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Preparing for the Internship Interview

By Morgan Miller, Intern

Internships have become a vital part of young professionals’first steps into the working world. These experiences provide an opportunity for interns to gain valuable first-hand knowledge that will be beneficialto their future career. Especially in recent years, internships have become more important to achievementpost-graduation. Acing the internship interview will set you up for success far beyond the internship itself. Follow these steps to properly prepare for the internship interview.

1. Do your research – It is important to know your facts about a specific internship and the company it is associated with. When it comes to the job, know the qualifications and be prepared to make it clear during the interview why you are fit for the position. Research the company to learn more about their values and the company culture. This is important because it may prepare you for the interview process or may help you consider whether or not you’ll fit in with the company.

2. Prepare your resume – One of the biggest faux paus when it comes to interviews is forgetting to bring your resume to the interview. Oftentimes interviewers will go through a number of candidates in one day and it becomes more difficult for them if they have to keep track of your resume. Even in unusual time like a worldwide pandemic, emailing your resume to the interviewer a few minutes before your virtual interview begins is recommended. It is also always a good idea to make sure your resume is tailored to the exact position you are applying for. You want to highlight what skills are directly applicable to the internship.

3. Pick out your outfit – How you present yourself to employers can make or break an interview. While dressing for success cannot guarantee you a job, it can make you more confident and will let your interviewer know you are serious about the position. Different interviews require a different dress code, but virtual or not, business professional is usually a safe assumption. For men this usually means a suit with a tie. For women, skirts with a blazer are typical, but pantsuits are an option as well. Look your best, feel your best, do your best.

4. Practice your interviewing skills – Use all the resources at your disposal to practice your interviewing skills. Many colleges and universities offer career services including mock interviews with a counselor. If your university does not offer those services, ask a trusted friend or mentor to practice with you. The most important thing is that you work with someone who will offer you honest feedback. While it is never possible to prepare for every possible scenario, practicing can help boost your confidence for the real interview. Practice commonly asked questions, eye contact, hand placement, and overall body language prior to the interview. Keep in mind when it comes to avirtual interview you mustpractice using the technology, adjusting the camera placement, and keeping eye contact with the camera rather than the screen.

Ultimately, the best way you can prepare for an internship interview is to recognize what your expectations are for the company and whether or not you are willing or able to meet theirs. Internships are great networking and skill-building opportunities. An internship is not like any other job because it is a necessary stepping-stone on the path to your dream career. Don’t let an important internship opportunity pass you by simply because you failed to prepare. The effort you put in will directly relate to the benefits you reap. Take control of your life and prepare, prepare, prepare.