Thinking About a Target Internship? Take These Top Tips Straight from Our Recruiters

November 2, 2017 - Article reads in
Three team members sit at a table holding pens and notebooks and smiling

Though it might seem like summer is a long ways away, our Target recruiters have already been out and about for the past two months looking for our 2018 class of interns. You may have met members of our teams at your college campus, a career fair or other hiring events across the country, and talked about the many opportunities available at our stores, distribution facilities and headquarters locations.

Thinking of applying for an internship with us? You’ll definitely want to check out our Internships page for available openings, program details and other resources. And if you still want to meet us in person, watch for our recruiters at another round of hiring events in the spring of 2018.

Already applied and have a big interview coming up? Don’t be nervous … get excited! Two of our Target recruiters—Holly W., who hires for our stores and distribution teams, and Jordan D., who hires for our HQ programs—shared some friendly advice to help you prep.

What should candidates be thinking about as they start to prepare for an interview?

Holly: There are a lot that come to mind, but in my experience, having a good understanding of the company and position you’re interviewing for will take you far. Our Internships and Careers pages will help you dig into individual roles to help you decide if they’re right for you.

Research the company and learn about the latest projects and initiatives to show that you have a genuine interest and are invested in the position and the company. For Target news, a great place to start is A Bullseye View, our corporate site, and its Twitter handle, @TargetNews. There’s also The Pulse blog, where you can meet and read about team members in their different roles across the company and see what daily life at Target is really like.

Jordan: Good advice! I agree with those, and here are a few more that might come in handy:

Determine your top five accomplishments from school, past work or even just life in general and be ready to talk about them. Understanding how they challenged you and made an impact will allow you to answer almost any interview question.

If you can, get to know the person you’re interviewing and learn as much as you can about the position. Give pointed examples of things you’ve done in the past and what you intend to bring to this role.

And network, network, network! Meet with people within the organization prior to interviews. Develop a since of company culture and how work gets done. If nothing else, this will give you a better idea of the company as a whole and not just the specific job you’re interviewing for.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give a candidate to help them go into their interview in the right frame of mind?

Holly: While preparation is really important, be careful not to overdo it to the point of sounding scripted. That can cause a candidate to come across as robotic, and believe me, the interviewer is going to want to meet the real, authentic you. Always be yourself—I can’t stress that enough.

Jordan: Think of it as interviewing for your future career, not just the position at hand. Too often, people take on jobs or internships without considering the long-term implications they might have on their careers. Understand the company you’re interviewing with and the career growth it may provide you.

What’s one important (and maybe surprising) thing to keep in mind when at the interview?

Holly: It’s OK to take your time answering the questions. Candidates often feel like they need to answer questions quickly, but don’t be afraid to take a few seconds to collect your thoughts. This will allow you to articulate answers more fluidly and you’ll sound more confident. 

Jordan: Be bold! Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion (in a respectful way, of course). Having self-confidence is important because it shows the interviewer that you can bring new ideas and innovation to the team.

And the flipside: What are some questions candidates should consider asking their interviewer?

Holly: I recommend forward-looking questions, like What are some of the challenges I might face when starting in this position? or What should I focus on during my first few weeks in the internship? You can also ask your interviewer about their own personal experiences, like how they began their career at Target and what makes them stay invested. You’ll likely hear some fascinating stories!

Jordan: You might also throw in some industry-related questions, not just about your prospective role or Target but how it fits into the retail industry as a whole. That shows you’ve done your research on competitors and you understand the challenges most people outside the organization would not.

Want more info about internship opportunities at Target with a chance to develop new skills? Take a look at the full list of programs available in our stores, distribution and fulfillment centers to learn more about our opportunities and to apply. We can’t wait to meet you!

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