This post is one in a five part series on securing a summer internship in college housing and residence life through the ACUHO-I’s Housing Internship Program. It is written from the perspective of a former ACUHO-I Intern. The series will walk you through the process from beginning to end providing tips and tricks along the way.
Preparing to Apply | Targeting and Applying To Schools | Accepting and Preparing for Interviews | Interviewing | Navigating Offers
Once you formally apply for an internship position, you will begin to receive offers from institutions to interview for them. Time management and scheduling are key to ensuring you navigate this process in an organized way. Below I will provide tips for navigating this phase of the process where you will accept, schedule, and prepare for interviews.
1. Make A List Of And Rank Your Applications
It’s important to remember that you do not have time to do hundreds of interviews. Therefore, make sure you have a list of what opportunities interest you the most. Rank each opportunity, so that it will be easier to accept interviews and not have to stress if you need to decide between multiple opportunities. In the previous post I discussed creating a spreadsheet to keep track of each opportunity’s details. This spreadsheet can also be helpful in this phase of the process.
2. Check Your Email And Portal Inbox Daily
The ACUHO-I housing internship program offers the ability for hosts and candidates to communicate with each other through the portal itself. This helps keep communication consistent and ensures a fair process for all. Sometimes, however, hosts may send interview offer emails to the email address listed on your profile or resume. Therefore make sure you consistently provide the same email address on your profile, your resume, and in any communications you may send.
Interview offers and communication can come at any time throughout the process. This is why it is important to check your ACUHO-I portal inbox and your personal email daily. Interview slots for some of the more competitive internships may fill up fast, so moving quickly is to your advantage.
Check out our curated resources to help you in your ACUHO-I Summer Internship search!
3. Reply In A Timely Manner
Not only is it important to check your email and inbox daily, it is also important to reply to each interview offer or communication in a timely manner. The ACUHO-I internship portal automates the process of selecting interview slots. Once an employer extends the offer of an interview, they can invite you to view their calendar and select a time. You will typically want to reply within 24 to 48 hours of receiving the offer. If you decide to decline an interview offer, make sure you communicate that to the host as well. Good and timely communication will help with your organization and competitiveness, and will also demonstrate to potential employers that you can juggle and organize administrative tasks effectively.
4. Preparing Questions For Institutions
During the interview itself, hosts will ask you multiple questions about your desires, goals, and experience. They will also likely provide you with the opportunity to ask your own questions. Prior to and in preparing for the interview, It is important to research these departments and positions and prepare these questions. Are there any details that need further communication or clarification? What do you want to know about the department or your supervisor? Ask questions about topics that interest you that aren’t covered in the position description. The interviewers will be impressed you took the time to do your research.
5. Polish Your Interviews Skills
The number one stress of the internship process is interviews. Most candidates might have minimal or no prior experience interviewing. Even if you have extensive experience, make sure you polish your interviewing skills beforehand. The best strategy to be prepared is to practice. You can practice interviews with peers, mentors, or supervisors, or visit your campus career center. You can also spend time researching how to answer common interview questions. Don’t let your first ACUHO-I internship interview be your practice interview! You may miss a potential opportunity as a result.
When it comes to preparing for interviews, my biggest piece of advice is to use your time and schedule your interviews wisely. Do not feel the need to accept every interview request you receive. Focus your efforts on securing interviews and reaching out to the internships you are most interested in. The better you are able to plan and organize the better you will be able to follow through and execute.
The next post in this series will go over interviewing.