Ace Your Internship Interviews

Interview success starts with your pre-interview preparations, but how you perform during the interview is obviously important, too. Interviews can be nerve-wracking even when you are well prepared.

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Make a great impression during your internship interviews by keeping the following points in mind:

  • Don’t make a major interview boo-boo. According to CareerBuilder, six of the most common interview mistakes are:
    • Answering a Phone Call – Don’t even take your phone with you into your interview. Leave it in the car.
    • Wearing the Wrong Attire – Please, nothing short, tight, or leopard print. Yes, I’ve seen it done.
    • Appearing Disinterested – If you don’t even look like you want to be at the interview, why would your interviewer think you want to come to work?
    • Appearing Arrogant – There is a fine line between promoting the skills you bring to an organization and having a big head.
    • Dissing Your Previous Job – If you say bad things about your previous employer, your interviewer knows what you’re going to do to them if they upset you on the job.
    • Talking While Chewing Gum – Why would you be chewing gum at an interview?!
  • Be nice to EVERYONE. From the minute you step onto the premises, you are being evaluated. The way you treat everyone from the custodian in the hallway to your interviewer is being watched. How you treat people says a lot about you. Make sure it says good things.
  • Present yourself with confidence. Shake hands confidently. Smile. Maintain good posture. Nonverbal communication can often speak louder than actual words, so be aware of how you carry yourself.
  • Don’t talk too much, but really answer the questions. Most interview questions can’t easily be answered with “yes” or “no,” but it doesn’t stop some people. Other people take it to opposite extreme and talk WAY too much. I once sat in on an interview where the interviewee took about 15 minutes to answer a question. Yes, my fellow interviewers and I were all watching the clock. It is important to provide details in your answers to interviewer’s questions, but keep your responses concise.
  • Remember to ask questions. The last question you will probably be asked in the interview is “Do you have questions for us?” The answer is yes, you do have questions. Have a few questions ready to go before the interview. A good question to add to your list is asking about the decision timeline. This helps you determine when it is appropriate to follow up with the organization.

As for how to answer the most common interview questions, check out this great infographic: Most Asked Interview Questions and How to Answer Them.

You can find additional interviewing advice on my Pinterest board, Interview Tips & Tricks.

QUESTION: Have you ever made a major interview boo-boo?

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One thought on “Ace Your Internship Interviews

  1. Answering a phone call is the most common blunder? I can’t believe that would be the most common interview blunder. I could see wearing the wrong attire (though it is difficult to be overdressed) or being too arrogant (maybe you are trying to sell yourself too hard) but who would be so inconsiderate to answer a phone? My phone is almost always on silent, and I don’t see how any call could be more important than a job interview (unless it is some kind of emergency, but how would you know before taking the call?)

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