Internship interviews, and interview questions, are quite unique. Internships happen at a unique period in a person’s career, and the situations are never repeated. This stage of a career is like early childhood, and the sensations are all unfamiliar.
There’s a lot of pressure for internship applicants, the unknown possibilities of failure, strange environments, or the mysterious interview questions which, when coming from professionals, sound so profound. Every interview question can look like an obstacle.
Interviewers have to stick to relevant interview questions, by definition. The interview environment is strange because it’s unfamiliar. The most likely possibility of failure is probably going to be self-inflicted.
Internship interview questions are all practical. You won’t see many, if any, blue sky interview questions. Some of these internships are intensely competitive, and interviewers have to work on a set of standards.
Important issues in internship interview questions:
- Personal inputs
- Information content
The motivated intern is the one they want. Your interview answers have to show a clear motivational basis. You need to indicate a career path, objectives, and a methodology.
Each interview answer has to be well expressed, preferably with some real interest and enthusiasm, as well as accuracy. Fluent communicators always come across much more effectively to their audiences. Interview answers can be made interesting, as well as saying what you want to say.
Important note: If you’re not comfortable as a speaker, or have difficulty with your expression in conversations, you will need to seek some assistance. Your interview performance, particularly your interview answers, could suffer severely otherwise. It’s advisable to contact a professional trainer and arrange for some therapy, before risking the interview process.
Some interviewees seem to make a habit of doing nondescript interviews. They give their interview answers adequately, but they really don’t make any impression. The ‘anonymous’ applicant is the one who doesn’t get the job.
Your interview answers, your statements and your forms of expression should establish an identity. You need to be seen as ‘someone’, with a name, and a face. This might sound a little odd, but some people are so reserved and self effacing at interviews, that panel remembers literally have to ask who the applicants were. Be yourself, and be recognized for who you are.
Each of your interview answers should contain strong, structured, content. The content effectively values your interview answers, and is the basis for comparison with other applicants. If you provide good quality information in your interview answers, you will score very well with professionals.
The real information content related to each interview question is:
- What is the applicant’s level of knowledge?
- How committed is the applicant?
- What does the applicant want out of the internship?
- What can the applicant contribute?
- What makes the applicant better than the others?
Internship interview questions have to be answered structurally. The problem is to provide the extra competitive information which an internship interview requires.
In some ways, internship interviews are more difficult than regular job interviews. This is because information regarding your suitability for the position isn’t supported by the conventional mechanisms of a CV or other work.
Your interview answers have to be backed up by other information.
Structuring an internship interview answer has to relate to the basic concepts of an internship, like the career path, your career goals, and your qualifications work. It’s advisable to think ahead, and have a good clear idea of your future plans, so you can show how the internship fits in to these goals.
It’s advisable to make your internship choices carefully. Some internships are truly priceless as career assets. They also make the logic of your choice a lot easier to work with at the internship interviews.
A good interview answer is:
- Based on an objective related specifically to the internship
- Career relevant
- Logically constructed
That may not sound too inspired, but the interviewers have to make recommendations based on the content of your interview answers.
When there may be many talented applicants, every interview question is critical. The only real shot on the board is to make great interview answers, with good information content.
Structuring an interview answer is the key. It shows good communication skills, and also allows you to work with a good framework for your information content.
Interview answer structure
- Always start with a premise, like a clearly defined goal.
- Use that goal as the basis of your interview answer.
- Equate the goal to the internship.
The idea here is to keep focused. A really good way of blowing any interview question is to go off topic. Using a premise avoids that possibility. The goal-oriented approach is a lot easier for interviewers to work with, when assessing interview answers.
Making the equation with the internship is obvious, but it’s also essential. Every interview question will be based on the internship, either in the future or present tense in relation to your career goals.
The internship is for a graphic art position with a top of the line advertising firm. This is a one in a million internship, and competition is ferocious.
The interviewers are well aware of that fact, and the interview question is ‘Where do you see this internship taking you, in getting your first job?’
‘I chose this internship specifically to give myself a career edge right from the start. This is a competitive profession. Graphic artists have to work hard to get a good professional portfolio, and every advantage you can get helps. I see this internship as giving me a lot of credibility with any employer.’
This interview answer shows:
- Clear career goals
- Realistic approach to entry level jobs
- Awareness of career advantages of internship