This is where an entire year’s work of boot camps, profile building and networking comes together. Speed Interviews.
If you haven’t been before, this invite-only event encompasses all of Summer of Tech’s employers, and the students they’ve shortlisted. In one day, these employers will collectively interview over 1000 students. To get to this stage, you’ve probably got a pretty decent profile, have been to a number of boot camps, and made a good impression at the Meet and Greet.
So how do you stand out? Every other student here is in the same boat as you – and you’re all after the same prize: the internship.
Speed Interviews can be a challenging time for everyone – even for those crazy, extroverted, confident people. Having been through the speed interview process myself, here are my hacks for killing it at Speed Interviews.
Have a look at the companies you have interviews with, and have a think about what would be an appropriate attire. For example, the gang at Trade Me don’t turn up to work suited and booted every day – so maybe leave the tie at home. For the large majority of companies, business casual works a treat. A nice pair of trousers/skirt (whatever you’re more comfortable in), a fresh shirt/nice top and you’re set.
Please don’t be that idiot that turns up without knowing what the company actually does – I did that last year, and it’s embarrassing for both parties. Research your companies, and find one thing about each of them that really resonates with you. Think of at least one question to ask each employer. Go to the Interview Skill boot camps. Google interview questions and practice them with your friends – or write down your answers. Having a few pre-prepared answers to draw on will make Speed Interviews much less stressful!
Employers aren’t expecting you to have 5 years of experience in a particular software, nor are they looking to trip you up. Your interviewers are looking for the right fit for their role – and you wouldn’t have got this far if they didn’t think you were close! Students have a degree of power in this situation – you are the commodity employers want. Relax. Smile, be friendly and let your personality shine through. Employers already know you’ll be a little nervous, so they’re not going to mess with you – and they’re all pretty friendly!
So these are my tips for Speed Interviews. Let these three points be your guide to hacking Speed Interviews, and making the most of an awesome opportunity. This is where a year’s worth of work begins to enter a funnel, so stay sharp and go with it.
Lastly, don’t let other students psyche you out. Sure you’re among talented company, but you are just as likely to secure an internship as anyone else in the room. It can be hard when your friends/peers have 6 interviews, or tell you that their interview went amazingly. But don’t worry about the things you can’t control! Focus your energy into nailing your interviews, and you’ll be one step closer to that internship.