How to Prepare for Internship Interviews

So, where are you in the process of applying for a summer internship? Here on the UW-Whitewater Internship Blog, we have:

Next up are interviews!

Prepare for Internship Interview

When you think about interviews, I would like you to think of them in three parts:

  1. Before the Interview
  2. The Interview Itself
  3. After the Interview

Here are three things to accomplish BEFORE your internship interviews:

  • Do Your Homework: Yes, I just told you to do homework for your interview. Don’t worry, though. It’s not too difficult. First, learn as much as possible about the organization you are interviewing with. Spend time on their website, take notes, and come away with a good understanding of what the organization does and what they stand for. Second, learn a little bit about your interviewer and/or your potential supervisor. Don’t stalk people, but take a look at their LinkedIn profiles so you have a sense of what they do with the organization and what their background is. Finally, spend some quality time thinking about who you are. What are your strengths? What relevant skills do you possess? What stories can you tell to describe ways you have worked in a team, showed leadership skills, handled conflict, etc.?
  • Understand What Constitutes “Appropriate” Interview Attire: Nice clothes aren’t always the same as appropriate interview clothes. You might have a skirt that is great for going to dinner with friends, but it’s too short for an interview. You might have a cartoon tie that is fun for holidays, but it’s not a good look in the office. Get started by browsing two of my Pinterest boards: What to Wear – Women and What to Wear – Men.
  • PRACTICE: Interviewing is a skill, one that we don’t practice very often. If you have never interviewed for a job before, if it has been awhile since your last interview, if you’re nervous, or if you just want to make sure you are as prepared as you possibly can be, set up a mock interview with a career advisor. We will ask you common interview questions and give you feedback. Then, keep practicing after the mock interview to incorporate the feedback into your responses. Whatever you do, don’t let THE interview be your practice interview.

Preparing for your interview will help you make a good first impression with the employer. You’ll be ready to answer tough interview questions. And you’ll look great.

Question: What is the scariest thing about an interview?