An interview for an internship is quite different to an interview for a regular job as it is all about your expectations. The company would like to know what you want to achieve from the internship and what your requirements are.
Every interview can be nerve wrecking for you and you will probably get nervous. Don’t panic and simply follow these easy tips to make a good impression during the interview.
1. Read through the company’s website and any articles or material you can find. This way you are more confident and assured that you know what the company stands for and what their values are. If they ask you questions about their activities and duties, you can make a good impression with your knowledge. It shows that you are dedicated and really interested in the company and the internship position.
2. Prepare some notes. You can think of possible questions the company may have, write down your own questions and figure out what you really want to say. Have your CV and letter at hand so you can answer questions regarding these documents. It is also a good idea to make notes during the interview.
3. Explain what you are looking to gain from the internship. Every internship should be a beneficial learning experience for you. Your host company needs to know what you expect, what you would like your future duties to be and what experience you would like to gain during the internship.
Many companies operate in different areas and fields, so it is essential to point out what interests you and which kind of training would be the best for you.
4. Ask what type of experience and training they are able to offer. As you want to improve your skills and knowledge during your internship, you need to know in which ways you can benefit from the company’s experience. Can the company meet your expectations and can they offer a training that will actually broaden your knowledge? Sometimes a host company might not be able to offer training that is as high as your academic education, so make sure you know what to expect.
5. Explain why you think your learning objectives can be achieved at the company.
Figure out exactly what your objectives are during the internship and name them during the interview. You should make sure why you think you would fit into the host company and why they particularly, are the right company to teach you.
6. Speak clearly and be confident. Don’t be shy – the host company is aware that the interview might not be in your first language. The interview is your chance to speak and tell the company more about you and your motivations, so use it! If you don’t understand everything , it is no problem to politely ask them to repeat.
7. Call or Skype at the arranged time, not earlier and not later. It will make a bad impression if you miss an interview or aren’t on time. Host companies assume you won’t be reliable during the internship or doubt that you understand everything properly. Don’t blow your chances to get the position with such a silly mistake!
8. Call from a quiet room with no distractions. This makes it easier for you to understand everything and shows the host company that you took your time and really concentrate on the interview. DO NOT eat, drink or chew on anything during your interview! Usually it’s best to use a landline, as mobile phones can have a bad connection.
9. Be polite & don’t interrupt the person you’re speaking with, as it’s really rude and inappropriate. Wait until it’s your turn to speak. Don’t worry if you take some time to think about your answer, as you want to give a useful response. Try not to exaggerate and keep things short and simple.
10. Prepare some questions for the company about their history, operations or processes. Get active and prepare yourself. It will impress your host company as it shows that you are committed and driven. They will see that you really want the internship position and have put in some effort to make a good impression.
11. Write them an email afterwards to thank them for the opportunity. It is polite to thank a company for their time and attention. Mention that you would appreciate it a lot if they would take you as their intern and thank them for their efforts.