Internships are good opportunities to learn more about a company or a profession before you take a big leap into the business. Internship interviews can feel pressured or not, depending on your situation. If you view the opportunity as a low-pressure opportunity to find out about a new field, you may not think of the interview as overly stressful. On the other hand, if you see the internship as one of the few ways to forge your way into a desired career, you may be nervous about it. Approaching an internship interview mid-career adds a different spin to the process as well.
Think Through Different Options
Since internships are a good way to learn more about an industry or transition into a new career field, people of all ages may pursue such an opportunity. Be ready to answer why you want to take a hit to your income to pursue this internship. Know the difference between unpaid and paid internships. Some labor laws may affect your ability to be unpaid for an internship that isn't school-sponsored so think through all of these options and how they affect you.
Do Your Research
Walk into your interview appointment well researched. Learn all you can about the company, such as when it was formed and by whom. Study the role you would have in the company. Internships end up being an amalgamation of positions at times. Reassure the interviewer that you are aware internships are entry-level in nature and that you are prepared to perform any related task that might be asked of you. Show a good attitude about exploring your options and learning a field from the ground up.
If you want to nail your internship interview, brush up on your interviewing skills. Do a mock interview with a friend who will give you helpful feedback. Be prepared to answer questions about why you are pursuing an internship rather than a regular full-time position. If you are making a career change, practice talking about your desire to start over, more or less. Listen closely to the questions being asked and take your time forming your answer.
Nailing an internship interview goes beyond the meeting with the employer. After parting ways, take the appropriate steps to continue putting your best foot forward. Show gratitude for the opportunity to meet with them and re-emphasize your interest in the position at this point in your life. Also make sure you send any correspondence they requested, such as the names of references. If you don't hear back within a few weeks, follow up again with a simple email or phone call.
- Forbes: 12 Tricky Interview Questions for Interns
- Indiana University School of Journalism: Job and Internship Interviews
- Webster University: Interviewing for an Internship or Job
- San Jose Mercury News: Mid-Career Job Seekers Turn to Internships, Volunteer Positions
- Chicago Tribune: Anatomy of a Mid-Career Internship
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