicate your prep time to answering questions likely to come in the very beginning of the interview. These can be things like: Tell me about yourself?  Walk me through your resume. Why are you interested in this company and internship? 

Your goal should be to have prepared your answers to these questions so when they come up, you don’t have to spend your energy trying to think about what to say. Instead, you can use your energy to express confidence and enthusiasm as you deliver your answer.  Think about Tiger Woods’ performance last week as he attempted to express his sorrow for his transgressions. There is no doubt that he prepared and memorized what he was going to say, and rehearsed it numerous times before going on stage to share his apology to the world. As a result of his preparation, practice and rehearsal, he concentrated on feeling and looking like he was sorry when on camera. 

Now for many it worked–they thought he was heartfelt and sincere.  Personally, I felt it was overkill and he came off looking wooden and unnatural. So while it is really important to plan more for the opening of the interview by preparing answers for the initial questions in advance, don’t overdo it like Tiger did.  When you have your content prepared in advance, use that preparation to feel confident and ensure your delivery is natural and conversational.

Which brings us to tip #2: Be prepared not fake. Authenticity is everything.

Stay tuned for more interview tips…

Believe you are the right one for the internship

February 22, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I watched the Super Bowl and now I’m enjoying the 2010 Winter Olympics. I love watching sporting events in general, but in particular, I love it when athletes or teams, who are not favored, come from behind and win. I think part of the reason they overcome unfavorable odds is because they have such a strong belief that they are going to win. They don’t see themselves as the underdog or less powerful contender. The athletes in these sports win because they think like winners. Take for example the outcome of this year’s Super Bowl. It was surprising to all of us when the favored Indianapolis Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints. Whether it was surprising to the Saints or the people of New Orleans, who knows? But chances are, they went in to the game sure they would come out on top.

Before the Super Bowl, the sporting world favored the Colts. Considering what life has been like in New Orleans the past few years—the team and city continuing to face incredible challenges since Hurricane Katrina, it would have been easy to adopt a “give up” attitude. The Saints, instead, clearly brought out great resolve to come back better than ever. 

As you prepare for interviews to secure a summer internship, go in believing you are the best candidate for the role. Put any and all fears, doubts, and concerns out of your mind. Become perfectly clear within yourself that you should get this offer. Half the battle is looking past your obstacles and embracing an amazing opportunity.  

Interviewing for internships can be tough because you are frequently put in a position to convince someone you are well-suited to a profession and/or industry you are not that familiar with, hence the purpose of the internship. This can be tricky for even the most confident of people. My hope is that you’ll give yourself permission to be confident that you will be the winner. You deserve no less.

How to find a summer internship: three MUSTs

February 14, 2010

Three must BEs for securing a summer internship:

  1. Be humble
  2. Be confident
  3. Be thankful

Be humble.  This economy has many employers concentrating on keeping business alive–not always the best time to develop new internship programs. But companies are still doing it—offering their time and experience to help prepare the future workforce.  In brighter times, internships were typically considered a form of corporate community service—taking the time to prepare America’s young adults for a multitude of careers. Then, a hiring manager might have expected an interviewing intern to ask the question, “What will this internship do for me?”  But these are different times and being humble will serve you well.  By Humble, I mean your focus should be on ‘what you can do for them, NOT what they can do for you.’

Be confident. Being confident means believing you are worth a company’s time. Confidence is different than being self-absorbed (a trait common among insecure people). It’s a quiet glow of strength and self-awareness that comes from owning the courage to seek out and acquire the professional skills, industry exposure, and coveted connections that make internships so valuable in the first place.

Be thankful.  Some students get internships through their parents, friends, or relatives. Others find them through their school career centers.  Regardless of how you get an internship, gratitude is essential. The number of interns that take the time to write thank yous after an interview hovers at about 5%. This low percentage means the thank you note is a huge opportunity to stand out. Everyone appreciates a person who truly appreciates an opportunity extended to them. Thank you should be the first thing you say when you BEGIN an interview and it should be the first thing you say when you end an interview. You cannot express your gratitude enough when it comes to letting employers know how appreciative you are to be considered for an internship. Let the manager know you are worth it and that you appreciate their time.  

Got feedback? Bring it here – I’d love to hear it.

Getting an internship: the changing role of the intern

February 2, 2010

In the past year, the role of the intern has shifted dramatically. The employer mindset has gone from viewing the internship as a form of corporate community service to a method for accessing free labor. In a thriving economy, employers want to invest in the future workforce by providing opportunities for young emerging professionals to learn about their industry and professions. However, when times get tough, employers want to simply stay alive long enough to get through the recession.

As an intern, you need to adjust to this new mindset and approach the internship differently than in the past. Instead of approaching your next internship as an opportunity to learn about a profession or industry, you’ll want to pursue an internship with the goal of contributing your skills in a way that generates value and substance for the employer. As a result of your contribution, you will no doubt learn about the profession and industry but the goal should be contributing not learning. Employers in this tough economy are trying to make their dollars go farther and their people produce more. Internships help them accomplish both. Promoting yourself as the intern who can help them do more for less is a great way to get noticed.

So what does this mean for you? Well for starters, when asked in an interview, “Why do you want this internship?” focus on what you can do for the employer. Do not talk about how this is a great opportunity for you to learn about the industry and profession. While that might also be true, it is not the most important reason to highlight in the interview. What’s important to the employer is your ability to take initiative and produce quality work as a member of their team.


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