Related Articles

Final & Fast-track Interviews (Video)

Group Work & Team Presentations (Video)

Motivation & Enthusiasm (Video)

Conducting Yourself (Video)

Approaching The Work (Video)

Final Interviews


See More...

Approaching The Work

29 September 2015 |

If you cannot do the work to the standard expected by the firm, they will be unlikely to offer you a job. Whilst some pieces of set work will be harder than others, and minor mistakes may be completely fine, general attention to detail should never be overlooked. Proof read your work multiple times (even ask colleagues to have a read if you think this might be appropriate) and make sure there are no spelling, grammatical or formatting errors. These can be easily avoided.

Check to see whether there are particular fonts, templates or settings in Microsoft Word or Excel that firms use as part of their 'house style' and where possible, adhere to these. This demonstrates your ability to absorb (and work in a way that aligns with) the ways in which the firm operates, whilst also ensuring the people judging your work will approve of it stylistically. There may also be templates of contracts or spreadsheets that you can edit rather than having to start from scratch. Research and/or ask. You could also see whether the firm has an intranet and/or support departments that can help (e.g. Knowledge Management departments).

Consider who the work is addressed to. If it is for a client, then ensure it is short, concise and to the point (unless you are told otherwise) and that the language is not too technical or full of jargon and acronyms. If the work is for a senior employee, perhaps query whether they would like you to reference the work (this means indicating the sources from which you found the information included), whether they have a rough word limit in mind, whether they would like a printed and/or an electronic copy and perhaps even whether they would like single or double sided printing. These are not stupid questions and can help to ensure the work is perceived as favourably as possible.

Whenever you meet with someone, bring a pad and pen so that you are ready to write down instructions if you are set a new piece of work. Once you have received the instructions, you could summarise them back to your supervisor to check that you have understood them correctly. Ask questions if you are unclear on a particular instruction, but listen carefully. Asking the same question twice will waste your supervisor"s time and reflect negatively on you. Try to figure out as much as possible by yourself through researching carefully. You could try to list out questions that arise as you run into difficulties and then ask them all at once when your supervisor has a free moment. Repeatedly interrupting your supervisor every time you have a question could frustrate him or her and disrupt his or her own work.

Keep a work diary as you go along. You will then be able to reflect back on your previous work if questioned by your supervisor or an interviewer at a later stage.

However, do not forget about confidentiality. If you include confidential information in your work diary, then consider refraining from taking it outside the office (during or after your internship). You could alternatively include just enough information to jog your memory about what you were doing, without including confidential client information. When making a job application after completing an internship, never include specific details of work completed elsewhere. This could call into question your ability to adhere to the required standards of confidentiality.