If you are a student seeking an internship, you will most likely have to conduct an internship interview. There are several reasons for this. There may be multiple students applying for the position, your supervisor may want to make sure you will be a good fit, or your department may want you to get interview experience.
Whatever the case, you should take the interview seriously and professionally. We have compiled a list of tips with the help of the University of Central Florida’s Director of Public History, Dr. Rosalind Beiler. A lot of these pointers are great practices for interviews generally. Take note and give it your best shot!
- DO dress professionally. Your clothes will reflect the seriousness with which you take the position.
- DO be on time. If you are late for the interview, your interviewer may assume that you will be even tardier once you have the internship.
- DO answer questions clearly. The best way to ensure that you do not stumble over your words is to practice. Anticipate what questions will be asked.
- DO ask questions. Have them ready ahead of time.
- DO be interested. Fully engage with the interviewer, tell them what you enjoy about their organization and how you see yourself playing a role there.
- DON’T pad stories or make things up. Hopefully, you will be working with the organization for some time – don’t start out by lying about your credentials.
- DON’T be fake. Put your best foot forward, but avoid coming across as something you are not.
- DON’T assume that, because you have limited job experience, you have no skills. Before the interview, think about some of the classes you have taken and how your theoretical knowledge could help you in the internship.
- DON’T dismiss the value of “college jobs.” At the appropriate time in the interview, bring up how much you learned about working as a team and problem-solving while you were flipping burgers or restocking retail.
- DON’T assume that you automatically have the internship. If you make a terrible impression on the interviewer, it may not matter if you are the only candidate. The organization may prefer to have no interns over a student who might become a liability.
- What advice do you have for students going into internship interviews? What are some of your dos and don’ts?