How to Get an Internship at YouTube

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Youtube is one of the most famous social media networking sites in the world. With its dominating presence over the industry that is forecasted to stay that way (which may not be said for some other social media platforms), it is a very stable place for any student looking to go into the tumultuous field of social media. If you’re a Gen-Z student, you’ve probably grown up watching YouTubers so this video platform could seem like the dream place to intern and meet your favorite creators.

However, just like how gaining subscribers isn’t as easy as it looks, the YouTube internship process is tough. Unless you know how to correctly highlight your skills, the internship “algorithm” won’t be able to highlight your application. 

Let’s discuss some things you can do to improve your application to get an internship at YouTube. 

What YouTube Looks For

It’s no secret that YouTube is co-operated by Google, so a lot of the application process goes through their website. They also hold the same application standards so it’s important to plan ahead. If YouTube truly is your dream job, look for potential internships that share similar day-to-day job tasks. Many YouTube interns primarily work on tasks regarding strategic planning or customer experiences, so try and find opportunities that can help you build up those skill sets.

However it doesn’t mean you need to be the cream of the crop to get an internship. Many YouTube and Google interns have just had just a few student leadership opportunities under their belt, and they still got the internship. It’s all about how well you can show your unique skills in your application and interview. 

Preparing for Your Application and Interview

No matter how well you think you have written your resume, your work speaks for itself. Unless you have a portfolio to back up your claims, it’s very likely YouTube won’t even consider your application. Collect projects from classwork, hobbies, and previous employment opportunities that help to show how passionate you are for the role. Highlight skills sets within fields like design or branding, as those are the fields Google interns usually showcase

Even if it isn’t a primary skill in the field you are pursuing, knowing the basics, or even showcasing your projects through a similar lens, will help you be more competitive compared to other applicants. For example, If you’re a data engineer and you incorporate concepts such as color theory in your data presentations, then you’ll look like a much more well rounded candidate that knows the YouTube brand.

However, the main challenge is the interview. Google’s interviews are notorious for not only being under an NDA, but also for being pretty difficult. However, through the testimonials of previous interns, we can place a guess on what they’re asking of applicants. 

Round 1 is usually a problem solving interview. The interviewer will probably ask you to solve an issue relating to the field you are applying to so make sure to study. However, don’t fret if you don’t know the exact solution during the interview. The interviewer only really wants to see how your problem solving approach works so make sure to talk through the entire process as you’re doing it. Tell the interviewer what you’re thinking and how you usually go about solving issues similar to the one they ask of you.

Round 2 and beyond would then be other interviews that test your skills, but this time they would go in more detail. Review what you learned in school and make sure to continue being clear about what your thought processes are. Once your time for the interview is up, try to ask unique questions about the role to show your interest. All interviews only have a few minutes time for a personal introduction, hence why a strong resume and portfolio is fundamental. 

Networking with Interns and Staff

Alongside Google’s own advice for applicants, you can also reach out to current Google employees on LinkedIn. Not only does networking help correlate your application with a face instead of a plain resume, it can also provide personalized resources to help you along your search. Although networking can feel a bit awkward at first, former Google interns highly recommend it as a way to learn new skills and get company referrals. 

However, you can’t expect networking to be a one-and-done deal. The best type of networking comes from building genuine connections and constantly following up with them. If you do plan on interning with YouTube, try to reach out to staff members or past interns before applications even start. That way, you have the time to attend multiple coffee chats to slowly ease up to a recommendation. Many YouTube employees have been in the same shoes as you and most of them would be more than happy to answer your questions, if you give them the time to do so. 

Want to know just how hireable you are to this and other companies? Download the PathMatch app to explore career paths, create an online resume, find internships, and get your Hireability Score.

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