US Employers have certain expectations of all candidates in the job and internship search process that may or may not be different than your home country.
Employers expect you take control of your job search. This means that you must put in the effort of writing a strong resume, practice interviewing, and maintaining communication. This also means that you must do the appropriate research regarding your visa status and needs. Not every employer has hired an international student before, and so you must be able to educate them on the process.
Fitting with the Organization:
Employers aren’t just looking for someone with the technical skills and background; they are also looking for someone who will “fit” with the rest of the team and the values of the organization. It is important to demonstrate to an employer what technical background AND personal qualities will make you fit in with the job description.
Direct Communication Style:
Conversations with employers are often direct and to the point, because recruiters are often trying to meet many candidates in a short amount of time. You can help your communication style to be more direct by maintaining eye contact, practicing your 30 second elevator speech, and provide comprehensive yet concise answers.
US employers are committed to providing an equitable hiring environment. To achieve this equity, personal demographic information including age, race/ethnicity, gender, marital status, or country of national origin is illegal to discuss at any stage of the process. However, employers are permitted to ask if you are authorized to work in the US.
Punctuality and Organization:
Employers expect prompt responses and organized materials in your application. You should plan to respond to communication with employers as soon as possible, preferable within 24-48 hours.
US employers will expect you to have a strong sense of self regarding your career. You should be prepared to talk about your strengths, weaknesses, personal working style, and goals as they relate to your career. These topics might seem personal, but will help the employer to decide if you are a good fit or not.
While it may feel difficult or uncomfortable to promote yourself, it is an expectation that you “sell” yourself to the employer. You will be expected to talk about your successes, positive attributes, and how you will benefit the company.