How Not To Suck At Your Intern Interview

Written by: Giulia Umile

At Slice, we have a very robust and successful internship program. We receive over 100 applications each semester and end up accepting 4-6 interns. The internship program here means a lot to us; we work hard to make sure it’s an incredible experience where the students get real world agency experience. They help us with our internal social media, PR and email. Interns contribute to client accounts and, often times, will come up with great ideas during our brainstorming sessions. 

The Internship Application Process

For most students, their internship can be incredibly valuable, offering more than just experience. To give you an idea of our process, here’s what a typical intern will go through when applying to Slice:

  • Step 1: Apply on our website
  • Step 2: Reply to an email asking basic questions (what semester are you interested in, can you commit to 16 hours a week, etc)
  • Step 3: Phone screen with me
  • Step 4: In person interview with an Account Manager
  • Step 5: Acceptance or Rejection

Internship Phone Interview Tips

The part I’d like to focus on today is Step 3: the phone screen. After conducting hundreds of intern phone screens, I’ve put together this handy dandy guide on exactly what you should (and should not) do.

  1. You would be amazed at how many people don’t introduce themselves! I start every call with, “Hi, this is Giulia”. The standard reply would be, “Hi, this is *first name*.” Unfortunately, the majority of students just reply with, “hey” or “hello”, but never actually introduce themselves.
  2. Be prepared to speak about your experience! Every job, internship, volunteer activity, extracurricular activity, etc. is valuable. You shouldn’t act surprised when I ask you to talk about courses you’re taking or your overall experience. Have a brief narrative prepared in your head regarding all of your work.
  3. Do some research on the company you are speaking to ahead of time! It’s blatantly obvious when a student has not done any research at all. This does not have to be significant. Just spend 10-15 minutes on the website, and during the call be sure to mention something specific you saw on the website. Don’t ask questions like, “what does your company do?” or “who are your clients?”. Be knowledgeable, at least on a basic level, about the company and their offerings.
  4. Have some questions ready to ask on the call! There are always questions to ask in an internship interview. Be creative, think outside the box! Here are some examples:
    1. Can you explain the onboarding process to me?
    2. What kind of training will I receive as an intern?
    3. What are the essential qualities of a successful intern?
    4. How is my performance evaluated?

Internships are valuable and covetable experiences. Slice accepts a maximum of 6% of our applicants. And in order to even be considered, you have to be able to talk on the phone and make a good first impression. Introduce yourself, talk about why you’d be valuable, and be sure to ask an informed question. Place an equal amount of importance on the phone screen as you would on the interview, so you make your best impression and can move on to an in-person interview. 

Now that you have the steps to succeed, check out our open intern positions!