Checklist on Becoming Leaders of Tomorrow: Interview Etiquette

Graphics by: Jermaine Fontanilla

When it comes to first-time internships, confusion is an emotion numerous applicants undergo. 5 AM frantic scrollings through Facebook pages looking for open slots, afternoon lunch breaks watching video advice on what to do during training, and calling possible connections to make the unending process a little more bearable. With various opinions on internships and the “right way” to ensure its success, it is easy for us to get lost in translation. But today, whether you’re planning an internship within the medical field, or are looking into joining advertising agencies, or found a spark of curiosity for hotel management, INK Enderun has got you covered. In this series of becoming leaders of tomorrow, let us dissect the different fields of internships, what to do and how to make the dream come true through proper internship etiquette.

With internships, the task to find the “right” company tends to be the most time-consuming. So, through the experiences of STEM student Nicole Sagovac, BS Life and Child Development Undergraduate Jana Tan, and BS International Hotel Management Mikhail Neirras, find out which internship is best suited for you.

Doing her internship at seventeen, Nicole shows us that internships can begin at a very young age. For her, the application process was much more straightforward than others. “I had the privilege of getting accepted because of personal connections and my network. However, it wasn’t all that easy because I still had to go through the process of applying and ensuring completion of other tasks.” Still, Nicole mentions that despite personal connections, there were no personal benefits which she found useful as she learned more about the application process of the corporate world.

While for Jana, socials (like Email, Instagram and Facebook) played a great role in her search for her first internship. Later on, she discovered that the internship she applied for had personal connections, but like Nicole, the process of application was one she did on her own.

Nonetheless, in Enderun Colleges, internships are a journey embarked on together. Like Mikhail, students from Enderun have the opportunity to approach the Office of Career Services for anything work related- including overseeing internship applications. Mikhail remarks, “I found this internship opportunity with the generous and kind assistance of Miss Gaby. She suggested places and I waited for positions that would best suit my current capabilities.”

Another question often sought-after is the creation of Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) and resumes. Applicants tend to wonder what kind of designs are applicable for a corporate industry and yet, how to ensure it stands out? Well, all three interviewees state that CVs are customizable and should fit your industry. For example, Jana, who applied to an ad agency and was focusing on a marketing and design position, explained that she used a traditional format but integrated minimalistic designs to make her CV feel distinct. She advises adding a bit of color, and changing title fonts from body fonts. More than the design, content is where you make your impact. It’s crucial to ensure your achievements, competitions, and awards somewhat integrate towards the position you’re applying for as it gives you more credibility. For her, she utilized past competitions such as writing contests and to showcase her talent as an editor. She utilized niche hobbies like software development to indicate flexibility in workload and capability in learning materials.

As for Nicole and Mikhail, the traditional black and white CVs were used. With Nicole applying to a medical internship she notes that simplicity and straightforwardness is the way to go. “Avoid Jargon and overly excessive terminologies.” Mikhail follows this ideal as he explains that you should not “litter” the page with words and information that will possibly make you look questionable. “Imagine placing as a college student “Awards: most active in senior high school.” Are they hiring the senior high school version of you or are they taking a risk into seeing who the current you is? So take out information that will not make them think they are hiring a possible and suitable candidate.” Still, there are internships that don’t require you to be taking a specific course or strand so be sure to try and apply to these kinds of practices as it serves as proof of your versatility in the workforce.

Nonetheless, what made these three applicants stand out from the crowd is their passion for their field. What corporates seek in applying interns is the willingness to learn and capabilities of withstanding questions. You enter internships to gain experience so if you find yourself worried about the lack of interrelated activities in your CV, then you ensure your position through the interview process.

Within numerous internship applications, it’s quite usual to encounter a notice of interview. There is no rigid style of interviews. Sometimes, it’s a one-on-one conversation; once in a while, it’s a group discussion or it can even be a face-to-face activity that just happens to require active communication. Either way, interviews come in all shapes and forms so applicants must gear themselves to be ready for any challenges ahead.

For Nicole, she practiced her introduction before the possible interview. To practice this, she recommends searching “typical interview questions” and having keyword responses. Or if it’s “intern season,” invite friends and have dialogue practices. This is a tactic Jana used for her first internship. Aside from the usual conversation interview, she went through a screening process before her final admission. Jana advises to review as there could be examinations. “Review terms, the corporation’s purpose, moreover, agendas. Above all, know what you’re getting yourself into. For me, my age was what made me stand out since I was one of the youngest applicants. I utilized this and showed them that someone my age can be well-versed in an emerging industry.”

Surprisingly, age is an important factor in an internship. Several corporations may aim to find interns younger than the usual demographic (like Jana and Nicole who were seventeen during their first internships). But that does not mean you should be discouraged from finding your perfect position. For Mikhail, who is a Fairmont Gold attendant, he explains that the usual age demographic is 21 to 23 years old. Internship services differ per industry and company. For Nicole, hers lasted for three-weeks, making it a good experience for young students to gain well-needed training. Jana’s was at a duration of 8 weeks and Mikhail’s is a 3 month internship. Thus, researching for your internship and its compatibility with your schedule is crucial so you can both enjoy the process and not drain yourself. And before ending the interview, when asked, “do you have any questions?” be sure to give one. It can range from the company environment to possible tasks on your first day. This is to have interviewers keep note of you.

Congratulations! Now that you’ve passed the screening process and are recognized as an official intern, it’s time to do more than just survive and make an impact in the work industry. Through that, let’s figure out some dos and don’ts during your internship.

When it comes to the professional environment, you’ll encounter the juxtaposition of working effectively or making close connections. So as an intern, the question of which to prioritize is frequently internalized. For many new internships, it’s helpful to make connections as they serve as mentors. It’s difficult for first-timers to do work efficiently if they have no comparison to the task. Thus, for many applicants, connections is a preference that then leads to good productivity. Mikhail voices, “In my current experience, the way you operate is one mosaic of your own insights that are mashed together with the advice of your coworkers, peers, fellow interns, and teachings from higher-range positions.” So, converse with your co-interns, enjoy after hours hangouts, and be sure to take note of the team’s motive in fulfilling tasks together.

Another way to improve your skills is to ask for feedback from your mentors. In all internships, you’ll have a head who assigns you to tasks and although you may initially feel sheepish in asking; it’s a great way to receive professional assessment that’s sure to be beneficial in your next job prospects. As Jana explains, “When you get an internship, it’s a nurturing experience. They essentially teach you the industries’ trade secrets and that’s something you can’t really find online or in a book. It’s what makes internships so special as they’re all through interactions.”

So whether your internship application has been approved, or is in the process of approval, be sure that no matter what the results are, you keep your doors open. As stated by Jana, “Be comfortable in your own skin. Too often, interns are depicted as people replaceable and tend to shy away from speaking up. Being comfortable and confident in your work makes you gain more information and creates better connections. “

For more information on internships, INK Enderun has got you covered! Check out a few of our articles focusing on Internship facts and a more in-depth review of Curriculum Vitaes.

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