How To Prepare For An Internship Interview
Research the company
As you begin the process of preparing for your interview, it is important to research the company you will be interviewing with. Researching a company can give you a deeper understanding of its mission, history, culture, reputation and business model. You should also research what the most pressing problems are at this particular organization so that you can think about how you might solve them if offered an internship position there.
If possible, try reaching out to someone who works at or has worked at this company and ask them how they liked their experience there. This will give you valuable insight into what it’s like to work in that environment from someone who actually knows first hand (instead of second hand).
Research the interviewer
- Research the interviewer.
- Find out what they do. Find out what they are interested in. Find out what they are passionate about, and find out if it’s a good match for you!
- Learn about their company or organization, and make sure your answers reflect an understanding of their mission and values.
- If it’s a larger company or organization that has many employees, do some research on who you will be interviewing with (even if you don’t know who yet).
- Get to know them as people—and learn how they interact with others!
Prepare a list of questions
Before you go into the interview, make sure you have a list of questions prepared. This is important because an interviewer may ask if you have any questions, or they may provide an opportunity to ask them during the interview.
- What not to ask: Avoid asking questions like “How long was your commute today?” and “What do you think about [something unrelated]?” These aren’t relevant to the question at hand and are more likely to make people feel uncomfortable than anything else.
- How to ask questions: You should be able to say something along the lines of “I’ve always been interested in how [insert topic here] works in this industry/company/job role.” Don’t just blurt out something random either; try asking follow-up questions based on what was just said by your interviewer as well!
If there are no avenues for additional questioning, end with thanking them for their time (or whatever else needs saying).
Dress for success
When preparing for an interview, it’s important to consider how your appearance plays into the overall impression you are making. The way you dress can influence how comfortable your interviewer feels during the interview process and help set their expectations of who you are as a professional.
Everyone has different ideas about what constitutes appropriate professional attire, and while there is no one way that works for everyone, there are some general guidelines that can be followed:
- Dress professionally. Regardless of whether or not this means wearing a suit or skirt suit every day at work, don’t show up in jeans/sweatshirt/shorts/etc., unless specifically requested by your interviewer (and even then…). If there is any question about what constitutes an appropriate level for whatever type of job opportunity you have been offered then err on the side of formality; if in doubt ask someone else who has more experience than yourself!
Be early, be ready
- Arrive early. Being on time is good, but arriving early means that you are prepared to go and have all of the necessary materials with you. It also shows that you are respectful of their time, as well as eager to begin the interview process.
- Bring copies of your resume. You can never have enough resumes when it comes to job interviews! Be sure to print extra copies for each interviewer and make sure they are in good condition (no creases or ink smears). Do not give out your only copy unless asked by an interviewer; if so, make sure you ask for one back before leaving their office or building!
Prepare a few answers
You’ll probably be asked questions about yourself and the company. You should prepare a few answers to some of these questions ahead of time, so you can answer them confidently during the interview. Consider:
- Your background, including past work experience, education and other relevant skills
- Goals for your career
- Strengths that make you a good fit for this internship (and/or company)
- The internship program at this company (the opportunities it offers, why it’s important)
Have your resume printed and bring copies.
- have your resume printed and bring copies.
- print it on good quality paper.
- make sure it is clean and tidy.
- bring a few copies, just in case one gets lost or damaged during the interview process.
Ask for feedback after the interview
Asking for feedback is a good way to end the interview on a positive note. After you’ve finished up your interview, ask for any feedback about your performance, the interview process itself and anything else that comes to mind. You want to make sure you’re leaving a good impression so that the interviewer will want to bring you back for another round of interviews if needed.
“I would love some honest feedback on how I did today,” said one candidate in an interview as he concluded his meeting with an employer who was considering hiring him as an intern at their company. “What do you think? Did I answer all of your questions well? How do I look against other candidates?”
Remember that an internship is meant to be a learning experience more than anything else.
There’s no better way to learn than by doing, and an internship is a great opportunity to put your theoretical knowledge into practice. But it’s important not to get too wrapped up in your job responsibilities—your primary focus should be soaking up as much information as possible. Think of yourself like a sponge; take everything in and try it on for size!
A company might want interns because they want their employees to learn something new, but it doesn’t hurt if you do too! Being open-minded will help you become more versatile when looking for future jobs, so keep an open mind while working at an internship and make sure that every experience counts! Press Tab to write more…