The other day, I had a little chat with Simpson, a college student and friend of mine, the evening before he attended an internship interview. Though of a different context, there are a few things that students preparing for admission interviews can learn from.
This is an interview that Simpson has longed for. Yet, strangely I did not see sparkling eyes and a high level of positive energy in him. He has in his head a great quote “I can accept failure but I cannot accept not trying.” In between the lines, I heard something like “Well, well, I will give it a try though I know I am unlikely to make it.” Doesn’t it sound familiar?
Come on, Simpson. Set yourself up for success (not failure) from the onset. You are invited to impress the interviewers that you are a suitable candidate who has the ability to do well. You have to believe that you are one. Give thoughts to find good reasons to substantiate that you are one.
Please trust me that all interviewers want you to do well in the interview and in the internship (or whatever you are engaging). So, they really want you to be able to demonstrate that you like the organization, you like such an internship opportunity, and you see good prospect for yourself. So, you have to first convince yourself of this. Your voice and your body language will honestly tell people whether or not you are genuinely interested in this internship.
Simpson added, “I will show my confidence, and more precisely hide my nervousness.” Again, why put so much emphasis on the nervousness. [Sigh!] In fact, if one gets well-prepared, one will naturally be confident, and nervousness will no longer be an issue. He went on by saying, “But, I got the phone call this very afternoon only.” Here’s my response: “Yes, I can understand. But all candidates got short notice. Should it be an excuse for not getting adequately prepared?”
My tip for you: Start preparing for an interview early. Don’t wait till you receive an invitation. Regardless of whether or not you will be granted an interview, you should prepare for it – the earlier the better.
Good luck in your upcoming interviews – be it for university admission or job application.
Associate Director, Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions Office, HKUST