A successful career is within your reach when you’re ready to face the professional world. It starts with preparation, from college to internship, then to pursuing your career goals. Sounds easy? Yes, when you know what you’re doing. However, this isn’t always the case. Hence, if you’re a college student, we’ll give you some tips on how to prepare for an internship interview.
Preparing for what’s ahead is important in pursuing your chosen career. Your coursework and training programs are critical in preparing you for your future profession. Your experience is your stepping stone to achieving your goals. That’s why you need to make sure your experience in college and internship can give you the exposure you need.
What Should You Expect in an Internship Interview?
Internship programs prepare you for the real world. They immerse you in what it’s like to work in the corporate field or in the industry you wish to be part of. Plus, it’s an opportunity for you to enhance your skills, gain expertise in the field, and build connections. It also gives you an advantage when you apply for your first job, especially if it’s relevant work experience. Thus, you have to take your internship search seriously.
Before we dive into some steps on how to prepare for an internship interview, here’s a quick rundown of things you can expect from it.
While it’s customary to shake hands, since the pandemic, it has become more common to exchange pleasantries by simply nodding.
The interviewer could ask you how you found out about their company and why you chose them.
It’s normal to feel nervous, but try to focus on being professional by minding your body language.
If you made the cut, expect that the interviewer will ask you about when you can start. With that, it’s best to decide on the date beforehand.
Some companies offer callbacks, so don’t lose hope if you don’t get an answer right away.
Common Internship Interview Questions
“How to prepare for an internship interview?” Run through some common interview questions online and try answering them. This way, you can practice expressing yourself fluently and on point. To help you be confident in answering even the most difficult questions, here’s a list of common internship interview topics and questions.
1. Tell me about yourself.
This is the most common interview question because it’s usually asked to build rapport. Hence, highlight your education, your interests, career plans, and things you haven’t included on your internship resume.
2. Why do you want an internship at this company?
This question is an opportunity for you to impress the interviewer with how well you know the company. You can also share how confident you are about their processes and their stand in the industry.
3. What are your career goals?
Just like in job interviews, your career goals are important in internships as it gives you and the interviewer an idea of whether you’re on the right track or not. Remember, internships aim to prepare you for your future career. Thus, its relevance to your target profession is vital.
4. Why do you want to be in this industry?
Aside from your career goals, the reason you’re pursuing a specific industry says a lot about how you want to go about your career. It also validates if your career goals are aligned with the work you want to pursue. Plus, being an intern in a field that you want could be a good motivation for you to learn and excel in what you do.
5. What can you bring to the company?
An internship allows you to learn from the professionals in the field. However, companies don’t prefer to get interns just so they can teach students about the real world. They want people who are skilled, competent, and can be helpful to the department. In that case, make sure to highlight your strengths and knowledge of the industry.
6. How good are you at working with other people?
Collaboration is needed to thrive in internships. Since you’ll be working with the company’s employees, you need to learn how to work well with them. You can answer this question by sharing an experience where you’re able to demonstrate teamwork and get remarkable results.
7. How would you handle conflict with your school and internship schedules?
This is a tricky question because you can’t say that you’ll give up one. You have to emphasize that you can make sure to balance your time for school work and internships.
8. We have a long list of candidates; why should we choose you?
Highlight what you can bring to the table without sounding arrogant. You can focus on your understanding of the job, relevant experience, knowledge of the company’s culture and your compatibility with it, and how you can be an asset to the team.
Have you experienced working with a difficult person? How did you deal with it?
What’s your proudest moment?
Tell me about a time you’ve faced a difficult situation that needed your decision. What did you do?
How do you manage a tight schedule?
How well do you accept criticism?
How to Prepare for an Internship Interview
Now that you know what to expect and some common questions your interviewer might ask you, let’s dig into some tips on how to prepare for an internship interview. Knowing this helps you impress the hiring managers, which leads to securing an internship. Here are 10 internship interview tips.
1. Research about the company.
First on our list of tips on how to prepare for an internship interview is to run a background check on your target company. Doing this gives you an idea of the company’s values, mission and vision, work culture, and ethics. It helps you answer the questions and leaves a mark that you’re very interested in the position.
2. Create an elevator pitch.
The interview is the best venue to market yourself and showcase how capable you are for the job. That’s why it’s important to prepare how you’ll present yourself during this big moment. Think of how you’ll introduce yourself: brief yet striking.
3. Get all the details.
Before the interview, make sure that you have the necessary information, such as the time, place (is it virtual or face-to-face?), and things you need to bring. If you have the chance, get to know your interviewer.
Search for the name of your interviewer on LinkedIn to see their professional background. Knowing this gives you an idea of what they’re like.
4. Search for interview questions.
Another important tip on how to prepare for an internship interview is to search for possible interview questions. As mentioned earlier, when you have an idea of what the interviewer will say, it eases your nerves.
5. Plan what to wear at least a day before the interview.
Prepare your interview outfit beforehand. This prevents you from rushing on the day of the interview. Plus, it gives you time to choose what’s best considering the type of interview, date, and where the interview will take place.
6. Get ready for the big day.
There’s no better way of preparing for the interview than a mock interview. You can ask someone to practice with you. You can use the interview questions above as the flow of conversation.
If your interview is online, you can practice by preparing your equipment by running a tech test. Record yourself while answering the questions so you can review it afterwards. While watching it, observe the way you talk and your gestures.
7. Highlight your qualifications.
During the interview, make sure to highlight your qualifications. You can prepare for this by listing your skills, strengths, credentials, accomplishments, and relevant experience. That way, you’ll be able to lay them down in the interview.
8. Bring the necessary documents.
Before going to the interview venue, check all the documents you need to bring. Take an extra copy of your resume and bring your portfolio, if you have one. It’s best to prepare these documents in case you’re asked.
9. Prepare questions for the end.
Aside from answering common interview questions, you also need to prepare for questions you can ask the interviewer. Asking the interviewer gives them an impression that you’re interested in taking the internship.
10. Send thank-you and follow-up letters.
After the interview, get ready to send a thank-you letter and express how much you value the time you spent and that you’re looking forward to their answer. If you haven’t heard from them, you can send a follow-up letter.
What’s Next After an Internship Interview
Knowing how to prepare for an internship interview is critical to landing a program. However, what you’ll do after is also crucial. This time is your opportunity to prepare for the next step—the internship itself and the requirements needed for it.
In addition, while waiting for the interview results, do things that will enhance your skills. You can attend seminars and equip yourself with the knowledge necessary for the career path you want to take. Don’t forget to work on the requirements that hiring managers might ask you to submit.
Search for common interview questions and try answering them.
Do research about the company and the position you want to pursue.
Read through the job description and the requisites for the post.
Follow tips from career experts on how to prepare for an internship interview.
Land Your Target Internship Program with the Help of Experts
Pursuing your career requires preparation—from setting your career goals, to taking a degree and immersing yourself in an internship, to applying for your first job. There are several ways you can do to ensure you’re ready to embark on this journey.
Guess what? You can arm yourself with tips not just on how to prepare for an internship interview, but also on other aspects of job search with Resume Professional Writers. We have career advice written by industry experts and career coaches to guide you in your job search. Not only that; we also have articles about interviews, job hunting, workplace culture, resume and cover letter writing, and resume services reviews.
What are you waiting for? Visit our website and leverage our career tips to better prepare for success.