Research the internship
Once you get offered an interview, you should do as much research on that internship possible. Be familiar with what area of nutrition the internship focuses on, the duration of the internship, the costs, etc. Some of the best resources for information are current and former interns. They can offer great insight about what to expect since they have already been there and done it. They may be able to tell you aspects of the interview such as if it’s single or group interview, number and type of questions that are asked, and if the interview is formal or laid back. You should also find out if the interview will be conducted over the phone, in person, or via internet.
Practice answering questions
Practice, practice, and practice some more. Preparation leads to confidence which breeds success. The best way to practice answering interview questions is to rehearse. Role-playing with a friend or family member is a great simulator. You can also practice by yourself by using a voice recorder. Simply record your answers to various questions and play them back so you can hear the errors that you made.
Potential interview questions include
- How did you become interested in the field of dietetics?
- What is your current area of interest?
- What are your expectations of the internship?
- What are some of your strengths?
- Make sure to answer this question by explaining how your strengths will add value to the program.
- What is a weakness?
- When answering this question, explain how you will work to overcome this weakness.
- For example: if you weakness is clinical nutrition, explain how you plan to study and prepare yourself for the clinical rotations and that you’re open to learn new material. Basically how will you improve upon yourself?
- What are your short and long term goals?
- Tell us about a time when you had to deal with an extremely difficult or unhappy customer, patient, coworker. How did you deal with the situation and what was the outcome? Would you do anything differently next time?
During The Interview
Arrival on time
Be there on time – if you’re doing an in person interview, arrive an hour early and sit in you car. Walk in there 20 minutes before the interview so you can find where you have to go. If you’re doing a video call interview; make sure the correct app is downloaded, your internet is working, and your laptop is charged up.
Smile: The simple act of smiling can can help people feel better and the interviewer feels more comfortable. Smiling has positive effects on your brain chemistry and can help you deal with anxiety.
Dress professionally: For men wear a suit in a solid color such as navy, black, or dark grey over a long sleeved shirt that is white or color coordinated with the suit. Sport a leather belt, tie, dark socks and conservative leather shoes. Wear little or no jewelry and have a neat, professional hairstyle. For women wear a suit in navy, black, or dark grey. If you choose a suit skirt, make sure that it’s just below or above the knee with conservative shoes. Wear limited jewelry; no dangling earrings or arms full of bracelets.
Handshake: Use a firm handshake before and after interview
Be confident: Conduct the interview as if you were already chosen. Don’t be nervous. If you get an interview that means that they really like you and you have a high chance of getting selected.
Allows ask the interviewer questions after the interview
- Focus the questions as if you know you’re already selected
- Ask the interviewer/s about how a typical week of the internship is in terms of classes/rotations
- Ask about the individual rotation sites, especially the rotations that you could be potentially interested in.
- For example, you can ask, “I’m very interested in clinical nutrition, what are some of the locations I will be doing my clinical rotations at?”
- Ask about how early should I start preparing for the RD exam?
- What materials should I pick up?
- The passing rate for the RD exam is very important for internship directors
Thank you letter: Make sure you write or email the internship director a thank you letter for having the opportunity to be interviewed.