When preparing for an interview, chances that you would fail are not less than 77% if you don’t know the right tricks.
Today, the conventional sit erect, look into the interviewer’s eyes, and a lot more is not enough to get into that position you desire.
If you’re looking for advice on how to prepare for an internship interview, you’ve come to the right place. An internship opportunity is a brief period of work experience provided by a company for a specific purpose. Internships are used in a variety of settings, including corporations, non-profit groups, and government entities.
Internships are often taken by students and graduates who want to gain relevant experience and skills in a specific field. Employers profit from these placements since they can typically hire their top interns with proven abilities, saving time and money in the long run. Third-party organizations that recruit interns on behalf of industry groups frequently arrange internships intakes.
Internship periods typically last between 12 and 18 months, depending on the degree of the qualification. It’s totally normal to be concerned while applying for student internships or a university co-op program, especially if you’re worried about the internship interview questions you’ll be asked.
Knowing how to have a successful interview is a valuable skill to have — and one that you will use even after graduation. Prepare yourself to answer a variety of different internship interview questions so you can approach your interview with confidence. Keep reading for tips on how to practice, prepare, and ace your first interview.
What Do Interns Typically Do?
The particular responsibilities of an internship will vary greatly based on your employer, industry, and internship type. Internships, unlike traditional employment, place a greater emphasis on training than on work.
In the first week of your internship, don’t expect to be given a client account to handle or a creative project to oversee. Internships, by their very nature, are more of a support position than anything else. However, even if you’re only doing simple (and possibly tedious) tasks, they’re a terrific way for you to learn how the firm works. Processing mail,
data entry, filing, sorting through documents, and scheduling appointments are all common responsibilities.
That isn’t always the case: they give some interns more responsibilities and become valuable members of the team, contributing significantly to the organization.
How to Prepare Before the Interview
Avoid assuming that this interview is less significant since it is for an internship rather than a full-time position. Instead, approach it as though it were any other job interview. You want to make sure you’ve done your homework and are well-prepared.
Do some research on the firm: Take some time to look through their website and LinkedIn page to learn more about what they’re doing and how you might help them achieve their goals.
Look up the interviewer on the internet: Do you have any idea who will do the interview? Look them up on LinkedIn and the corporate website to see if there’s something you respect about them or something you share. While you don’t want to come out as following someone on the internet, you might congratulate them on a recent accomplishment.
Gather all pertinent information ahead of time: Will this be a phone interview, a Zoom session, or an in-person interview? What materials does the company require ahead of time?
Dress professionally for the job you seek: Even if the interview will be conducted via videoconference, dress more professionally. Make a strong first impression.
Decide on what you want to get out of the internship: Make a list of the top three things you want to get out of this experience, as well as the top three things you want your employer to get out of your time there. Knowing and understanding why you desire the internship can help you convey yourself to the employer more effectively. It will also assist you in avoiding disappointment if you are not hired for a job following your internship.
Make certain you have a financial strategy in place: If you take an unpaid internship, make sure you have a sound financial plan in place to minimize unnecessary stress. This will make you more enthusiastic about your internship and ensure that you perform well at work.
Top 4 Internship Interview Questions That Are Frequently Asked
You can’t predict what you’ll be asked during your interview, but you can prepare answers to some frequent interview questions. Here are a few to think about:
Why do you want this job?/Why would you be a good fit for it?
While it may be true to say, “After graduation, I want to work for a software business,” remember the interviewer’s perspective. More than what you will accomplish in the future, they want to know why this internship appeals to you.
Instead, come up with a few particular reasons why you like the organization or are enthusiastic about the internship’s possible job. “I enjoy how the company uses social media to engage directly with its customers,” you could say, “and I’d welcome the opportunity to apply my marketing abilities to this role.” This question can also be used to bring up any information you discovered while investigating the firm or the major points from your cover letter.
What Are Your Strengths?/Tell Me About Yourself
For a successful interview, your response should strike a balance between demonstrating your abilities and passion while also paying attention to the company and role. Consider your own academic, personal, and professional achievements for a moment.
Then, connect your experience to your internship. “During my time volunteering as a mentor for at-risk adolescents, I realized how crucial it is for organizations to focus on fundraising, which is what motivated me to apply for this position in the development office,” for example.
What is your biggest weakness?
This may appear to be a trick question, but it is an opportunity to demonstrate humility and self-awareness, as well as a readiness to accept feedback. “I work too hard,” or “I am a perfectionist,” are two cliched responses.
Make an effort to respond in a more personal and honest manner. “When I initially started working in a laboratory, I was more focused on outputs than methods,” for example.
“Some of the most interesting outcomes are discovered during the steps of an experiment,” I’ve learned from my experiences.
How Do You Deal with Stressful Situations?/Tell Me About a Time When You Overcame a Difficult Situation
This is another opportunity in the internship interview, similar to the prior question, to demonstrate how you think. Avoid blaming external factors in your response, such as “I worked on a team assignment and my classmates did not complete their portion of the work on time, resulting in a poor score.”
It is preferable to demonstrate your ability to be responsive in a possibly bad situation in order to have a good interview. “During a group project, a few of the teammates were having trouble meeting deadlines,” for example. I collaborated with them to assist them to prioritize their work and communicate our problem to the teacher so that we could change her expectations and finish the project on a new timeframe.”
You can prepare for what might be asked about your technical skills, industry expertise, or related topics by researching common internship interview questions specific to your area or the type of work you seek.
Websites such as Glassdoor even crowdsource previously asked interview questions from people who have already had interviews at certain organizations. Remember that these questions may not be current, so just use them as a guideline.
Internship Interview Questions to Ask Your Interviewer
It is critical to prepare your own questions to ask your interviewer during the interview. This demonstrates that you have done your homework on the company and are interested, thoughtful, and prepared.
Make sure the interview questions you ask aren’t ones that can be answered quickly on the internet, such as company size, annual revenues, acquisitions, and leadership. You’ll want to elicit more specific queries about your future role. Here are some questions to avoid in an internship interview, as well as better questions to ask:
1. Do not inquire as to when the company was started
This information is readily available on the internet. Asking this question demonstrates that you haven’t done your homework on the firm.
2. Do inquire about how the company’s sustainability focus has altered since it was acquired last year
This demonstrates that you have done your homework and are interested in the company’s present status.
3. Do not inquire as to what it’s like to work here
This interview question is overly broad and does not demonstrate that you have given the role careful thought.
4. Do inquire about the organization’s recognised accomplishments
This demonstrates that you have done your homework on the organization and have a specific query about your function.
5. Do not inquire as to what I will learn throughout my internship
Similarly, this question is excessively broad and centred on the benefits you will receive.
6. Do inquire as to how I might put my skills to use as an intern
This question is more precise, and it demonstrates what you’ll bring to the job.
Interviewing Tips for Internships in General:
Getting Ready for the Interview
Once you’ve completed researching the company and narrowed down a few key areas of interest, meet with a career counsellor at your university or enlist the help of a trusted friend for “mock interview” sessions in which you practice what you’ll say. Make a note to revisit these subjects before your actual interview if you find yourself replying “I don’t know” throughout your practice sessions.
Besides practising your responses, ask your fake interviewer for criticism on how you’re presenting yourself: if you’re fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, straying off subject, or talking for too long or too little time. During these sessions, ask for honest comments so you can enhance your performance before the big day.
It’s crucial to ask questions so you can understand how an internship will help you achieve your long-term career goals. Again, an internship can be a fantastic chance for your career, but you should choose wisely. You want to make sure it aligns with your goals and is a good fit for you by asking excellent questions.
- Is it possible to get a full-time job at this company following the internship?
- What would I need to accomplish in order to be considered for a full-time position at this company?
- In the first 30 and 60 days of an internship, what do you anticipate an intern to accomplish?
Consider These Interviewing Tips from the Pros
If you want to go for an interview, you might find these tips vital in your pursuit. These tips include:
- It’s preferable to be overdressed for an interview than underdressed, even if the company has an informal dress policy. Wear a suit and tie or a blazer when in doubt.
- Bring breath mints, a small bottle of water, and extra items like hair ties and lip balm if you’re bringing a portfolio or samples of your work.
- If you’re bringing a portfolio or examples of your work, present them neatly in a case or folder.
- Carry a notebook and pen with you to jot down any important information.
- At security, many buildings need a photo ID.
- Don’t forget to turn off your phone and give yourself additional time to check in before the internship interview!
Tips for a Successful Interview in General
To feel confident about your internship interview, keep the following common internship interview recommendations in mind:
Become acquainted with the industry:
It’s critical to study the foundations and how your previous expertise relates to that business, especially if you wish to intern in a subject that is unfamiliar to you. You don’t have to know everything, but using industry jargon or referencing recent events can show the interviewer that you’ve done your research.
Rehearse your interview:
Because interviewing can be stressful, practising your responses with someone else, such as a friend or a career coach, can help you feel more confident and at ease. If you can’t rehearse with someone else, record yourself and listen to the recording to see how you sound.
Be on time for your interview:
Arriving early, whether for a virtual or in-person interview, will help you feel more at ease. If your interview is in person, include in travel time and parking, and if your interview is virtual, have a backup plan for your internet.
Maintain a professional appearance:
Dress professionally for any type of interview, including an internship, even if the dress code varies by industry. This will help you make a strong first impression and show that you are serious about the job. Even if your interview is virtual, dress appropriately and be aware of what the interviewer can see in your backdrop.
Pay attention to how you stand:
During your interview, avoid slouching or staring at the floor. Confidence is communicated by sitting up straight and making appropriate eye contact with the interviewer. Don’t forget to put a smile on your face!
Bring extra copies of your materials with you:
It’s always a good idea to have a few extra copies of your resume and other marketing materials on hand in case there are more interviewers or if something goes wrong with the original.
Don’t be scared to ask questions if you don’t understand something:
It’s possible that you won’t understand what the interviewer is asking you. Maybe there was a lag in the audio on your virtual interview, or you’re just not sure where the interviewer wants you to go with your response. It’s fine to seek clarity before responding.
Bring a notebook with you:
During the interview, you may wish to refer to some notes or perhaps jot down specific things that the interviewer mentions. Having a notebook on hand demonstrates that you are detail-oriented.
Complete the circuit:
Make sure you understand what you must do after the interview. Who do you need to contact for a follow-up? What forms do you need to complete? Leave no unanswered questions at the end of the interview.
Express gratitude to the interviewer:
Always thank the interviewer for their time, regardless of how the interview went. This exemplifies professionalism.
An ideal intern is one that offers the student a progressively challenging work experience, supported by an organization that provides solid orientation, training, supervision, and feedback.
Leadership skills are one of the most important traits employers look for in their interns and their employees.
An intern’s goal is to gain work experience, occasionally some university credit, and always an overall feel for the industry they’re interning in.
Always strive to do your best, but remember that internships offer a learning experience.
Accepting responsibility and accountability for decisions and actions taken while at the internship site.
Send a quick email to your interviewers afterwards to express your gratitude for taking the time to meet with you. Many interviewees also write a handwritten message, preferably within a day or two of the interviews, to reaffirm their interest in the position and to refer to something said during the interview.
Interviewing is a learned skill that gets easier with practice. Remember to breathe, be cool, and concentrate on what you’ve learned. This is your opportunity to show your personality, passion, and abilities to your interviewer. Best of luck, and be yourself!