You've spent the last few months sending out countless resumes and cover letters, you've interviewed with hiring managers and you dutifully followed up afterwards with polite emails. But before you know it, summer is around the corner and that internship offer you expected to have is nowhere in sight! What happened?
We all know that the internship world is extremely competitive, and trying to land a summer gig at a great company can feel like trying to get an acceptance letter from Harvard. Even if you feel like you have the total package, there are a few things you might be doing (or not doing) that are standing between you and an offer. Read on to find out which mistakes you might be making during the internship application process and how you can step up your game next time to make sure you get the job!
1. You didn't research the company beforehand
One major thing that employers look for in a potential job candidate is knowledge of the company and the position you're applying for, so getting caught off guard by a basic question about the company's values or mission statement is going to raise a red flag.
"A candidate can look fantastic on paper, but preparing for the interview is critical," says Alicia Rodriguez, director of employer relations at the University of Miami's career center. "Recruiters look for candidates who know the organization in and out and can speak to how [their] skill sets can benefit the organization."
Tip for next time: Research, research, research! Knowledge is power, and knowing as much as you can about the company you're applying to work for can only help you. Familiarize yourself with the company's mission statement, know who the head of the company is as well as other important employees and be prepared to discuss the company's values (and how they line up with your own). A great place to find this information is the "About" section on a company's website, as well as its LinkedIn page.
You should also find out if the company has been in the news recently for any major accomplishments. Not only is this a great talking point, but showing that you've read up on the company is a surefire way to impress your interviewer.
2. You didn't seem passionate about the company