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How should I prepare for an internship interview?

Interviewing For Internships

Eric J. Kuhn (Intern) gives expert video advice on: How should I prepare for an internship interview?; What should I ask during an internship interview?; What should I wear to an interview for an internship? and more...

What should I ask during an internship interview?

Ask them a ton, or not a ton, but like 3 or 4 questions. Maybe one of those questions is, "So how did you end up in your position?" Ask them about themselves. So many times, it's all about you, but it's great to turn it around for anything, even when you're in that internship, and ask them, "How did you end up here?" You can learn so much by shutting up and asking someone else something. Huge. Ask them, "What are the hours like?" Ask them, "What do other interns do? What is the typical intern day?" Some may say, "All the interns do is get coffee and make photocopies, but this and that." Just ask them questions. And each industry is different, so you're going to tailor it to that specific thing. "What are you looking for in a great candidate?" Just ask them, throw out different things, but come prepared. And also, don't write down the questions and just be like, "Uh, what is...?" Just memorize them and ask them. Be genuine about it.

What should I wear to an interview for an internship?

I would say, for almost every job unless it's like how to be a lifeguard; you want to walk in looking really sharp. And you want to walk in for the job that you really want which is probably not the internship, but probably something up the line. But you want to represent yourself in a really sharp way. I would say wear a suit. If it's more of a funky industry, wear a fun tie. If it's more of a serious industry, wear a striped Brooks Brothers tie. So do something with the tie for men. I don't know anything about women's clothing. For women also, wear a suit. If you want to jazz it up, wear funky earrings. Do something fun, but really be serious about it because they're going to judge you off everything. They're going to judge how you sit, how you talk. Don't say "um...like...you know."

What should I talk about during an interview?

Don't talk about your pets! You know, just keep to the task at hand. Don't walk into an interview and say, "Oh man, I'm so tired. It was such a great party last night!" It's not going to go over well. Don't be late to an interview. And also, don't have eight million excuses about why you were late, why you couldn't find a tie. And if you can't find a tie, then don't have a tie but don't say, "Oh, you know, I would have worn a tie but I didn't." Don't say, "Oh, my cab didn't get here. I didn't know even how to take a cab." Just be yourself. I think the most important thing is, when you go on an interview, is be yourself. Be who you are because you can't be a fake. They're going to see that. Stick to the facts, stick to what you've done. Don't lie; don't exaggerate because it's going to come through. They know that you're applying for an internship. You're not applying to be the CEO of a company where you have to know everything. So if you screw up, if you don't know something, that's fine. That's ok. That's what this entire thing is about. This is a learning experience. You can't expect on a college interview for them to ask you something about calculus when you want to learn about calculus. You're not going to know an algorithm because that's what you going there for. You're going there to learn the algorithm. So, just be confident. Be yourself. Don't lie. Don't exaggerate about what's on your resume. Talk about your experiences. Talk about why you're a great candidate for the job. And yet—a joke, a smile—great thing, you know. Break the ice a little bit. Even though you're in a suit, you don't want to be stuck up and say, “Oh yes, you know, blah blah blah.” Just really be yourself, be confident, don't lie, don't exaggerate and I think you'll do ok.

What if I choke or say something stupid during my interview?

So my advice is if you really screw up, just keep on going. Don't be like, "Oh my God, I'm so sorry! I don't know what happened." You know, just keep on going. Be confident. Don't let it drag you. Don't let it wreck the interview. Especially if it happens early. Probably by the end of the interview that interview coordinator has completely forgotten about it. Just keep on going. Chances are it wasn't that bad. What happened happened. If you say something that you can't move on, that you know is awful awful awful awful, just apologise and then move on. If you end the interview there, that's it. If you end your interview with a mistake than you know you're really gone. But you might be able to work it back. And if it's awful, maybe at the end of the interview be like "Sorry again didn't mean to offend you."

What are some tips for acing my internship interview?

For the interview, be there at least ten minutes early which means plan to be there a half an hour early. You never know if there's going to be traffic, or if you can't find the building. Have two copies of your resume and your cover letter. Maybe there's two people interviewing you, maybe they forgot their resume and you can just hand it to them. And also look over your resume before you step into that interview so if they ask what have you done you'll know what to do and you'll know what to say. Just refresh yourself what classes you've taken in the past couple of years, what type of school did you go to because they might ask you: Tell me about your school, tell me about your classes, tell me about your extracurricular activities. So know a lot about your college, know about what your living like, what your living in. And even though you live that everyday when the spotlight comes on and their like "so what classes do you take" and you just sat in all those classes and you're going to be like oh my god what did I do? And also be ready to say "hey this is why I'm a qualified candidate", "this is why you should hire me." And also set up google alerts for your company for your industry, read the New York Times everyday, subscribe to different things via email. So every morning leading up to that internship you're ready and make a sheet of things that you're going to remember so you just read it over before you step into that interview while you're in the waiting room. And also when you walk in make sure you shake their hand, look them in the eye, and be confident.

What should I do after interviewing for an internship?

You're done with the interview, say thank you. Ask them, where we go from here. Will they contact you? Should you contact them? And then leave. And then immediately when you get back, shoot them an e-mail that says, thanks so much, really enjoyed talking with you, I look forward to hearing from you. And end it at that, until you know a week goes by, then pick up that phone and call and say, 'Hey, I just wanted to check in. See if you made any decisions, I'm really excited!' E-mail is great! My mom is always like, you should write them a letter. Like a letter! By the time it gets it ...! Just do it quickly, get that e-mail back at them and they'll be really impressed. So by the time they go back to their computer, there's that e-mail. It's like whoa! Great! Send them a letter in this day and age? Come on guys, this VideoJug 2.0.