I Have an Internship Interview, Now What?

posted by Brian Krueger under interview #interview #employers #jobs #internships #preparation

Job seeker researches employers on computer
Job seeker researches employers on computer

You got the call to set up your internship interview. Good for you! But now what? How do you best prepare for your interview? What can you do to get ready?

Simple, follow these two steps:

#1 Know Them

It's important to know everything you can about the intern employer before the interview. Yes, pretty much every candidate does the basics of checking out their website, but there is so much more you should be reviewing between now and the interview.

First step is to go to the website, yes, and go to the Careers page, yes. Read the information very carefully. But don't stop there. Dig into the other parts of their website where few job seekers visit. Where specifically? The marketing and financial sections. Know what the company does for a living, their competitive advantage in their marketplace and how they make money. This knowledge will put you far above others applying for internship roles. Then use this knowledge as you review the entry level and experienced jobs posted both at the employer's site and external job sites.

Why? Because internships are a trial run toward these roles. While you may not have all the skills (yet) for these permanent roles, you should be heading directionally down the path toward them. And these job postings will give you deeper knowledge of the skills and competencies about which you may be asked in your internship interview.

#2 Know You

Yes, you will be expected to know everything about you and then some. But something you can take advantage of in prep is that you can actually change who you are as an internship candidate between now and the interview.

Is there a job skill you are lacking? Now is the time to study up. Is there a specific area where they might be asking you questions? Take time to review. Is there a class you have taken that is important for the internship, yet you've already forgotten most of the material? Time to break out the textbook and go through it again. Is there a class you haven't yet taken which may be important? Talk to a fellow student who has already taken the class. Is there a tech skill required for the role you are lacking? Do an online tutorial. The simple reality is that you can do some serious last minute prepping for internship interviews.

Why? Because the experience bar is lower for an internship than it is for entry level jobs. So a basic level of knowledge or understanding is often all that is needed to pass the interview. Yet if you don't take the time to prep and prepare yourself in advance, you may find yourself lacking the basic knowledge required for the role.

If you know them (your market) and you know you (your product), you will be ready to go into sell mode in your interview. Remember that for an internship interview the standards are somewhat lower than they are for entry level interviewing. You aren't making a lifelong commitment, nor are they. Yet that doesn't mean the interview is any less competitive. And those who get the best internships are also those who end up being offered the best entry level jobs. So take it seriously and go into the interview prepared to present your best.

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