How To Land Your Dream Internship: Part II

Congratulations! It may have taken you a week to submit your application, or it may have taken you all year, but you gave it your best shot. Now you can just sit and wait right?

NO WAY! Here are the best ways to make use of your time after you send in your application and ensure you have the best chance of landing your DREAM INTERNSHIP.

1) Let Them KNOW You Applied, and Keep BUILDING Company Connections

Send all the people that you contacted at the company a thank you message. It can be as simple as two sentences:

“Hey Michael, wanted to let you know I just applied for the “X” position. Thanks for all the help!”

Also, be sure to let the company’s social media team KNOW you applied. Post that you “Applied for my dream internship at “X!” Wish me luck.” Hopefully all of your company connections will like, share, comment, or react to your post.

2) RESPOND to the Invitation for an Interview

Congratulations, you got an invitation to interview! Take a jump for joy, but avoid the temptation to send an immediate reply stating that you’re available at anytime. Doing this without first consulting your schedule may create an additional task for the recruiter, making it harder for you to make a good first impression.

For example, here’s a common email thread:

From Company to You: We would like to schedule an interview, what times work for you?
From You to Company: Great, I’m free at anytime!
*Recruiter groans* From Company to You: Okay, I’ve penciled you in for Wednesday at 3PM
From You to Company: I’m so sorry. I have an exam that I cannot get moved at that time. Besides that, I’m free any time.
From Company to You: Okay, will Monday at 2PM work?

… and so on and so on. You’ve already created an inconvenience for the company before you’ve even started working.

Here’s a better approach:

From Company to You: We would like to schedule an interview, what times work for you?
From You to Company: Great, I have availability on:

  • “Specific day 1 from x-x Time Zone”,
  • “Specific day 2 from x-x Time Zone”
  • “Specific day 3 from x-x Time Zone.” Please let me know if any of these times will work for you.

From Company to You: Excellent, I’ll send a calendar request for “Specific day 2 from x-x Time Zone”

Tip: Avoid responding to questions with a question.

3) RESEARCH for the phone interview

Lucky for you, you’ve already done so much research at this point, that you already know a great deal about the company itself.

Next, you’ll need to learn about the person that will interview you on the social networks. Find an interesting project they worked on and create two to four open-ended questions related to that project.

It’s a phone interview, so having note cards is perfectly fine, but you should still rehearse responding to common sample questions in two minutes or less. Remember, you can never be too prepared!

4) Thank people for their TIME

The screener will more than likely say they’ll get back to you some time in the next week, but make sure you send them a brief thank you via email after your interview. Don’t forget to mention something specific you may have talked about during the interview so they know you were present and paying attention.

As we learned throughout part one of this series, personalizing your communications as much as possible is always the best approach to standing out amongst the competition.

5) DOMINATE the Skype and In-Person Interview

Between all of the research you’ve done and all the people you’ve connected with, you should feel very confident going into your next interview. Get some sleep in the days leading up to the interview, and don’t eat anything that’ll make you tired the morning of.

As far as what to wear, just do a Pinterest search for proper job interview attire. However, if you come over or underdressed, don’t let it throw it off your game. Just acknowledge it to the interviewer and move on.

Remember to think positive! You’ve earned this and you’re going to DOMINATE the interviews.

Tip: Always ask for a timeline and what the next steps will be.

6) Get the OFFER

They’ve made you an offer! Your hard work has paid off and now you’re ready to jump in and officially begin your dream internship.

However, don’t let them pressure you into accepting on the spot. It’s quite possible you have other options on the table, you’ve seen that you can get what you want when you have a strategy and focus, so take at least a night to think it over.

Then, when you’re ready, give them your answer and let the next, exciting chapter begin!


Offer or no offer, you gave it your best shot every step of the way, and that’s the most important part.

It wasn’t easy, and it took a lot more effort than you may have expected. But now you’ve got a network of supporters, an interesting story to tell in your next interview—and hopefully YOUR DREAM INTERNSHIP.

Miss part 1? Check it out here to get all the information you’ll need…

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Hwan Hill

Hwan comes from US and non-US heritage and loves that his name and appearance confuses people. After years of post secondary life outside of the US, he returned to do his part in moving the HR and recruitment professions forward. When he's not advocating for servant leadership, he can be found asking for maximum level spice on pretty much everything and laughing hysterically at memes.

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