How to prepare for an internship online interview?

By Linh PMP

Items to check

  • Internet – good speed for video call with webcam, speakers, and microphone on laptop, desktop
  • Telephone to send / receive call in emergency. Make sure you can make international calls if the interviewer is abroad
  • Passport or driving license or student ID card (some will ask for those with clear photo)
  • Other required materials stated in the Interview Invitation Email – make sure to check

Before THE Interview

Technical preparation

  •  Download the designated software (eg. Skype) in advance of the interview and create a professional username (your firstname+lastname would be good enough)
  • If the software is new to you, do training/test calls with your friends to get used to it
  • Conduct a thorough test 24 hours before the interview to check the Internet, camera and microphone

Appearance preparation

  • Record yourself (in your interview seat) to see how you appear on camera.
  • Prepare the hair and make-up. You may want the hair off your face and the light make-up that makes your face brighter on screen.
  • Prepare the dress, even the lower parts including pants and shoes (you may have to stand up during the interview). Choose a color to wear that is easy on the eye (such as blue – royal, navy, sky blue, solid colors) and a pattern that won’t be distracting to your viewer.
  • Set up the background
  1. Be careful of what can be watched behind you on screen. You may want to sit in front of a blank wall or a bookshelf or something that you are willing to talk about (such as your favorite painting or handcraft).
  2. Arrange enough lighting with no shadows
  3. Make sure to negotiate with roommates and get a quiet separate room to avoid being disturbed by people or pets, etc.

Content preparation

 

  • Get to know the company. So surf the company’s website / social medias (and follow for news updates). It would also be a great idea to follow the company’s leaders on social medias (such as Twitter) and kinda “stalk” what they are interested in. It would be very impressive if you can show a real interest in the company and have the same topics to discuss.
  • Guest the questions. There are some FAQs
  1. Tell us about yourself (Make it friendly. And it would be great if you can show something really “you” that can help them remember you as a special personality, such as your meaningful nickname or weird-but-reasonable hobbies)
  2. Why do you want an internship in this company? (Make sure to covers your expectation to learn and your potentiality to contribute and grow quickly)
  3. What do you expect from this internship? (Specific skillset, mentoring, challenges and corporate culture that would be tightly related to your future career)
  4. What do you want to do after graduation? (Tell them how it is related to this internship)
  5. Did you intern or work part-time before? Tell us about that experience? (If you don’t have such experience, tell them about your volunteer work, other social activities or your personal projects. If you don’t have any at all, be prepared about the reasons why you did not do anything and the motivation for you to work on it now)
  6. You wrote this in the CV (…). Tell us more about that. (Remember to study your own CV)
  7. What can you do for us? (You may have answered this question in your cover letter, so make sure you study your cover letter too, so that the story would be consistent and compelling, in terms of what you can bring to the table)
  8. Tell us a trend related to your applied internship? (For example, if you apply to be an environment engineering intern, tell them about the trend of environment technology application in your country. You can actively mention the issue without being asked to show your knowledge – it would be appreciated.)
  • Prepare Your Own Questions 

This will show how diligent you are to make sure that the internship will benefit both you and the company. But remember to avoid unnecessary questions that waste time (do research on their website in advance!). Some suggestions:

  1. What will my daily tasks include? Who will be my supervisor?
  2. What does the company expect from the interns? How can you assess my KPI?
  3. What do you like about your job?
  4. Are there any opportunities for me to get a job in the company after this internship?
  5. I check the company website and see this (describe!). I feel very interested and have just got an idea to somehow improve it (explain!). What do you think?
  • Write a script 
    Write down a few notes about topics that you want to discuss during your call. You will not read it out loud during the interview (LOL), but believe me, you would want to look at it sometimes to keep track. Your brain is not a perfect machine.

Day of Interview

10 minutes before the interview, make sure to be ready and finish checking all these stated above.

  • Smile and focus. Try to look at the camera and show energy during the conversation
  • Avoid saying um, hmmm (practice, practice, practice!). When you need time to think a bit, you may want to repeat the question to have a few more seconds of delaying (eg. “Ok so you want to know…” or “It is interesting to talk about…” or “I have several ideas, let me note them down a bit to make sure I will not miss any of them”)
  • Keep your pace
  • Present your answers in ways that can help them see your strengths
  • Keep a notebook and a pen handy so you note down additional comments by them and also by you
  • Have a copy of your resume in sight. You may have to refer to dates.
  • Use proper and natural body languages. Avoid the negative ones such as crossing arms, rubbing eyes or noses, tapping feet, looking down, playing with hair, biting nails, banging fists, etc.
  • Be confident, honest and sincere. Be prepared with strengths to sell (with specific examples). Also be aware of your weaknesses and ready to share about them, especially how you are trying to improve
  • To end the interview, say thanks to your interviewers for their time, consideration, and the opportunity. Emphasize why you love the position, stress your best qualities if possible.
  • Write a concise thank-you email after the interview. You may want to add some additional comments about the company / the interviewer but make sure they are concise, sincere and reasonable.

Good luck. Live sweet!

Featured photo: studentexchange.vn

 

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