Internships are a great step in the right direction towards landing your dream job. They allow students or those looking to gain experience to get their foot in the door in their industry of choice. The relationship between an intern and their internship host organisation is one of mutual benefit; the intern is doing work for the organisation that will make their lives easier or further their cause, while the intern is simultaneously gaining invaluable experience that will be useful when trying to get a permanent position in their preferred field.
However, an organisation is not going to want to take on just any intern. After all, they need to invest a lot of time and effort into every intern they take on in order to provide them with valuable learning experiences and opportunities. The organisation needs to train the intern to do the tasks that are required of them and nurture them so they get the valuable experience they took on the internship for in the first place. Then, almost as soon as the intern finally becomes useful to them, very often the intern moves on to other things (save for in situations that the intern did such a good job in their work that the organisation offers them a permanent position).
In order to get the internship you want, it is important to do a good job in the interview to impress whoever might end up being your future boss. You need to show them that you are a confident and capable individual that would prove to be an asset to their company in the long run. That being said, here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing for your internship interview in order to ensure that you blow them away and are able to get the position you’ve been hoping for!
- Carefully Select the Right Outfit: Regardless of what you have been told, first impressions are important. It is essential to make yourself look presentable before your interview to ensure that your potential internship host will feel like you are someone they can trust and rely on. You don’t want to underdress or overdress; a good rule of thumb is business casual. It’s safe to stick with something that is both comfortable and conservative. This would mean a dress shirt and pants for men, and something professional and not too tight or revealing for women.
- Prepare for Frequently Asked Questions: An internship interview is not all that different from your standard job interview. You will probably be asked some of the popular questions such as “why do you want to have an internship with this company?” and “why do you think you are a good candidate for this internship?” However, because you are trying to get an internship opportunity in order to learn, rather than to get a job, you should also be prepared to answer questions like “what do you expect to learn or gain from your internship with this company?” and “how do your career goals align with this internship opportunity?”
- Do Your Research: It’s good to know as much as you can about the company you hope to do your internship with before the time comes for the interview. Try to understand the company’s goal or mission, as nothing is more impressive to your interviewer than a candidate that knows a lot about the company. It’s a good idea to read through the company’s website and familiarise yourself with it, if they have one.
- Be Confident: Just because you are trying to have an internship with a company in order to gain skills doesn’t mean that you don’t already have skills that will look attractive to the company you will potentially be interning with. Be confident in those abilities, and sell yourself to the company. Think of what skills and experience you already have under your belt, and be sure to let your interviewer know. If you’re not confident in your ability to be an asset to the company, then your interviewer won’t be either. Make sure to let them know why you are a good candidate for the position, even if it’s just because you’re a quick learner, or because you are eager to get involved with the company’s goals.