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Interview Process

The interview process for internships is just as formal and intentional as if interviewing for a full-time job. Follow these tips for the ultimate first impression.

Before the Interview

  • Keep an Excel document that tracks all of your applications with the job function, contact information and date of application.
  • Practice behavioral interview questions with a partner or schedule a practice interview with the Career Resource Center. 
  • Remove as many unknowns from the equation as possible to reduce stress: research the company, take a test drive to the interview site, and prepare relevant questions to ask the interviewer.

During the Interview

  • Be attentive to the interviewer. Maintain eye contact and take time  to answer each question fully. 
  • Ask questions that you care about, such as main expectations of the internship, your supervisor's management style, the goals of the department, what your training will look like or how you will fit into the team. 
  • Bring copies of your résumé and any additional application materials to the interview. Reserve one résumé for yourself, as it will serve as a great "cheat sheet" should you need the help.
  • Review the wealth of information provided on the Career Resource Center website on interviewing.
  • Read external advice, such as this article from U.S. News & World Report: Five words to avoid saying in interviews.

Follow Up

  • Send a professional thank you email immediately after the interview. Reiterate your interest in the position and offer to provide any additional information if necessary. Not only is this is a sign of courtesy, but a simple means to create an advantage over your competition. 
  • Check your email and voicemail at least twice a day after the interview. You do not want to miss any outreach from the employer.
  • Be realistic in your timeline. It is not typical for an employer to get immediately back to you after an interview.  Wait three to five business days after sending your thank you email to reach out for an update. 

Telephone Interviews

Most internship interviews begin with a telephone screening. Keep these basic tips in mind:

  • Find a quiet room away from distractions, noise, pets, television and roommates.
  • Have your résumé, cover letter, the job description, and a list of your questions readily available.
  • Wait for the interviewer to set the pace, and be comfortable with silence; the interviewer may be taking notes.
  • Ask the interviewer to repeat questions you do not hear or to rephrase questions you do not understand.
  • Ask about next steps as well as any contact information necessary for follow-up.