Perfecting the Internship Interview

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional

Perfecting the Internship Interview

This Employer Guest Blog was written by Julie Kraut, the marketing manager at Celebrations.comCelebrations.com is the ultimate source for all things party — party ideas, party invites, party tools, and party supplies — it&s all at your fingertips on Celebrations.com! They have the hands down best resources when it comes to expert party planning advice, recipes for party treats, inspiration for your next soiree, & so much more party fun! Read on to uncover Julie&s tips for perfecting your internship interview!

I am so happy to be here guest blogging about a topic that’s near and dear to Celebrations.com’s heart — interning. We’ve been lucky enough to have a slew of successful interns here at Celebrations. In fact, one of our former interns is our editor and another is a freelance writer. So, interns are not just near and dear to our hearts, they’re near and dear to our office too.

Standing out as a superstar during your interview is a key component to nailing a great internship. You know the basics — show up on time, dress to impress, write thank you notes. So, I thought I’d dig a little deeper and suggest some pointers on what exactly to prep for an internship interview. In addition to researching the company and reading any recent media about the industry, you should walk into the interview with:

5 Questions: Come to the interview prepped with five solid questions for the interviewer. Make sure one of them is about your interviewer’s personal work history. People love talking about themselves and the answer to that question will help you get to know your potential future manager. The remaining four questions are up to you. Some ideas are to ask about the culture of the office, the responsibilities of the internship, the trends in the industry, or where past interns are now. The interview is just as much about you learning about the position as it is the interviewer getting to know you. And believe it or not, being on the interviewer side isn’t easy. An interviewer will appreciate a candidate who is proactive in the conversation, instead of one who just waits for questions.

3 Favorites: Walk into the interview with three great things you love about the company where you’re interviewing. And be specific. Don’t just say Company XYZ is creative. Say what specifically was creative — this ad campaign, that product launch, or last week’s viral video. You likely won’t be asked a question where you can rattle off three great qualities, so be on the look out for opportunities to weave these points in. This will let the interviewer know just how invested you are in the position and what a go getter you are.

1 Improvement: Think about one thing the company could be doing to improve. Make this something you know. For example, not a reorganization of their supply chain infrastructure. Check out their social media presence, their marketing targeting people your age, or if they have a social sign in on their website, for example. Think of a way they could be executing something more effectively and see if you can find examples of exactly how. Having a reasonable suggestion like this will show a lot of initiative and certainly make you stand out from the pack of eager students they’re interviewing.

Write down everything you’ve outlined above and bring notes with you to the interview. You don’t need to read off of these notes, but sometimes it’s helpful to have something to reference if you get nervous or flustered. Also, you might want to practice saying these things in a mirror a few times before heading into the interview to get more comfortable.

There you go, these are some simple prep ideas to make you stand out at your next internship interview. Happy interning, everyone!