In a recent article on Monster.com, Catherine Conlan reminds her readers of 5 Questions You Should Never Ask in a Job Interview. Below are the recommendations we have found to be applicable to those interviewing for internship positions:
" 'When will I be promoted?'
This is one of the most common questions that applicants come up with, and it should be avoided, says Rebecca Woods, Vice President of Human Resources at Doherty Employer Services in Minneapolis. 'It's inappropriate because it puts the cart before the horse.' Instead of asking when the promotion will occur, Woods says a better approach is to ask what you would need to do to get a promotion.
'What's the salary for this position?'
Asking about salary and benefits in the first interview 'always turns me off,' says Norma Beasant, founder of Talento Human Resources Consulting and an HR consultant at the University of Minnesota. 'I'm always disappointed when they ask this, especially in the first interview.' Beasant says the first interview is more about selling yourself to the interviewer, and that questions about salary and benefits should really wait until a later interview.
Any question that shows you haven't been listening.
Woods said she interviewed an applicant for a position that was 60 miles from the person's home. Woods told the applicant that the company was flexible about many things, but it did not offer telecommuting. 'At the end of the interview, she asked if she would be able to work from home,' Woods says. 'Was she even listening? So some 'bad questions' can be more situational to the interview itself.'"
Be prepared for your interview by checking out our other blog posts about interviewing and advice for finding an internship; then apply to some of the great positions available now on Chamber Intern Connect using the link below!
In a recent article in Secrets to Your Success on Cosmopolitan.com, Anna Davies gives several interesting tips on job interviews, and some interesting things to avoid that you might not have known you should avoid. Below are exceprts of her list, for the full article click here.
"1. Your Twitter Feed Is Lame
"I always look at potential employees' Twitter feeds," says Alison Brod, president of Alison Brod PR. "I know it's informal, but a stream littered with u's and luv's makes you look 12 years old- definitely not hiring material." Other stuff to avoid: tweeting during work hours, always talking about social plans, and swearing. What's good? Smart retweets and mentions of industry players. "A recent candidate's feed mentioned a few clients we rep," says Brod. "It was clear she cared about the industry. She got the gig."
2. You Overused Your "In"
Employers expect candidates to use connections to get their foot in the door. But a recent survey by Michigan State University found that 32 percent of large companies have received résumés from parents on behalf of their kids-a major no-no. "It looks like your parents are more invested in the job than you are," explains Roy Cohen, author of The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide. Have your mom or dad or whoever make the initial intro, then send your own email or make a phone call saying that you'd love to connect.
3. You Inflated Your Digital Footprint
FYI: Saying you're skilled in MS Office is like saying you're a pro at checking your voice mail. It's a given, so don't oversell yourself. You're not "social media savvy" just because you tweet. So does everyone. "I see so many résumés that list 'social media' as a skill, then I find out that the candidate's just using Facebook," says Brod. Unless you have experience in analytics, viral campaigns, or managing an account with more than 100,000 followers, don't go there.
4. You Were Too Friendly
It's okay to LinkedIn or Google your interviewer before your meeting-chances are, he or she did the same to you. It's a great way to gather some basic intel that can help break the ice when you meet. But be cautious about how you use that information.
5. You Have a Lot of Baggage-Literally
Leave anything you don't need at home. "A candidate came into my office holding these enormous shopping bags," says Indursky. "It made it seem like our interview was just another stop in a day full of errands." It also makes you seem disorganized and unprepared. And save the latte for after the interview. "If you show up with coffee, I feel like you think I'm there to entertain you," says Suzanne Gleason, area manager at the recruiting firm PeopleShare. "Plus, I'm jealous I don't have one."
6. You Praised the Perks, Not the Position
Even if you've landed an interview at a company with Google worthy extras, refrain from mentioning the awesome cafeteria or cool vibe and focus on the stuff that they'll actually pay you to do. "I want to hear how your interests and talents line up with the job description," says Gleason. Hone in on one thing in the job description you'd truly excel at, and play that up.
7. Dressed to Impress
Sites like renttherunway.com make it easy to score a killer interview outfit. But looking so great can backfire if you're not careful. "I had a candidate plop down her clutch on my desk at the beginning of the interview," recalls Jess,* a media executive in New York City. "She obviously wanted me to see it. I felt like she was using the purse to prove herself because she wasn't confident in her talent." By all means look polished, and wear designer duds if you want, just don't be obvious about it (even if you're interviewing in the fashion industry-they'll notice, trust us).
8. You Spoke Too Soon
Wait until you've at least left the building before calling anyone to share how things went. 'One candidate was on the phone in the bathroom and was overheard talking about how she just nailed the interview," says Shara Senderoff, CEO of internship search site internsushi.com. It came off as cocky, and we never called her back.'"
Ready to have an interview? Check out the internship opportunities that are available now:
In a recent article titled "Make Internships Count for the Student and the Company" by DJ Patel and Julie Deroche, internship opportunities are looked at as a win-win. This article details how to make the most of your summer 2013 interns or internships. Below are some excerpts from the article that are particularly worth note:
"First off, why have an intern program at all? For hiring managers, interns can be a shot in the arm for most companies and organizations. They show up during a narrow window of time, create havoc, inject new enthusiasm and ideas, and they’re gone before you know it.
If you’re a potential intern, it will be one of the steepest learning curves that you’ll ever encounter. You’ll build your professional network, explore different company cultures, and learn about new career paths. It’s your chance to figure out what kind of company, role, and culture you want to be a part of when you search for that first full-time job. Are you planning on entering the workforce soon? We’re seeing an increasing number of students who receive job offers at the end of their internships. [...]
As a hiring manager, your focus should be on talent rather than just meeting an intern quota. Hiring is the first step of talent development – talk to them as if you’re a coach rather than a recruiter. They’ll sense that you’re aligned with their best interests, and as a result, you’ll be able to figure out whether they’re a good match. Similarly, put them through an interview process that’s competitive with your regular interview process. You want interns who are excited and energetic, not ones who are there just to put one more bullet point on their resumes. The ones you want love a challenge, and word gets out that you’re tough, but fair.
Summer internships are also a good time to give employees who want management experience the chance they need to build those skills. Pair your interns with people who you feel have management potential so that your interns not only have a mentor, but your employees gain valuable experience in being a manager. The best companies make coaching part of the culture, as well as a career development goal for their employees.
Finally, expect to spend a lot of time working on recruiting. It’s not only competitive for students to find an internship, it’s also incredibly competitive for companies to find the right talent. [...]
One of the biggest complaints that interns have is that they’re invisible. Similarly, most managers complain that interns lack context. It’s two sides of the same coin. Most managers interpret visibility as access to leaders in their domain-specific areas (e.g. engineering, marketing, etc.). What interns really want to learn about are all the functions that make the business run. [...]
A concrete goal for interns should be to make a measurable impact during their short stays. After all, one outcome is to have something that is worthy of being on their LinkedIn profiles or resumes. Internships are a proxy for work experience, so you have to work on things that matter to you. Managers, you have to make sure that your interns are focused on something they can achieve during their time with the company so that both parties can get something concrete out of the experience.
The key to this is not only the previous points, but also frequent communication at minimum once a day. In fact, the best companies have interns sitting no more than four feet away from their managers or mentors. For example, seriously consider how long you expect an engineering intern to set up their environment. If it’s more than a week, that means they’ve wasted over 10 percent of their internship. As interns, you have to ask for help when you need it. And managers need to look for signs that their interns are stuck. We’ve seen too many great interns waste a summer on a trivial problem that’s just a minor detail in how the company operates.
Most importantly, managers need to make sure there’s a two-way feedback loop. Interns have a short window to learn everything they can about a company, and so they need as much timely feedback as possible. As a manager/mentor, there is nothing like the fresh, raw feedback of an intern to help identify flaws in the organization, processes, or even your style.
Finally, internships should be fun. Fun doesn’t mean a lack of hard work. Rather, it means celebrating hard work and the process of learning. It might seem that you have to take your interns out to big events like baseball games or retreats, but it’s of little value if you’re not getting to know each other. Sometimes the most fun and worthwhile experience is grabbing a pizza in the early-morning hours after shipping a new feature and watching people actually use it."
To read this article in its entirity, please click here: http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/01/managing-the-two-way-road-of-a-successful-internship/
If you are looking for a summer internship, check out those that are already available on Chamber Intern Connect by clicking the link below!
If you are ready to post your summer internship, please do so as soon as possible to engage the most ambitious and talented of students in greater Boston! Use the link below to get started.
There are often times during an interview for any job when you are wondering what the interviewer is thinking of you. Experts in non-verbal communication and body language have some key points for you! In a recent article on Monster.com, Larry Buhl writes the following things to note in a person's body language and what they might mean:
"Signs: Stops taking notes; looks repeatedly at clock or watch; dramatically picks up the pace of questioning.
Message: “I’m bored by you.”
“It’s fine to stop and say, ‘I have a question for you, if you don’t mind,’” body language expert, corporate trainer and commentator Susan Constantine tells Monster.com. “And when you do this, pause and change inflection to get their attention. You can also use hand gestures when talking to add emphasis and punctuate points of interest.”
Signs: Folds arms across chest; flares nostrils; shifts shoulder or feet toward the exit.
Message: “I’m offended.”
The only way to mitigate an unintentionally offensive gaffe is to address it directly, experts say. Ask whether you’ve said something impolite or offensive, and apologize.
Signs: A momentary smirk; raised eyebrows.
Message: “I disagree, or I don’t believe you.”
If you think your comments are meeting resistance, it’s OK to address that directly, says Ronald Riggio, PhD, a professor of leadership and organizational psychology at Claremont McKenna College. “You can be straightforward and politely say, ‘I get the sense that you don’t agree with what I’m saying. Is there anything I can clarify for you?’”
Sign: Reads your resume through the whole interview.
Message: “I’d rather be anywhere else.”
This one might not be your fault. Some people are just bad interviewers, or they don’t like questioning job seekers. Still, you might be able to save the interview. Be direct and change the dynamic, Riggio says. “You can say, ‘What can I tell you about my background that will help you realize that I'm a very good fit for this job?"
You can also avoid the nose-in-the-paper problem by putting your resume in the center of the desk instead of handing it directly to the interviewer, Constantine suggests.
When You’re Winning
Experts agree that several signs indicate the interview is going well. In these cases, the interviewer will:
- Nod or tilt her head forward, indicating agreement, interest or at least that she’s paying attention.
- Mirror your body language, such as by crossing his hands when you cross your legs.
- Offer positive verbal responses, such as repeating similar phrases."
To read the full article, click here! These are all interesting things to keep in mind when preparing for an interview. If you notice some of these negative body movements, try to change your tone or your words, and see if you can better explain your answer in another way.
In a recent article in Forbes, Ms. Adams address the top 10 job interview myths. Below is some of her great list, rewritten in the form of things to know for your internship interviews! To read her article, please see here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/10-job-interview-myths-debunked-142643625.html
1. The interviewer is NOT prepared.
"The person interviewing you is likely harried and overworked, because he needs to hire someone. He may have barely glanced at your résumé and given no thought to your qualifications."
2. The interviewer WILL NOT ask good questions.
"Many interviewers prepare no questions in advance beyond "Tell me about yourself." "They usually just wing it," says Couper."
3. They DO NOT want you to accept their offer of refreshment.
"Interviewers feel obliged to be polite and offer you a drink, but they do not really want to go fetch that cup of tea."
4. The interviewer DOES NOT want additional materials like references.
"Unless you're a designer or writer, the interviewer does not want you to hand over reports or reference materials."
5. There's NO right answer to an interviewer's question.
"When you're asked a tough question, the interviewer is usually more interested in seeing how you go about addressing it than in precisely what you end up saying."
6. You should keep your answers LONG.
"The interviewer doesn't want to have to think of another question to ask you. "If you're giving information that's hitting what they need to know, then they're happy," says Couper."
According to a recent article in Forbes, Millennials make a few regular mistakes when interviewing. Perhaps the following advice they provide will be helpful to you in your next round of interviews for internships:
"No. 1: Wear Inappropriate Interview Attire
The top interview mistake millennials make is wearing the wrong clothing, according to 75% of hiring managers surveyed. When Angela Romano Kuo was vice president of human resources at professional job-matching company TheLadders, she recalls being appalled that a young man came to an interview wearing a golf shirt, shorts and flip flops. He did not get the job. “Err on the side of being overdressed to make a good impression,” she advises. In an interview, stay away from flashy jewelry, plunging necklines, too-short hemlines, t-shirts, and shoes that are too casual or too difficult to walk in. “You never want to wear something that can be distracting, so if you have to think twice about it—skip it.”
No. 2: Have Posted Questionable Social Media Content
An overwhelming majority (70%) of hiring managers said millennials make the mistake of posting potentially compromising content on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Conversely, managers reported that only 19% of older workers post improper content. According to a recent survey by Intel, top social media faux pas include posting inappropriate or explicit photos, sharing too-personal information about yourself or others, using profanity, and writing with poor grammar and spelling. Young people should be especially careful of their grammar, considering that 46% of hiring managers believe millennials need to improve their writing skills.
No. 3: Haven’t Done Their Research
Hiring managers are generally skeptical of millennials’ research skills, and 62% said it hurts them in an interview when they have not done enough research or preparation on the company and position. While young professionals are most associated with being creative (74%) and strong networkers (73%), they are not believed to be organized (8%) or detail-oriented (17%). The easiest way to flip this assumption on its head is for millennials to be as prepared as possible for the interview. Do internet research on the company, position and interviewer; read as many recent articles as you can find about the industry; and use your LinkedIn connections to talk directly to someone already working there about the culture and environment.
No. 4: Don’t Ask Enough Questions
Three in five interviewers say that millennials often show a lack of interest in the job by not asking questions about the company or position. If you don’t ask smart questions, you’ll appear indifferent or clueless. Some of the best questions for a job candidate to ask in an interview are: How would you describe the ideal candidate? How does this position fit into the company’s long-term plans? What can I do for you as a follow-up? Questions you should stay away from in an interview concern salary, benefits and hours, which should be discussed once an initial offer is made.
No. 5: Overconfident In Themselves
A whopping 57% of hiring managers say millennials can be overconfident in their abilities and experience in an interview. “I love Gen Y, but we all know that they have been conditioned to have a wonderful sense of self-esteem,” says Kate White, longtime Cosmopolitan editor and author of career guide I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This. “One mistake younger people tend to make is making it all about them.” White recommends keeping the focus on specific accomplishments and how you’d apply what you’ve learned to get results in the new position."
To read the full article by Jenna Goudreau, please click here!
In a recent article in Big Think, recent college grads and close-to-grads are given a few words of advice on how to succeed in the working world. Below are some applicable excerpts for students looking for internships:
"Twenty-somethings: if you want your job to be as satisfying and personalized as your undergraduate study, here's a word of advice. Choose your employer wisely. Yes, we know that the unemployment rate for recent graduates is, at around 53%, abysmal -- but that means that half of recent college grads are employed. And those who will be most successful must bring a genuine curiosity and eagerness to what they do for eight hours a day, five days a week.
Your first job may not be your dream job (it probably won't), and it may be harder than you imagined, but even working at the fringes of the industry you're interested in is an important first step to creating a fulfilling career. When you're writing your cover letter, is your enthusiasm for the job you're applying for real? If not, don't apply for it. Instead, concentrate your efforts on searching and networking until you come across an opportunity that does. [...]
Once you've secured work, the next step is finding managers you like (someone who reminds you of a favorite professor, perhaps?) and figuring out how you can help them be great at their job. At the end of each work day, ask yourself: does something else need to get done? Is there some additional assignment that you can do, to set yourself apart and show that you take pride in your projects? The people Glocer loves to work with:
I love an employee who, if I say 'please do these five things, goes away, comes back, and [has done] the following: They've done three of the five things exactly as I've asked for. They're perfect. The fourth thing she says to me [is], 'I've done it your way, Tom, and this is what it looks like, but I actually think it should have been this way, so I've done it that way too. The fifth thing you asked me to do you didn't really think that through. It's sort of dumb. I'll do it if you want me to, but I de-prioritized it and by the way, with the extra time I did these three other things, which I think you should have asked me because I think I understand what you're trying to achieve, but you probably thought I was too busy or whatever. You're being nice, so you didn't. So here are the eight things I've done and what would you like me to do next?
Even the most inexperienced people have power in their drive. Be willing to learn, but don't forget that you know a lot, too, and you have a lot to offer, including limitless enthusiasm. "Bring that to work every day, and you'll inspire the people around you," advises Glocer."
The Huffington Post recently posted an article from Her Campus.com, which described 5 valuable things to do haflway through your internship. To read the full article, click here. Below is a summarized list of the advice given in the article:
1. Ask your supervisor for an evaluation
Sure, you're set in a pretty good routine now, but you want to make sure it's the right routine. Now that you've got the hang of things, ask your boss to give you a mid-internship evaluation to make sure you're still holding up to their expectations. Shoot her an e-mail to see if she has a couple minutes to meet up after work or during your lunch break to discuss how you're doing.
Getting a critique from your boss can be intimidating, so keep an open mind and remember that her comments are for your own benefit. Nobody likes a defensive know-it-all; listen respectfully and take notes on how you can improve your work. Your supervisor knows what she's talking about, and you're there to learn, after all!
2. Ask for more responsibility and pitch new ideas
Don't be that "ghost intern" who never, ever approaches their boss. Now that you have a handle on the job you're currently doing, it's time to make it harder by asking for more responsibility.
You've (hopefully) proven by now that you can do your work -- and do it well -- so think of three to five new ideas or projects and pitch them to your supervisor, Miller suggests. Your boss wants to hear that you're creative, invested in the company, and forward-thinking, so don't be afraid to suggest new things!
3. Start networking with other departments
Now that you're comfortable with your own job, why not learn about some of the other roles in the office? "If you haven't been meeting people within the organization but outside of your current role, it may be time to start asking people out to coffee," says Miller. "Try to connect with at least one new person each week, if not more. Ask them about their jobs and for their advice on your career." Shoot your coworkers an email introducing yourself and asking if they'd be free to grab a coffee sometime this week. Who knows, a meeting with someone in a different department could even open you up to a career path you hadn't previously considered.
4. Hang out with your fellow interns
You don’t just have to network with other employees—why not network with the other interns, too? They may seem like competition at times, but your fellow interns could be just as useful to your future job search as other employees.
5. Think to the future
The best way to stay on track is to create a list of goals for your internship and your future career. What do you still want to do in the time you have left in your internship? Whether it’s a contact you wanted to make or a project you wanted to work on, write it down to make sure it doesn’t slip your mind before you’re done; two to three months can go by pretty fast.
In a recent article on Boston.com by Devin Cole, The secret to getting your first job as a college graduate
, even more reasons to be an intern are shared, even if you don't get a job as a direct result of your internship with a given company. Devin shares the below advice on how to use internships to your advantage, and how to learn from your experiences. To read the full article, click here
"Here are the secrets, based on my research, which will help you win in this job market (even if you aren’t a recent grad):
- Think like an entrepreneur instead of an employee. Our research found that almost one third of employers are looking for entrepreneurship experience when recruiting for entry-level positions. If you can’t get an internship, start your own business. Whether it succeeds or fails, you will learn something and present yourself to employers as a risk taker, salesperson and self-starter. I’ve recently been asking executives who would they rather hire, an entrepreneur or a student with five internships. They immediately took the entrepreneur. Businesses can only thrive based on new ideas and innovation – so they are desperate for entrepreneurial minded students. GE, for instance, will look for their next executives during college recruitment. Some students have been able to start successful companies and it becomes their job upon graduation.
- Put more emphasis on developing soft skills. For the most part, it’s easy for companies to find individuals who have hard skills, such as basic computer proficiency. You can’t compete based on what you know as much as you used to. Our study found that employers are looking for communication skills (98 percent), a positive attitude (97 percent), and teamwork skills (92 percent). How do you develop these skills? You have to be as social as possible by joining student organizations, volunteering, and attending networking events. You will naturally become a better communicator by being around people constantly. Interviews are a measure of your soft skills, not hard skills. Also, it’s important to spend more time searching for jobs that you’re genuinely passionate about because it will ensure that you have a positive attitude during your interviews. If you’re trying to fake your attitude because you need a paycheck, you will be passed over.
- Use all of your resources. Let people know that you’re searching for a job or they won’t be able to help you. Meet with your career services contact at your school to see if they will introduce you to relevant alumni contacts. Get introductions through family, friends and acquaintances. If your father is a VP at a company, try working there if you can – even if it doesn’t make you feel accomplished. Our research shows that only 16 percent of employers recruit on social networks all of the time or most of the time, while 48 percent use job boards and 44 percent use employee referrals. Other studies show that most employers are using social networks for recruiting. What matters is that you use everything at your disposal in order to get a job. Do everything! Just because one of your friends got a job after a Twitter posting doesn’t mean you’ll be just as lucky. Being everywhere will increase your odds of getting a job."
In a recent article in BostInno by Lauren Landry, How To (And Not To) Make the Most of Your Internship, some great advice is given to student interns! Check out the article, or see our favorite pieces of advice, below:
From Andrea Dine, Associate Director of Career Development at Brandeis University’s Hiatt Career Center
Embrace the grunt work — It’s not all glamorous, but think big picture and consider your impact on the project and/or organization.
Ask for things to do — Supervisors may not be aware of how quickly you can complete work, so propose project ideas.
Network — Meet people at all levels of the organization, in many departments. Tell them your story; learn about their experiences and career paths. Ask for advice, and establish basis for future references.
Supervision — Ask for regular meetings and feedback. Be a good listener, and absorb and incorporate information. Progress on learning goals, be assertive and communicate your needs.
Megan Houlker, Director of Babson’s Undergraduate Center for Career Development
Be genuinely helpful, and take it a step further. Do not just ask what can I do to help. Identify how you can help.
Be a participant in the success of your internship. It is not just up to the employer to give you a good experience. You need to create it.
Colleen Murphy, Associate Director of Undergraduate Career Services at Bentley University
Michael Gaskins, Interim Director of Career Services at UMass Boston
Let’s start with mindset. All students should enter their internship with excitement and be confident that they are well prepared to take on various assignments. Remember, you want to do your job well with a professional attitude and produce an excellent work product; you want to make a winning impression. First and foremost, approach your internship with a positive attitude.
Stay away from the office gossip. As former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
When the day is over, don’t run out the door. If you know your department is working on a project and others around you are staying late, see if you can pitch in to help. Your co-workers will appreciate the gesture, and you’re going above and beyond.
Be prompt to scheduled meetings. Don’t forget to attend meetings with your pen and paper in hand. Listen closely to who is speaking and quickly you’ll observe the point person on certain projects and the different roles people have within the department and within the organization. It’s important to be aware of the hierarchical structure with an organization.
Deadlines exist for a reason. Pay attention to all deadlines. It’s awkward to inform your team that you have taken too long on a specific task and that the work will not meet the deadline.
You should build in a check point around the middle of your internship. Check in with your supervisor or assigned mentor. Let them know how much you are learning, that you’re enjoying your internship experience and open up a discussion about your future career goals. They, in turn, will keep the conversation in mind as they take on more clients and more work. They know you’re interested.
Take on special projects, but don’t take on too much and assume you can handle everything.
Leaving that last impression with colleagues and employees is also crucial, because they can generate recommendation letters or leads.
And I wouldn’t recommend going in the first week and trying to restructure the company.