How to Discuss Your Internship at an Interview

If you’ve completed an internship, you’re going to be asked about it at a job interview. But talking about it in a short amount of time may not be so easy. On the one hand, you want to be able to indicate you worked hard and achieved a lot, but on the other hand, you don’t want to ramble, or forget to mention something really great. The following is a list of tips to prepare you to discuss your internship at a job interview.

Prepare for Different Questions

Before going to an interview, consider the different questions you may be asked about your internship. Possible questions might be:

What responsibilities did you have during your internship?

What did you learn during your internship?

What did you like/dislike about your internship?

Describe a typical day at your internship.

How does this internship give you an advantage in the job market?

Why did you choose to do your internship there?

What was your greatest achievement during your internship?

How does your internship prepare you for this job?

How does this internship prepare you for your career?

Why did you decide to do an internship?

What was most challenging about your internship?

How did you handle (insert situation) during your internship?

What is the most important thing you learned at your internship?

Describe how you used leadership at your internship.

Describe how you worked with others at your internship.

Don’t try to memorize exact answers for these questions. Instead, think of a few important points you would want to cover for each. If you can remember the important points during an interview, your responses will sound fresh, but you’re still talking about what’s really important.

Stay Positive 

It’s important that when discussing your time at an internship, you speak well of the company and the people who work there. For one, businesses tend to work with other businesses. People tend to switch companies. You never know what the relationship is between your interviewer and the place you did your internship. Secondly, it doesn’t typically look good when you’re bad-mouthing a former work situation. When asked to discuss any dislikes about the internship, do it in a professional light.

Bring Samples

If possible, have something that can demonstrate the work you’ve done at an internship. This could be a section in your portfolio, or a separate piece. You may want to consider bringing a letter of recommendation from your internship supervisor.  Never give an interviewer the only copy of your work, or the original because you may not get it back.

Control Open-Ended Questions

You may just be asked to discuss your internship without being asked a specific question. In this case, you’ll want to mention your role as well as cover what you’ve learned, and how it’s prepared you for the position in which you’re applying. Have a few key points in mind for when this question is asked. Don’t try to cover everything. Your interviewer can ask follow up questions to get more information.

 

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Original Post Date: June 13th, 2012

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