Getting the Internship: How to Nail the Video Interview

Getting a great internship can be the special something your career path needs to thrive. Many people underestimate the power of internships, thinking they’re just gopher roles — or worse — unpaid labor. In reality, most internships offer valuable experience and help you build the professional network you’ll need to grow your career down the line.

However, getting an internship can be an intimidating process, especially when it comes to the interview. At the intern level, you often have little experience, so you need to learn how to market yourself effectively without it. Add in the stress of navigating a video interview during the pandemic, and it can get overwhelming, fast. Fortunately, Native Hire is here to help. Here are some tips for landing the interview, getting ready for a virtual chat, and learning how to spot the relevant experience you have — and make a case for what you don’t.

Building Your Resume

Resumes are tricky for hopeful interns, since, as we discussed, you may not have much relevant experience yet. There are several ways to address this. For example, you can take some time to do skilled volunteer work in your industry. This is a great pre-internship step since the barrier for entry for volunteer work is often a little bit lower. This gives you a chance to test your work in the field, give back to a cause you care about and give your resume a bit of oomph all at once.

Finally, consider hiring a professional resume reviewer to look over your resume before you start applying. Not only does a second set of eyes help eliminate typos and other minor errors, but a pro can help you phrase your resume in a manner that’s attractive and digestible for hiring managers. They can also give you tips for how to tweak your resume to suit different roles and raise your odds even more.

Prepping For Your Interview

There are several basic steps you should take to prepare for any interview, such as researching the company and going over common interview questions. Nearly every interviewer wants to see that you’ve put effort into investigating the company you’re hoping to work for. Also, it’s never a good look to flub a basic question like “What are your strengths?” Practice these questions and learn how to answer with confidence.

All interviewees, but interns especially, should remember to prioritize the question asking portion of the interview. Remember, this is a two-way conversation, and you’re evaluating them just as much as they’re evaluating you. Ask them what learning goals they have for you as an intern; how they provide mentorship and feedback; and what former interns have gone on to do after leaving the role.

Watch out for red flags, such as answers that indicate they don’t do much one-on-one work with the interns. Internships should always put your learning above your results, and if they don’t plan to interact with you much, you’re not likely to learn the things you hope to learn.

Virtual Interview Tips

At its core, the video or virtual interview isn’t that different from an in-person interview, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. For starters, dress as you would for an in-person interview (including pants). Don’t assume you won’t need to stand up — you may not, but if you do, you’ll be thankful your bottom half isn’t in pajamas.

It’s also important to remember to try and look at the camera, not the screen, while in a video interview. This is hard to do, but putting a small sticker next to your camera can give you something to focus your eyes on. It’s pretty unnatural, so consider practicing this with a friend or family member before the actual interview.

We hope these tips help you feel confident going into your internship interview. A great first role can put your career on the right path, and help you secure better positions down the line. Remember to value your own needs on the search and to hunt for the internship that teaches the skills you’ll need to thrive.

Need more guidance on your internship hunt? Check out Native Hire’s resource page.

First Jobs, Internships, & Volunteering, Interviewing, Resumes & Applications