7 Internship Interview Mistakes to Avoid

By Brittany Loeffler on December 12, 2017

Going for an internship interview is a little different than going for a job interview. The interviewer will be looking for different qualities and skills in a candidate for an internship than a permanent position. The questions may be different and the atmosphere of the interview may be different too. That being said, there are some internship interview mistakes to avoid in order to ace your interview and land the internship.

via Pixabay

Show Up Late

Punctuality is key when it comes to landing an internship. If you show up late for your interview, you have already put a bad taste in the interviewer’s mouth. They may write you off then and there because they may worry it is a consistent problem they will have to deal with if they hire you.

Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time when traveling to your interview. If you have to take public transportation, account for delays. If you are driving, account for traffic. It’s always better to arrive early to show them that you are eager to be interviewed for the position than rushing through the door late.

Don’t Bring Resume or References

Along with preparing for an interview, you should print out copies of your resume and a list of professional references to bring with you. Make sure to bring a few copies with you because you never know how many people will be interviewing you. When you offer your resume, it shows that you come prepared and are always one step ahead of the game.

At the end of the interview, pull out your list of professional references for your interview whether or not they ask for it. This shows confidence that you are qualified for the job as well as being prepared.

via Pixabay

Dress Inappropriately

Dressing professionally is difficult, especially if you aren’t exactly sure what constitutes as professional or not. Take a few minutes and look online at some guides on what you should wear to an interview. If you aren’t sure whether you should dress business casual or business professional, it is always safer to dress business professional. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed at an interview.

It may sound shallow, but the way you present yourself and how you look can be a huge factor when a company decides to hire an intern. They want someone who is clean, well-kept, and knows how to dress professionally because they will be representing their brand.

You Ramble and Tell Stories

It’s okay, if not encouraged, to tell stories about experiences during an interview; however, there is a fine line between talking about your experience and rambling on. Don’t worry, rambling and going off on tangents happens to the best of us, especially when we are nervous. However, it is important to be aware of it when it is happening.

Keep your answers short and on topic. It’s okay to take a long pause to think about how you will answer a question. It also never hurts to prepare some standard answers beforehand and practice saying them out loud.

via Pixabay

You Don’t Ask Questions

At the end of an interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. The answer is always yes. If you do not have any questions about the position, it shows them that you really are not all that interested in working for them. This is an essential part of the interview process.

Some sample question topics are about the typical day, skills needed to succeed, and where the company sees itself in the next ten years. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about things you spoke about in the interview too.

You Ask the Wrong Questions

You may ask questions about the position, but they are the wrong questions. Questions about getting a job offer at the end of the internship are inappropriate. This shows that you don’t care about the experience of having an internship and are only focused on the job offer at the end.

Putting an emphasis on getting paid is also inappropriate. Some internships are paid and others are not. It’s okay to ask if it is paid or not, but don’t put an emphasis on this.

You Aren’t Humble

It’s always important to never brag about yourself during a job interview. Learn the difference between talking about your accomplishments and bragging about your skills and achievements. It’s important to stay humble about your experiences, but stay confident that they are important factors that make you a qualified candidate.

Nobody wants to work alongside someone who thinks the world of themselves. Especially when interviewing for an internship position, you must show them that you are willing to learn and own up to your mistakes because you are learning the industry.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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