Psychology Internship Tips


A psychology internship represents an important career move, so you need to make the right moves at this early stage. The internship represents a potentially demanding series of challenges.

Finding a Psychology Internship

You can find psychology internships online through professional and clinical websites. A local search is a good starting option. You can even use a special intern matching service for U.S. interns, a service operated by the Association Of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). The American Psychological Association (APA) also provides useful information. The major job boards, however, are often pretty inefficient in this area. A general search will result in multiple options, but not necessarily good ones.

When looking for a psychology internship, you will need to consider several factors, particularly in terms of academic and professional requirements:

  • Accredited internship programs: This is an obvious, but absolutely necessary part of the internship process, and you should verify accreditation before applying. The APPIC site can help.
  • Types of internship: There are undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral internships, each forming a useful part of the career track. In some cases, doing all three types is an option.
  • Particular areas of interest: Psychology is a broad area of practice, so if you’re intending to specialize, you should map out your career track. General clinical practice and other specializations have little in common. You should contact the internship provider to ensure you’re going where you want to go professionally.

Tips for Your Psychology Internship Interview

Some internships are highly competitive. You’ll be competing with people with equivalent qualifications and motivation. You’ll also be interviewed by a professional clinical psychologist regarding working in that person’s practice. Your interviewer is not exactly an apathetic one.

With these factors in mind, you should observe the following tips:

  • Communicate your competence. This is a professional practice, and people’s well-being will depend on your abilities. Your skills must appear obvious. Present your skills well.
  • Show communication skills. The essence of psychology is communication, and your answers should show strong skills and good expression.
  • Do case presentation meticulously. Your application will include intake and testing reports. You will also need good, structured case presentations relevant to the internship.

Interview Questions

The internship interviews are basically behavioral interviews, but with some subtle differences. You might encounter some of these questions.

  • What are your particular areas of interest in clinical psychology? This is a natural and highly relevant question. It’s also one of the reasons you should check regarding the type of internship you are applying for. You should establish clear, credible links between your interests and the work of the internship.
  • What do you want to gain out of this internship? This question relates to motivation, but it also requires a clear picture of your career aspirations. You also want to demonstrate how the psychology internship integrates with your career plans.
  • Case presentation: Explain the basis of your diagnosis of the patient. This is a problem-solving answer; you should narrate it to show your diagnosis procedure in the correct formal practice contexts. Consequently this question requires a structured, clear answer, detailing:
    • Your observations
    • The formal technical foundation for your diagnosis (identifying your methodology)
    • Your analysis
    • Your conclusions.