Tips for Internship Interviews
The internship experience is an integral part of an MBA education.
But how exactly can an MBA best prepare for a summer internship interview? Career coaches from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business recently offered a few tips for interview success.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
Experts say research is a must before every interview.
“Setting up Google news alerts is just the beginning,” Paul Reeder, senior director of financial services careers at Darden, says. “You need to understand the industry context in which the company operates so that you can build stronger statements about why you are interested in the industry broadly and this company specifically.”
Al Dea, Founder of MBASchooled, a website that focuses on showcasing life as an MBA student, says it’s critical for students to know how to “speak the language” when interviewing for companies.
“To ‘learn’ a company’s language, I immersed myself in as much content and material as I could,” Dea writes for Relish Careers. “Whether it was reading their 10-K, analyst notes on the company, or reviewing my notes from informational interviews I did with employees at the firm, I did my best to truly learn and then use the language and culture of the company I was interviewing with.”
PRACTICE MOCK INTERVIEWS
Having an idea of what you’re going to talk about in an interview can be a huge advantage going into the conversation.
Experts say it’s critical for students to practice mock interviews as much as possible.
“Above all, you need a solid, well-researched and authentic answer to the question every recruiter is going to ask: ‘Why this company?’,” says Casey Floyd, a career coach at Darden. “By asking that question, recruiters want to know why you — instead of every other candidate they interview — will be the best fit for their role.”
It’s common today for companies to interview over the phone or computer.
Thus, experts recommend that students get comfortable with presenting themselves via a digital platform.
“For telephone interviews, secure a place with no distractions and great reception. Stand up straight, dress up for the interview and use a mirror while you are speaking. These steps add energy, quell nerves and put your best voice forward,” Denise Karaoli, director of international careers at Darden, says.