How To Land A Software Engineering Internship

For most students pursuing software engineer careers, getting an internship can be a daunting task and usually don’t know what should be done for preparation.  Interviews play critical roles as they are the stepping stone to land you an internship opportunity.  How do candidates get the internships especially as there is such a high application volume?

Interview Foundation Advice from Online:

Here is a list of what I call foundation advice that I searched online.  These are basic things that are obvious but very important and therefore cannot be forgotten.

  • Have your resume proof read by multiple people and don’t forget to include the cover letter
  • Dress up for the interview
  • Don’t be shy during the interview
  • Don’t be late to the interview
  • Handshake must be firm and always look in the eyes of the interviewer
  • Follow up with the interviewer by sending a thank you note

Besides the basic advice, there are more actions you can take to really stand out from the best SW engineers who are trying to land the same internship as you are.

1.    Do your Research

Doing research is not visiting the company’s website and reading about the company.  Many interviewees make this mistake by checking the box for doing the research before the interview.  Here is a list of information you should look for in your research.

  • Make sure you know in detail what the company does and what products they produce.
  • What is their most popular product or biggest customer/client?
  • What are some criticisms the company is receiving?
  • What is the most recent news involving the company?
  • Form a personal opinion and speak up after completing your research

2.    Practice technical interviews 

Technical interviews are very important in landing an internship from a preferred company.  To practice technical interview, I recommend buying a book called Cracking the Coding Interview 150 Programming Questions and Solutions.

3.    Passion Over GPA and Capabilities   

Many candidates seeking internship continue to place a very high focus on their skills capabilities and GPA, failing to realize the importance of passion.  Passion is the drive that comes from within that gives you excitement as you work in sw engineering.  More employers are looking for someone with passion because they understand that employees with passion can create a working environment that brings best out of the engineering teams.

To stand out from the crowd of sw engineers during the interview, you must bring your A-game, the passion!  Explain about your passion and what you love to do (within sw engineering of course).  Prior to the interview, you need to prepare and even come up with an agenda on what you want to share with the interviewer when you are asked to introduce yourself.   Also, talk about your side projects, which will show your passion for solving problems.  Consider adding your passion in your cover letter going little deeper with your side projects.

Video on SW Engineering Internship:

Here is a very useful video by Nikhil Reddy on what you should do to land a software engineering internship.  The video is separated into three sections:

  1. Why sw is important and how to learn technical skills for a great job
  2. How to apply with a resume and what types of side projects you should be focused
  3. How to stay calm for technical interviews

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