How to prepare for an internship interview is different from a typical job interview, you need this guide to excel in it. Read on!
You’ve already submitted your resume and cover letter and the employer recently contacted you to schedule an interview. Below are some tips to help ensure a successful interview, which is the next step in the internship process. By following these ten interview tips, you are on your way to a successful interview and ultimately an internship offer.
Job interviews or internships can be overwhelming for all of us! There are many unknowns that will always be out of our control. But the more you prepare for an interview and prepare for all the potential outcomes, the smoother it is likely to be.
How to prepare for an internship interview
First of all, there are different types of interviews, and depending on your industry and/or position, you may need to participate in several of them before you are even offered the job.
It is essential that you prepare to undertake all or a combination of any of the following:
These are generally used as a preparatory or assessment tool for employers. First, they will contact you by phone to ask you a series of basic questions to assess whether you are a viable candidate.
Skype / Video Conferencing
Can also be used as a preliminary screening before requesting in-person interviews. They are also used especially when conducting interviews abroad or long distance.
The “traditional” interview of sitting down with one person and going through a series of interview questions.
Panel interviews: consist of 2-4 interviewers who will ask a series of questions and follow-up questions.
Group interviews: you participate with other candidates in a series of activities that are monitored by recruiters. They are generally used to assess teamwork and cooperation skills.
These are less “traditional” interviews and are used primarily for practical tests and assessments such as writing, typing, reading, accounting, and more. Some positions and industries will require you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.
Read Also: How would you describe your work style?
Before your interview, it is best to have also completed the following:
- Research the company you are interviewing with.
- Who is your main customer?
- What is your main form of income?
- What is the structure of the company? For example, are they B2B or B2C?
- Who are the key players within the company? What are the names of the CEO, managers, and directors?
- Learn the brief history of the company: have they moved recently? Change of ownership?
- Did they change any of their company’s policies, etc.?
Compare the job description and required qualifications with yours. Be realistic. Don’t lie, but don’t underestimate your abilities either. Go through each point in the job description and explain exactly why you can or cannot perform certain tasks, or why you are or are not best suited for certain tasks.
Be prepared to list all the reasons why you are suitable for the position and why any issues, such as inexperience, should not be a concern to the employer.
Come prepared for the interview. Bring a pen, paper, a journal or calendar, an extra copy (or four) of your resume, water, and possibly a snack if you’ve been told the interview will last a few hours (and many interviews take hours!).
Be well dressed and well presented. Arrive as if you were arriving on your first day of work. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed in an interview!
Behave professionally at all times. Your interview begins from the moment you enter the front desk to the moment you walk out the office doors. Always smile, make eye contact, maintain an upright posture, and remain calm and relaxed.
Ultimately, the interview is about connecting with people and making a good first impression. Authenticity is the key.
It doesn’t really matter if you make a few mistakes or answer a question incorrectly, as long as you can walk out of the interview knowing that you were completely yourself, that you behaved professionally, and did your best to get offered the position.
How to prepare for an internship interview: Other things to bear in kind
To be prepared
You can prepare for the interview by selecting the appropriate interview attire (business suits) beforehand, researching the company, and preparing a list of questions you have for the interviewer. Bring a copy of your resume to the interview in case the interviewer doesn’t have one handy. Last but not least, practice answering sample interview questions to prepare and gain confidence before the interview.
Make a good first impression
The interview is your chance to promote yourself, and it’s the reason you prepared and sent all those resumes and cover letters. Once you get the interview, it’s your job to create a great first impression by being punctual, being yourself, paying attention to their non-verbal behavior (such as a firm handshake and maintaining eye contact throughout the interview), and making the first few. minutes to develop a relationship with your interviewer. You want to appear calm, but comfortable and relaxed during the interview. A good first impression will set the stage for a successful interview.
Emphasize your skills and accomplishments
Focus on your skills and accomplishments, including high school/college courses, volunteer and co-curricular activities, and your computer and language skills. Internships or previous work experiences are important, in addition to describing your transferable skills: communication, interpersonal, organization, solid analysis and problem-solving, and more.
Provide the interviewer with examples of your skills
One form of interview that is popular is called a behavioral interview. The interviewer will provide you with a scenario and ask how you would handle a specific situation. Preparing for these types of questions before the interview will provide a quick reference to relevant past experiences. (For example, describe a situation where you were able to think quickly and make an immediate decision to complete a project on time.) In this case, the interviewer is interested in your thought process and problem-solving ability. This is an important step to consider when you want to prepare for an internship interview.
Please understand the question before answering
When the interviewer asks a question, it is okay to ask for clarification or to repeat the question. You want to know what the interviewer is looking for before you go ahead and assume you have the correct answer.
Follow the interviewer’s lead
Don’t spend too much time on just one question, but make sure you’ve answered the entire question before moving on to the next one. You may want to check with the interviewer to see if they answered your question or would like additional information.
Emphasize the positive
During the interview, you may be asked to provide a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Remember in these types of questions to focus on the positive. When it comes to weaknesses, acknowledge those things you feel you need to work on and quickly switch to actions you have taken to improve in this area. Specific examples can be helpful to illustrate your progress.
Bring samples of your work
If you’re in a field like graphic design, photography, studio art, education, or communications (where a sample of your work would be helpful), bring samples to the interview.
Close the interview with confidence
The beginning and end of the interview can be the most crucial aspects of the interview. End your interview with confidence. Thank the interviewer for their time and ask when you can expect to receive a response from the employer.
Follow up the interview with a thank-you note
Take the opportunity to clarify a topic covered in the interview and reaffirm your interest in the organization and the internship. Send a thank-you note to everyone you interviewed on the day of the interview.
Hope you now know how to prepare for an internship interview!