Preparing for Your Professional Year Internship

As part of the Performance Education Professional Year program, students are placed into an internship. Our consultants take into consideration students’ training needs, career goals and experience, then match them into a suitable internship placement.

After a one-on-one consultation, students take part in interviews with host companies. This can be a nerve wracking time for students who are eager to hear confirmation about their internship company. During this time it is important to stay calm and prepare for interviews. Here’s what Professional Year students can do.

1. Be accessible at all times

Consultants may need to contact you at short notice so it is extremely important to make sure your phone is with you at all times and you are checking emails hourly. If you think you are going to be in an area with bad coverage, it is really important to let your consultant know so that they can make provisions to contact you in another way.

2. Be available for an interview

In the lead up to your internship, it can be tricky to balance your part-time job while also trying to attend interviews. The best way to work around this is to be honest with your manager and explain to them what exactly is happening and why you might be called to interview at short notice. Most managers will be considerate and will understand your situation if you are honest with them.

3. Have your resume printed and with you

Preparation is key! It is so important to make sure that you have printed your resume out in advance and it’s ready to go. Create a folder with your resume, academic transcripts and any projects that you have completed that you would like to bring with you and discuss in the interview. This looks very impressive to any interviewer and highlights your preparation and organisation skills which are key to any internship.

It is also extremely important that you know your resume and are able to confidently talk about all areas including university projects, previous employment experience and any gaps between study and employment.

4. Brush up your technical knowledge

Can you impress an industry expert with your technical knowledge? Make sure you are continuously refreshing your technical knowledge while waiting for interviews. Your consultant will have provided you with a student toolkit for your area of speciality. Ensure you are using this toolkit to refresh your knowledge and skills.

Where possible, try to continue developing your skills in a practical way. For example, if you are a Web Developer, start by developing a personal website. This will help you refresh your technical skills and knowledge while also showing commitment and a willingness to learn.

There are also a range of free online courses that will further help you to develop your skills and knowledge in your field. This is also a good discussion point in an interview in highlighting that you are eager and keen to succeed in your career.

5. Have your interview outfit ready

As you could be called to an interview within short notice, it is important that you have your interview outfit washed, ironed and ready to go. First impressions count and how you present yourself can be a really important factor in a company’s first thoughts in selecting you as the successful intern.

Interviews can be a scary for everyone. However if you follow these 5 simple steps, you will be preparing yourself for success and giving yourself the best possible opportunity to succeed in the interview. Be confident in your own skills and your ability!

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