Interviewing: The Other Side of the Table


** This blog post was written by Camille Zess, New Media and PR Specialist at Break the Ice Media, and originally published on cubed: a BTI blog.

We love to have our interns share their own experience and what they’ve learned from working with us, but as we begin looking for a new intern for Spring 2016, I’m inclined to give a little agency perspective. While I feel we’ve outlined the applicant profile and requirements pretty well on our internships page, there are always questions and there is a lot to be gained with some insider tips from someone who does the interviewing.

Creative Writing Sample

Most of the work we do here is writing-based and we quickly learned that our top internship candidates would be strong writers. That’s why our internship application includes a creative writing sample requirement. We need to know that potential interns have the skills to write press releases, social media posts and other content without a lot of supervision or editing. Over the years we’ve received all kinds of samples: business plans, press releases, blogs and short stories. If it shows that you’ve got a handle on grammar, punctuation (do I need to say spelling?) and style, you will probably be hearing back about an interview.

Interviewing vs. Being Interviewed

The first time I was part of an interview for an intern with Nicole, it was an eye-opening experience. Shortly after my own job search (about 6 months in!) I found myself on the other side of the table. Everything I had read about customizing resumes, writing engaging cover letters and preparing for interviews was true. The bottom line is that we are employees of a company we believe in – and if you’re looking at me from across the table, you should believe in it, too. We are looking for more than an intern because we’re small. We are looking for a (temporary) member of our team who will be able to pitch in, lend a hand and get metaphorically dirty right alongside us. Because that’s what we do every day (even especially Nicole).

Inside an Internship Interview

No matter which side of the table you’re on at the interview (metaphorically speaking, of course, you can sit wherever you like), it can be … intense. We are asking questions to find out if you’d be a good fit for our clients, work and team. You’re answering them as best you can to prove that you are the best candidate. Presentation is key at this point. Come dressed nicely (business casual is good for our office), bring some things to show off work you’ve done and take a deep breath. Have confidence! We know you may be nervous, but if you’re the best candidate, you probably also know what you are talking about.

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