The Developer Internship Interview From The Other Side Of The Table

Five thoughts on interviewing for a software engineering internship as a Computer Science student or recent code academy graduate, from the perspective of an Engineering Manager who’s just wrapped up hiring a 2019 internship class.

1. This might be the toughest tech job to land in your career

The funnel is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom for a software development internship. Check this out:

2. Be serious about your search.

When I ask candidates what other internship programs they are considering, in addition to sizing up my competition, I’m also trying to find out how seriously they take themselves and their careers.

3. Internships aren’t just for CS students.

The intern program that we run out of our Vancouver Tech Center in the Portland Metro has for several years now been made up of 50% or more recent code academy graduates.

4. Find a way to stand out and show interest in a niche.

If the internship you’re applying to is front-end web focused, highlight browser application projects you’ve worked on.

Applying for that Front End Engineer, University role? Highlight a front-end project from your university experience and you’ll stand out from the applicants who don’t.

5. Study up, but don’t stress solving a problem… instead consider how you approach problems.

We do whiteboard sessions in our interviews but they’re much less about reaching a solution that they are about design, collaboration and how you handle questions and critical feedback about your work.

Software engineer and team leader by experience, startup and business nerd by nature. PDX.