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How to prepare for an internship interview ?

Home > How to prepare for an internship interview ?

An internship interview is just as important as a job interview, and must be prepared with the same rigor. If you like the company you want, the challenge can be just as stressful. You may have an idea of how to behave, but how can you be sure that you are on the right track ? Here are some useful tips to help you prepare for your internship abroad as part of our Grande Ecole program in English.

How to prepare for an internship interview ?


Regardless of the type of internship you are aiming for (internship during your studies, apprenticeship or work-study), these valuable tips should help you stand out from the competition.

Tip n°1 : Review your resume and cover letter

The only information your interviewer has is the information you provided in your cover letter and resume. They may ask you questions about your background, your qualifications or your interests. Carefully review your materials to prepare to expand on the elements you have indicated by generating interest.

Tip n°2 : Research the company

Take the time to explore the company’s website and LinkedIn page: you absolutely must know the essential points (the activity, the products but also the company’s values). Don’t hesitate to find out more about your contact person if you have the opportunity, for example by visiting Linkedin. His/her exact position in the company, his/her seniority, his/her diplomas… so much valuable information that can help you better position yourself.

Tip n°3 : Find out about the position

Carefully reread the internship offer (if you have responded to an ad) and take the time to think about the challenges of the position to highlight your skills. Consider searching the Internet for similar positions, and don’t hesitate to contact former interns if you have the opportunity.

Tip n°4 : Practice your speaking skills

An interview is an oral exercise that should allow you to capture the attention of your listener. Don’t speak in a monotone: instead, learn to pace your argument, speak loudly enough, place your voice and express yourself clearly and concisely. Enrich your verbal communication by learning to listen, pause and place your gaze.

Tip n°5 : Take care of your outfit

You don’t necessarily have to dress in a suit and tie (for men) or a strict suit (for women) to make an impression. Choose a sober and neutral outfit, without any particular originality (except, of course, for companies in the artistic world, adapted to the offbeat look). Do not hesitate to discreetly visit the company for which you are applying: this will give you a clear idea of the company’s “look”.

Tip n°6 : Be on time

Any delay, even a few minutes, is to be avoided because it will harm the image of professionalism that you wish to inspire. Do not hesitate to make the journey the day before your arrival to estimate precisely the time needed. Ideally, you should come about ten minutes early: this will give you time to breathe and you will be more relaxed.

Tip n°7 : Work on your introduction

You will probably have to introduce yourself at the beginning of the interview: gain points by preparing this key moment in advance. Be concise by summarizing your background, without forgetting to link your main qualities to the position you are applying for. Feel free to practice at home in front of a mirror, film yourself and time yourself.

Tip n°8 : Prepare your answers

Your interviewer will probably want to know more about your motivation and skills to ensure that your application meets the needs of the position. Ideally, there should be no doubt about you at the end of the interview: each of your answers should be coherent and well argued.

Tip n°9 : Ask questions

Asking questions at the end of the interview will prove your motivation and interest. Be curious about the company, its values and needs, showing enthusiasm and if possible a little originality. Avoid talking about vacations, hours or bonuses. Take an interest, for example, in your future collaborators or in large projects under development.

Tip n°10 : Keep in contact

Send a short thank-you email the same day or at the latest within two days after your interview. This way, your interviewer will keep your application in mind, and you will make the difference with the other candidates by proving your interest in the internship.

Frequently asked questions during an internship interview

The questions in an internship interview are very similar to those in any other job interview. Here are some common questions you may be asked, and possible ways to answer them.

  • Question 1: Tell me a little about yourself

This question is usually asked as an introduction to the interview. Summarize your background and emphasize your academic and professional experiences. You can also talk about your interests if they can support your application (drama classes for a sales internship, passion for travel for an international internship…). This question gives you the opportunity to share what you have learned so far and how you might apply it to the position. You can also include details about your extracurricular activities (participation in a Junior Enterprise, volunteer work…).


    • Question n°2 : What makes you the best candidate for this internship ?

    This question is designed to determine if you have a good understanding of the internship position. Depending on the internship you are applying for, choose two or three responsibilities and highlight the skills you have to handle those responsibilities, linking each responsibility to your strengths. Then tell about an experience you have had that builds on these strengths. For example, if the internship is about finances, you might mention that during a school project the group needed a finance officer and you took on that responsibility. You can also mention a few qualities, for example that you are precise and detail-oriented, that you are appreciated for your enthusiasm or energy.


    • Question n°3 : What are your qualities and your defects ?

    With this question, the employer wants to know if you are honest with yourself and if you are aware of the areas you need to work on. However, try to turn your weakness in a positive direction. For example : “I am punctual and have a strong work ethic. I sometimes struggle to meet deadlines, but I work at it by setting periodic reminders on my phone to keep me on track.”


    • Question n°4 : Tell me about a time when you took on a leadership role

    The recruiter is looking to assess your ambition and ability to work under pressure. Think of a time when you took charge of a situation at school, with family, friends or while playing sports. Instead of just describing a past situation, explain how you would do things differently today to show your critical thinking and evolution. For example, “I’ve learned that to be a good leader I also need to be able to delegate work to my teammates.”


    • Question n°5 : Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?

    The purpose of this question is to understand if you are willing to invest time and energy in the company, and possibly make them want to hire you in the future. It also allows us to judge if you are an ambitious person and if you have already defined the career path you wish to follow. There is no right or wrong answer, and you have every right not to project yet. However, you will score points by proving that your career path is consistent with your project.


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