MLT Blog

Four Ways to Rock Your Internship Interview

Words of Wisdom from the UK Wildcats

Mohanad Abdallah, Ta’Neile Simmons, Najika Halsema, Siera Arena, Khalil Appleton and Kayla Walls are juniors at the University of Kentucky.

Last weekend, more than 350 Career Prep Fellows attended MLT’s Interview and Analytical Skills Seminar, hosted by Disney. At the seminar, nearly 50 MLT partners, including Google, Goldman Sachs and Deloitte, conducted more than 562 interviews for undergraduate summer internships. MLT prepared Fellows for the rigorous interview process with individualized coaching and case study sessions with recruiters from our partner organizations. This year, MLT proudly welcomed our first Career Prep Fellows from the University of Kentucky.

We asked them to share their most valued lessons about interviewing for an internship.  

#1: When it comes to company research – don’t be basic.

Kayla Walls, a merchandising, apparel & textiles major, said that to impress employers, you need to know more than simply what the company does. “You have to dig deeper…know what’s actually going on now, and what they are doing that’s changing and really affecting their company.” Wells explained it’s important to be informed about an organization’s past and present, and it helps candidates really stand out when they bring ideas about what the future could look like.

#2: Use effective tools and techniques to your advantage.

MLT coaches train Fellows on various techniques and strategies to give them a competitive advantage during interviews. The University of Kentucky Fellows agreed that using the STAR method was effective. Khalil Appleton, an electrical engineering major, explained “Situation, Task, Action and Result. It keeps you going on the right track, and you can use it for any type of interview.” Appleton said the STAR method is great for answering behavioral questions. “They could say ‘name a time that you failed, name a time that you succeeded’…just come up with a few situations, and you can pretty much meld it to whatever question you’re being asked.”  Ta’Neile Simmons, a merchandising, apparel & textiles major, agreed. “The STAR method…kept me from rambling and it got straight to the point. It would have to be one of the…most useful skills I’ve gotten so far.”

#3: Articulate your problem-solving process.  

Candidates tend to prepare for common interview questions like What’s your greatest accomplishment? or What’s your biggest weakness? But often, having great answers to behavioral questions is not enough to stand out. Siera Arena, a finance and accounting major, described how candidates can excel at the case study or technical portion of interviews. “It’s really important to challenge yourself through different problems and learn how to think through them logically so that you can show employers your thought process.” Arena said, “Even if it’s a challenging problem…as long as you’re showing them the way that you think and how you can solve problems, then they’ll really be interested in what you can do for them and how you can add value.”

#4: Project confidence to inspire confidence.

In an interview, your delivery is as important as your message. While it’s important to balance confidence with humility, answering your questions confidently will signal to recruiters that you’re ready to add value to their organization. Najika Halsema, a computer science major, encouraged candidates not to sell themselves short. She advised, “Just put your best foot forward and make sure that you are confident,” adding “even if you don’t believe it at times because that is the one thing that is either going to make or break a potential offer.”

Learn more about MLT’s Career Prep program here.

Listen to testimonials from the University of Kentucky MLT Fellows about last week’s seminar in the video below.