On MBA campuses across the world, internship interviewing season is here. This can be both a stressful and exciting time for students, as interviewing can be a stressful/exciting rollercoaster of a process! Furthermore, making it through the interview is one thing, but the post-interview process is another. Sometimes waiting to hear back from a company is just as (if not more) stressful than the actual interview.
Keep calm, and interview on
It’s easy for us to fixate on our interview performance. Doing an exhaustive post-mortem can be helpful and/or debilitating. Instead, consider these tips to help you mix reflection with moving forward.
Tip 1: Don’t let an interview define you
Interviews are often seen as a binary process. You either move on or you don’t. You either did well or you did poorly. If there is 1 offer and 6 candidates meet or exceed the hiring bar unfortunately 5 will get dinged. A ding does not mean you failed; it means that others did well too. Instead of letting a ding define you, look past the result and into your interview performance. On the flipside, if you do advance to the next round think about what you could have improved upon to do even better.
Tip 2: Review, assess, and move on
If you’re interviewing for one internship the odds are that you’re interviewing for others. As such, it’s important to debrief and review your interview performance, tackle your lessons learned, practice and then move on. The last thing you want to do is to enter an upcoming interview with your mind on the last one.
Tip 3: Get your reps in
Interviewing is like riding a bike. At first, it feels awkward, but over time, you become more and comfortable. To become more comfortable with interviewing make sure to get enough “interview reps.” Interview reps come not only with interviewing but practice. One way to practice is to ask yourself interview questions and then film them using your phone/laptop. Seeing yourself answer questions can help you prep for live interviews.
Tip 4: No does not mean never
Getting a “no thanks” might mean no, but it might not mean no forever. When you get a no, send a follow up e-mail and thank them for the opportunity. Don’t be afraid to ask to stay in touch in case further opportunities present themselves. This gives you a chance to contact them down the road if a position opens up. If you are proactive about this with recruiters they may keep you in mind if they see a position open up. Doing this provides you an opportunity for the future.
Tip 5: Unwind and recharge
Interviews are high-intensity activities. They require a significant amount of brainpower, and focus. It’s important to take care of yourself to ensure you’re performing at your best. Regardless of the interview length, I personally get tired after an interview. Make sure you take time to “detox” and compose yourself before returning to normal activities. Getting rest, eating/hydrating, or going to the gym can be great interview relievers.