Interior Design Internship Tips

Interior design internships are one of the standard requirements of interior design training and qualifications. They're also particularly important for practical industry experience. Interior design is very much a client-based business and the realities of working in the industry have made internships essential for all students in the profession.

Finding interior design internships

Internships are widely advertised. Check with local interior designers and get some pointers and professional advice about what's available in your area. It's also worth your time to shop around for your internship. Although your credits will be the same wherever you do it, having a major industry employer on your resume is a significant asset at entry level. 

Getting an internship

You'll need to submit an application, a copy of your resume and references. It's advisable to also make available information regarding your grades, skill levels, and proficiencies. Using a teacher as a reference is particularly helpful in that it means the internship provider can discuss technical issues. Some interior designers are specialists, and curriculum requirements can be discussed as well.

Interview preparation

Interior design is a technical business, but it's also a creative exercise. Your interview will explore both facets of your design abilities in detail.  Areas to be covered in the interview will include:

  • Design quality: Interior design is a personal and individualized job. You will be required to show some examples of your work. Select your best technical and creative works. Check for any specific technical requirements of the position and submit the work that meets that category.
  • Materials: This includes selection and use of materials and their design issues. 
  • Presentation: Make sure you can give an excellent presentation of your work. When selecting your work, for example, think of a presentation for them, including the technical issues. Try to produce a short "documentary" narrative explaining each piece to walk them through your work easily.
  • Technical issues: Anthropometrics, ergonomics, and color theory are some of the elements involved in basic interior design. Revise thoroughly the practical applications of these studies. 

Interview practice questions

Question: Can you show us examples of your work in domestic color selection?

Answer:  These are domestic designs for apartments we were given for an exercise in color selection. We were required to do three digital designs with different color schemes:

  • Pastel pale blue mat walls with a three tier floral blue gold and white thread fabric schematic for modern furniture and a neutral white coffee table and rug.
  • Off white paint scheme, black tiles and a neutral fawn colored motif for furniture.
  • Hardwood panels with a wool rug, cotton fiber furniture and modern decor.  

Question: You've been asked to do a dining room design in an old house. What are the main elements in materials selection? 

Answer: There are several elements:

  • Architectural design and space available
  • Character of the existing house
  • Lighting
  • Building materials
  • Budget
  • Client tastes and preferences

Question: How do you apply anthropometrics to interior design for domestic settings?

Answer: In domestic settings, the spatial measurement of human beings is part of the working design considerations for comfort, daily use and functionality. Anthropometrics, either standardized or specific, are used to create functional measurements of design elements.