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Five Unique Ways to Prepare for Your Internship Interview

Feeling stuck? Here are five unconventional interview tips to try out.


Everybody knows the fundamentals when it comes to preparing for job interviews: do your research, look smart, and memorise your CV. However, when internships jobs are becoming more competitive and employers are faced with an avalanche of highly qualified candidates, connection is increasingly a factor in how offers are made. 

In a study published by the Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology, researchers found that 35% of interview decisions were made within the first five minutes, and candidates who made small talk unrelated to interview questions were favoured over others. This means that making a connection with your interviewer - being able to put them at ease and let your personality shine through - will undoubtedly give you a better chance at acing that interview. 

This is easier said than done, however. In a high-pressure environment where there are clear stakes and lots of questions, it can be very difficult to sustain organic interactions. We can easily fall into the trap of approaching an interview as a test with right and wrong answers. Because of this, we have put together five unconventional tips to help you hone those soft skills required to make the best impression and absolutely nail your internship interview. 

1) Go for a Run Outside 

Outdoor running is like marmite: you either love it or you hate it, and most people fall into the latter. Many people feel self-conscious exercising outside, whether because they feel like they stand out amongst a crowd of suited commuters or worry they are not 'good enough' to be perceived as a runner. 

It's for these reasons, however, that outdoor exercise is a great way to build up confidence. If you can maintain focus on a run and overcome your fears of being scrutinised by others, then you can do the same in an interview. The more you run, the more skilled you become at blocking out those distractions and approaching challenges with a clear mind.


2) Make a Hype Playlist

Have you ever listened to a song and thought, I can do anything? Through the power of association, a song can completely transform your mood. If you want to harness this for your next interview, try listening to the same song every time you need some extra oomph, or when you're about to do something outside of your comfort zone. After a while, you'll be able to channel that focus simply by playing the song right before your interview.

This works better when it's a song you really love - don't choose something just because it's featured in a Spotify Hype playlist. Adele's 'Hello' might not have motivated Rocky, but more importantly, it could motivate you. 


3) Do Something Alone

Is the idea of asking for a table for one alien to you? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Humans are innately social animals and spending our downtime around others is generally good for us. Sometimes, however, it’s easy to get caught up in arbitrary rules and taboos, and spending time with ourselves is equally as important.

Whether it’s eating alone, going to the movies by yourself, or embarking on a solo adventure to another country, doing things without others increases independence and will make facing your internship interviewers that much easier. 


4) Pick Up a New Hobby

When you mess up or feel like you've failed, think about how you react. How we behave when we feel like we've done something wrong is critical to our success. Many people focus too much on mistakes as failures and give up too quickly, making it almost impossible to bounce back. If you're in an interview and you mess up a question or say something unprofessional, not all is lost: the important part is performing well for those remaining twenty minutes. 

If you find that mistakes can leave you feeling paralysed in the moment, try picking up a hobby, especially one that doesn't fit your current skills. The more you 'practise failure', the more you'll be able to succeed. What's more, learning something new is a great confidence boost: there's nothing like that feeling when you've mastered your first song or understood a foreign language for the first time. 


5) Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

While you can prepare for an interview for days, you will inevitably encounter something you probably didn't expect. The best way to approach this isn't through more preparation, but through strengthening your adaptability. Lots of us get comfortable and forget to stretch ourselves.

If you want to be more adaptable, try making a conscious effort to occasionally push through feelings of discomfort. You could challenge yourself to do one or two things each week that you know you normally wouldn't. For some, this might be as simple as complimenting a stranger, and for others, it could be your first skydive. 


Interviews are always intimidating, but by implementing these five tips, you'll have the skills to show off your experience and connect with your internship employer!

Now that you have the tools for success, take a look at Twin's internships in the UK, Ireland, and Spain