This might be just about the most horrifying question known to mankind. Because what do you say? Well, we’ll start by letting you know that the interviewer doesn’t want to know that you love your dog, Cocoa Puff, or that you recently stopped eating dairy (all very interesting facts though!). They want to know how your personality and experience relate to the job.
We recommend discussing what you're passionate about and summarizing how your relevant experiences reflect that passion. For example, maybe you care a lot about serving your community, which, if you’ve done your research about the company, may be in line with their values. Share how you have volunteered for a number of nonprofit organizations to help reconcile their donations and offer your bookkeeping skills to a few small businesses around your neighborhood to help them stay on top of their cash flow. Before you know it the interviewer already sees you as a perfect fit, both in terms of the skills you bring to the table and for their company culture.
All-in-all your answer should not last longer than one minute. This is just an ice breaker.
Check out this sample internship position and description to see how to tailor your answer if your passion aligns with the company but your experience may not fit neatly into what the company does:
Finance Reporting Grant Management Internship Organization Profile
This nonprofit organization provides opportunities for underrepresented high school students to go to college. As a part of their work, this non-profit oversees large financial grants. The finance department prepares financial statements, ensures the integrity of financial data by completing analysis and monitoring activities, and records donor agreements and contributions.
- Assist with donor agreements, contributions and reporting, analysis and monitoring of organizational financial transactions
- Process notes for the finance department by checking sources, making necessary calculations and assuring inclusion of all relevant data
- Assist on aspects related to preparation of reports, compilation of data and answering queries funds received, adjustments made to ensure financial compliance
- Assist advising partner offices and fundraising units of discrepancies and assist in resolving differences in their records
- Support analysis of receivables for collection, clearing open items and monitoring outstanding contributions
- The intern will have the opportunity to learn about the nonprofit's mission and various initiatives
I am a junior at Illinois State University, studying accounting with a concentration in nonprofits and government entities. I’m very passionate about giving back to my community and bettering the financial condition of marginalized communities. This has led me to intentionally pick experiences where I can do good and share my skill set with community-oriented organizations. I’ve had a lot of experience volunteering with local small businesses as an accounting intern, managing their books to maintain cash flow. I have also worked on campus as the treasurer for my university’s NABA chapter, where I kept record of all financial transactions, helped to reconcile donations from fundraising events, and led financial literacy and entrepreneurial workshops for Black students. This is why I’m really interested in the opportunity to be a Finance Reporting Grant intern for such a mission driven organization.