Question to Ask Yourself Before Applying for an Internship or a Job

Helpful Tips When Applying for an Internship or a Job

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Each position out there is not a one-size-fits-all for all candidates. Some positions can be done by just about anyone, as long as they have the right motivation and a strong work ethic.  While for other jobs you may need specific knowledge and skills before you can even be considered to do that job.

For example, if a candidate is interested in working with the public and applies for positions in a non-profit organization or perhaps even a job in sales, they probably will be successful as long as they have the motivation and are willing to learn the tricks of the trade. On the other hand, a candidate that applies for a job in computer programming or investment banking will definitely need the right knowledge and skills in order to be able to work successfully.

Remember that applying for any internship or job is the easy part, the hard part is the interview where you will need to convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job. It is the interview that will sell you to the employer, so you better be prepared to convince the employer that you are the perfect person for the job. What knowledge and skills do you have that will help you meet the employer’s expectations? What about your transferable skills that are relevant to many different kinds of jobs?

Other key characteristics that employers look for is a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, and the motivation and confidence to do a good job. In the interview, the interviewer will mostly be looking to see if you will fit in well with the organization so it’s wise to do some research on the company, its employees, the people it serves, as well as the services or products it sells.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Applying for an Internship or Job

Do I meet any or all of the qualifications?

Meeting all of the requirements is not always the most important thing when interviewing for an internship or job. First off, you will want to be prepared to convince the interviewer that you are the perfect person for the job.  You may decide to focus on your past experiences and all of the relevant skills you have that will help you to be successful.  You may focus more on your personal attributes and how you feel this is the perfect job for you.  Whatever you do you will want to show the interviewer that you know what the company is about and be able to convince him/her that you’ve got what it takes to do a great job.

Is there a way that I can get the skills I will need to be successful on the job?

If there are skills listed for the job and there is an easy way that you can gain these skills, you may decide to work at getting the skills while you are still applying.  Oftentimes job descriptions will provide a list of required and preferred skills. Focus on the required skills first and then you may decide to add additional skills to your repertoire.

For computer skills, you might work with tutorials on Microsoft Office or you may decide to sign up for where you can learn many different skills required in the workplace.

Who am I competing against when applying for the job?

When applying for any internship or job you never know who you are competing with so this is where you need to focus on your own strengths and leave the decision up to the interviewer. I know many students that hold back because they feel they don’t have the right skills for the job and they feel that everyone is a better-qualified candidate than they are.  It’s important not to make assumptions because the interviewer might see that you have the right combination of personal attributes, motivation, and skills and prefer you to the other candidates.


Do I really want the job?

You may decide to apply for jobs even if you don’t want them. Personally I think this is a waste of your valuable time; but on the other hand, you may get asked for an interview and then decide that this is really a job you would like to have. If you do really want the job then it’s up to you to fight for it.

What do I have to lose if I apply for the job?

If you don’t apply for a job you will never know if you would have gotten hired.  There nothing to lose if you apply, but there are lots of things you could lose if you don’t.

What do I have to lose if I don’t apply for the job?

You would lose the fact that you will never have a chance to get the job.