Getting an internship is kind of like the Hunger Games. Although you are literally offering your labour for free, it can be a nightmare trying to convince someone to let you work for free and that you’d be an ‘ideal candidate for their company’. However, what I’ve found is that you can either send a mass email asking everyone you kind of know but not really in the area you’re interested in working in, or you can trawl the internet for places that are looking to gain off your labour. It’s okay though, you’re getting invaluable work experience in an industry that you’re interested in. It’s important to remember that.
You’ve managed to convince another human being that you’re employable and that your free labour would be the best kind of free labour. Good work! Now, here are the four things you can do to secure this internship.
- Be on time.
I can’t stress this one enough. If you’re late to an interview, and they don’t know your circumstances (also known as ‘I’m coming from buttfuck nowhere, please be aware of this), you have little to no reason to be late. Unless, you know, there are circumstances out of your control like the trains are late, or you got a flat tyre. Just try to be aware of how ridiculous they sound to an employer as they’ve probably heard it all before.
- Shake their hand.
Apparently this is something you’re supposed to do in a professional setting. The thing about life is that most people assume you’ve got more experience than you actually do, so that’s why it’s included in this post. If you do make a good first impression on these people, shake their hands and be polite. Just general human niceness, really.
- Be eager.
Although it does suck knowing that you’re not getting paid, there is a reason that you’ve decided to apply and that is for experience. If you make it really obvious that you don’t want to be there and that you don’t want to learn, there’s little to no point in the company having you around. Especially when they can just get another intern from the intern tree outside that’s just waiting to be plucked. What I’m trying to say is that although you did secure this internship, there are plenty of other people who are waiting to take your place, even if you are just getting coffee for the boss or making cold calls to people. Someone who is more eager and interested in doing that stuff than you are will happily take your place if you do not bother to be eager.
- Ask questions.
Another way to show that you’re eager is by asking questions. It’s good just to clarify if you’re doing the right thing, as well as asking questions about the company, how it started, whether or not it’s going under anytime soon… No, I’m kidding! Do not ask the last one, you will be met with scowls*.
Anyway, try to follow these tips and I’m sure you’ll keep your internship. The experience, although it may be a bit boring sometimes, is invaluable and if things go well, you’ll get a killer reference at the end as well as knowing what it’s like when you graduate and want to get a fulltime job. If you have any other tips, let me know in the comments below!