7 Things You Just Can’t Say During Internship Interviews

Dont say thatInterviewing for an internship can be a nerve-wracking step in your career… especially if it’s your first internship.

So how do you calm the nerves and put your best foot forward? How do you your allow your strongest skills and qualities to shine through… without shooting yourself in that forward foot?

Sometimes, making a good first impression depends on being aware of the things candidates say that hiring managers might view as a red flag during the interview… like these:

1. “I’m so nervous.”

Hiring managers already know you’re nervous when you enter an interview. Regardless of how nervous you are for the interview, try to emit confidence and be yourself. Hiring managers simply want to get to know your personality and whether your skills are a good match for the position.

2. “It’s on my resume.”

When you enter an interview, the hiring manager has already read your resume. If the hiring manager asks you questions about a particular job or involvement, they’re looking for more details and what you accomplished in the position.

3. “I don’t know.”

The reality is, no matter how much you practice for an interview, it’s likely there will be a question that will stump you. Instead of saying “I don’t know” and getting flustered, take a moment to think about the question and ask the interviewer to repeat it. This will give you a chance to gather your thoughts and provide the best response.

4. “I don’t have a lot of experience…”

Employers who hire interns usually assume their candidates have very little or no internship experience. It’s not uncommon for a college student to apologize for not being experienced enough for the position. Instead of focusing on your weakness during the interview, focus on the strengths you have to offer. This will help the hiring manager see what you can accomplish during the internship despite your lack of experience.

5. “So, yeah…”

Awkward pauses and unnecessary fillers can ruin even the best interviews. Make sure you’re aware of the words you’re saying between transitions and avoid saying phrases such as “So, yeah,” “um,” or “like.”

6. “I’m only doing this to graduate.”

Many college students are required to perform an internship in order to graduate. While most employers understand this, it’s a good idea to avoid using this as the reason for wanting the internship. Employers want to hire students who genuinely want to gain experience with their company and build their portfolio.

7. “Nope, no questions for me!”

One of the biggest mistakes you can make during an interview is not asking any questions. Hiring managers expect candidates to have at least one or two questions to ask at the end of the interview. Make sure you prepare a few questions that pertain to the position and imply that you’ve done additional research about the company.

Remember, you want to make an excellent first impression when interviewing for an internship. By avoiding these interview faux pauxs, you’ll be able to land an internship that advances your career.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friend Heather Huhman!


Heather Huhman logo


HeatherAbout the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, a career and workplace education and consulting firm specializing in young professionals. Follow her on Twitter at @heatherhuhman.



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