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As many of you may already be aware, actor Charlie Sheen has been working with internships.com to hire a “winning” summer 2011 social media intern to monitor and manage his social media marketing campaigns – imagine having that experience listed on your resume…

If this is your first time learning about the internship, don’t get too excited; the competition/interview process is already in its third round, narrowing the some 82,000 applicants down to 250 individuals who have proven to have #tigerblood thus far.

21-year-old Julia Hatmaker is one of the 250 left.  She has made comments to The Patriot-News about her experience:

In the first round, she was asked to tell why she thought she should get the job. Her response was a twist on Sheen’s own words: “Winners don’t have to explain themselves. Only losers do.”

“I guess they liked that,” she said.

Although this answer is unlikely to get you past the first round for the internship you may be interviewing for (or any other internship for that matter), an important lesson can be learned from Hatmaker – she clearly did her research.

With any internship you apply for, it is important to research both the organization and the opportunity:

Organization: research the industry; market outlook; products and services; history and corporate culture; organizational mission and goals; key financial statistics; organizational structure (divisions, subsidiaries, etc.); and locations (main and branch).

Internship: research the responsibilities; qualifications; timeframe and hours; compensation; career paths and advancement opportunities; and diversity initiatives.

Conducting research will help you learn more about an organization’s culture – the psychology, attitudes, beliefs and values of its employees – and how you may fit into that culture.

Hatmaker clearly understood the “organization” (Charlie Sheen) who she was applying to work for, and tailored her answer to fit in with Sheen’s own ideals.  Remember, employers hire those individuals who they believe are good fits for their organizations – keep this in mind as you begin to formulate your own #winning interview question responses.

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