Sent out your resume and cover letter for your internship? So now the waiting game begins… and the anxiety rolls in. We get it, this could very well be your first interview ever that involves your future! So it’s OK to feel anxious about the prospect of an interview that will make or break your chances of landing that internship you’ve been eyeing.
While an internship interview is pretty much similar to a job interview, there are slightly different strategies you’ll want to take. Plus, it’s good practice for your actual job interview in the future so take it seriously and take notes.
Here are some tips:
#1 Leave behind your student persona
It may be your last year in school but when you go for that interview, it is your first step to being an actual working individual. The last thing you want is to behave like a student who’s a little bit shy, a whole lot nervous, and totally unprepared. Leave the student behind and go as a confident graduate who knows exactly what she wants in her career.
To appear as this to your interviewer, you will need to do plenty of research about the internship and the company so you don’t spew out some ambiguous answers to questions asked. Prepare for the interview as you would any interview. Make notes about the things you are interested in about the internship so you can highlight these to the interviewer – it shows that you’re not applying just for the sake of applying!
#2 Practise answers to internship questions
There will be the basic interview questions like your strengths and weaknesses, what you see yourself doing in five years. And then there are internship-specific questions like why are you exploring this industry, what you hope to get out of your internship, why are you applying for this internship, and what future role you might be interested in should you be offered a full-time position.
Again, the key is to be prepared because some of the questions are hard and will require you to say more than just “I really want this internship and I think I am the best candidate for you.” Hit the internet and type “internship interview questions” and you’ll get some good examples there.
#3 Make sure you ask questions as well
You may be used to saying nothing in class but that won’t do during your internship interview. You need to make the extra effort to show you are interested in the position. One way to do this effectively is to ask questions when prompted. If you don’t, the interviewer is more likely to think you aren’t interested enough to want to know more.
What kind of questions should you ask? Here are some starters:
- Do you have training or mentorship programmes for interns and how will they be conducted? (this shows you’re interested in learning new skills)
- What will be my day-to-day responsibilities as an intern? (so you’ll know in advanced what’s required of you)
- What are your expectations for interns? (you’ll know exactly what the company is looking for and can focus on selling yourself that way to land the internship)
- How can I succeed as an intern in your company? (insider info on how to stand out as an intern at the company)
- Are there opportunities for full-time employment? (this shows you have long-term plans to continue your career at the company)
#4 Follow up
Like any interview, it pays to follow up as it shows your genuine interest in the position. In an internship interview, following up with the interview on what’s next can give you a head’s up to prepare yourself if you go through to the next stage. Ask when you can expect an update and what’s next in the process. If you are required to show some samples of what you’ve done at school or complete some project, you’ll at least know what to expect so you can prepare as much as possible. Or even if the update isn’t what you want to hear, take it as opportunity to ask for feedback so you can ace your next internship interview.
Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash