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Do you have any advice for interviewing for a summer internship?

I've started applying for finance internships this summer and don't really know how to prepare for my in-person interviews.
interview interviewing-skills internships

Hi! I work at the Career Center of my college, and we offer free interview practice for any students willing to make an appointment. I would recommend checking out if you have some sort of career center available to students on campus to do the same. If none are available, I would recommend at least reading into the company beforehand to be sure you understand their business while being interviewed as well as sending a thank you note to the interviewer afterwards. Sabina B.
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Subject: Career question for you


6 answers

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Lucie’s Answer

Outch, job interviews are tough! But the hardest part is really to actually get one in my opinion!
First of all dress for the job you want, without a tuxedo, dress the part.
Second, in my opinion what everyone looks into a good candidate/good interview is someone who is concise, doesn't lose his train of thoughts, to the point, good story teller, etc.

To stand out, despite the many answers you already got, I would say:
#1 Match job posting and resume
Highlight the different part of the job posting and match it to your resume. Use maybe a few different highlighters to really distinguish the different skillset required. This will be make it easier for you to speak about what has not been highlighted (because it will come up!)

#2 Look out for the obvious
Look for the obvious questions you will be asked: Experience, gap in resume, etc. Be prepared to respond to these questions with a well prepared answer. It might be a way for you to shine.

#3 Work on story telling
A good story needs to be down to the point and follow a path of development. Don't get lost into rabbit holes and other tangent, look into the narrative and make sure it is one where you stand out.

#4 Prepare and Practice make Perfect
There will be obvious questions about your resume, also, there will be the questions we are all expecting: Tell me about yourself, what are some of your qualities, what do you like about our company, why do you want to work here, etc.?
It will vary per the role and industry but all the questions you will have will be in some sort of the same flavor from one interview to the next.
Then rehearse, under the shower, in front of the mirror, with friends, family, etc. The more you repeat your stories the more they will come naturally and when a question you have not prepared for arise you should be more relaxed to answer.

Hope this helps,
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Jay’s Answer


Interviews (whether for university or for a job) can be very stressful. I always recommend a few things in general:

1. Make sure you are outwardly presentable. This does not mean you have to rush out to buy a brand new suit or set of fancy clothes but remember that first impressions are the longest-lasting, and you want to be professional. Make sure you are set up for success by being presentable and ready to go.

2. Practice, practice, practice. Think of potential questions you may be asked, and think of how you want to answer those. Just like preparing for a presentation, practice your answers out loud and make sure you have clear responses. If you have a friend or partner, ask if they can play the interviewer and ask for feedback.

3. Make sure you get plenty of rest before the interview. You are going to be stressed out and nervous, but try and get a full night's rest, eat a good breakfast and come as fresh as you can.

Remember that many interviewers will try and "stress test" you during the interview to see how you handle tough situations, so try and be calm, relax and provide your best answers.

Best of luck
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Vandana’s Answer

Hi Ethan, here are a few tips on how you can go about preparing for the interview.

On the day of your face to face interview, first impressions matter. Speak confidently and try to be comfortable. Keep a bottle of water handy. Smile :) It's easy to say but i understand it can be nerve-raking! That is why preparation is the key. The obvious place to start preparing is by looking at the Job Description (JD). What about the internship caught your eye? Any particular point? Was the JD clear and got you excited to apply for the role? Or was it your favourite company? What about the company do you like?

Talk about the above points and also the skills you have to offer and how that is a fit.
Tech skills - have you submitted any white papers? taken any additional online course/s?
Non Tech skills - It's also a time to talk about what extra curricular activities you have been involved in and see if you can tie that to the role. E.g if you are a part of a student committee and involved in organizing events, or leading them, or an editor of a college magazine, these talk about your inter-personal skills. These are your strengths and shows collaboration.

The interview process is as much about you getting to know them as they getting to know you. So have a list of questions for them too. E.g. what would a typical intern's day look like at your company? How do your team members unwind? What according to the interviewer is the best part about working at the company?
Always ask what the next steps of the interview are and don't forget to follow up. It's important for you to have a realistic understanding of the interview timelines.

Hope these help. Good luck!
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Yao’s Answer

If it is possible, try to connect with people working in the company that you are applying for. It helps to understand what the job is. A better understanding of the job/industry/specific company always help you to perform better during the interview.
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Fiona’s Answer

Research the company and its history
Research the department
Watch the news and be able to talk about key current events
Research some key current events in the industry you are applying to
Research the background of your interviewers
Go through your CV to ensure you can talk about each skill/past experience you have included
Think of some good questions you would like to ask about the company - including the team, the culture, the direction etc.
Do not under-dress
Be on time, 15 minutes early
Be prepared to introduce yourself in clear succinct manner, listing out key traits and achievements/interests/work experience/volunteering experience that makes you stand out.
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Kristen’s Answer

It doesn't hurt to research the company before you go in, often times the interviewer will ask what all drew you to apply and they want to hear more than "I wanted an internship in finance so here I am." While interviewing for my finance internship I was asked "What does finance mean to you?" and a few questions about data analytics and previous experience with number crunching software and query building in SQL (I admitted to knowing nothing about SQL and still got the internship).

If your college has mock interviews that you can schedule (I'd check with career services or the academic advising office if you're unsure) they can be really helpful and give you pointers on your answers. If not, have a friend or professor, or really anyone pull together a list of interview questions and dress up for your mock interview like you would a real one. The more interviews you do, the more at ease you'll feel.