Published on August 20, 2014

5 admissions interview tips and tricks

The admissions interview is the first hurdle between you and your dream internship. Typically you will have 20 minutes to present your skills, reveal your personality and impress your interviewer. Here are 5 interview tips and tricks that will help you perform to the best of your ability during the first interview:

Step 1: DO YOUR RESEARCH. Nothing comes across better in a first interview than good, in depth knowledge of what you are applying for. All you need to do is read through the website, research the country in which you would like to work and the sector in which you would like to work! Doing this will immediately give your interviewer the impression that you are a passionate, serious, and committed candidate.

Step 2: BE PREPARED. Before your interview, you should prepare answers for common interview questions, such as: “What are your strengths?” “What are your weaknesses?” and “Why would you like to participate in this internship?” Preparing and rehearsing answers for this type of question will allow you to speak confidently and fluently and, more importantly, you won’t be faced with the panic of having to come up with an intelligent answer on the spot. Furthermore, almost every candidate will regurgitate the same generic answer, so preparing beforehand will give you the opportunity to add some interesting details that will set you apart from the crowd.

Step 3: HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND BE IN THE CORRECT MINDSET. One thing that you must remember is that all your interviewer is trying to do is to get the best out of you, so don’t be nervous and just be yourself. If you are calm and collected you will be able to engage with your interviewer and let your personality shine through. Being polite and listening well are two simple aspects of conversation that nerves can sometimes get the best of, so spending a few minutes gathering yourself before the beginning of your interview will allow you to respond to your interviewer’s questions clearly and logically. Following the advice from the previous two steps will help you to achieve this goal.

Step 4: BE ON TIME. The first impression you will make, even before uttering a single word, will be whether you are on time or not. You should make sure you book an interview time that is convenient for you, then note it down in your calendar giving yourself at least half an hour to prepare before the exact start time. Your interviewer will expect you to be ready at the allotted time. Furthermore, this aspect is of particular importance, because the interviewer will then be able to trust to be on time to work every day during your internship if you are successful. Being late or underprepared will expose a lack of professionalism before you even have the opportunity to tell your interviewer anything about you, so don’t make the unnecessary, damaging mistake of being late!

Step 5: ASK INTELLIGENT QUESTIONS. At the end of the interview, your interviewer will most likely ask you whether you have any questions. This is the perfect opportunity for you to display your knowledge by asking intelligent questions, which demonstrate your passionate interest in the industry and about what you will be doing. Asking these types of question will set you apart from other candidates, display your intellectual rigor and ability to think independently. The questions section is your last opportunity to impress, so don’t miss the opportunity!


If you would like to apply to our international internship program click here to book your initial interview with the admissions team. Good luck!

The author
John Monahan
Before joining The Intern Group in 2014, John held senior positions in the investment operations field, including Senior Manager for Investment Application Services at Liberty Mutual (one of the USA’s largest insurance companies), and AVP at Bank of New York-Mellon. John holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University with a field of study in Economics, which he earned while working full-time. A travel enthusiast, John has visited over 30 countries, and believes deeply in the value of international experiences as a lever for educational, professional, and personal growth.

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