How To Get a Interior Design Intern Position

Every week we receive emails from prospective interior design interns. They are usually from students looking for experience in their holidays, or recent graduates looking for intern programs that will translate into permanent positions. Occasionally we get applicants who want to completely change career, or who have experience in a similar field and want to gain a brief insight into other aspects of design (for example, we get architects who want to see how we look at spaces in alternative ways).

We usually take on 2 interns at any one time. Our ideal placement is 6-12 months. Kia offers paid internships, unless a candidate’s visa forbids it. We can take on students over the summer, but the problem is you don’t really have time to learn much, as it will take you a month just to learn the ropes (and us a month to show you those ropes) and you won’t get to see a whole project. Our projects are usually minimum 3 months, with the majority of them being 6 months. An internship should work for both parties. You learn lots about running a business, designing for the practical world, dealing with clients and suppliers and seeing a project through from concept to completion. Kia is very thorough and you’ll spend lots of time learning how to do the accounts and operate a profitable business. You’ll also be given a lot of responsibility to design, source and style rooms, under Kia’s guidance.

interior design intern

Our offices at WeWork Spitalfields

At our studio, you will be a working member of the team, not just making coffees. So we will be looking for someone who will bring something to the team. You’ll need to have some experience, preferably office based, and be computer literate in products like Excel, or Numbers. Some Interior Design experience or education is necessary for you to understand most of the terminology. You’ll also have to be good at taking initiative and working well without constant supervision.

So if you are keen to apply, here are some absolute “no”s when it comes to sending us your CV.

  1. Address your email/cover letter to either Kia, Mrs Stanford, or Madam. Your can see by the email address you are emailing her personally, and it’s really unimpressive if you put ‘Sir’ or ‘Sir/Madame’
  2. Don’t cc in all the other companies you are applying to. This seems like an obvious one, but loads of people do it. If you are applying to 15 interior designers, it doesn’t look like you’ve seen our portfolio and actually want to work with us.
  3. Basic spelling, grammar and appropriate language. We don’t care if you can’t spell, but if you know it’s not your thing – use spell check. You’ll be communicating directly with our clients and suppliers, so it’s important you can express yourself in a professional and clear way. Also, if you haven’t bothered to proof read your own CV, you don’t look like a diligent prospect.
  4. If you have limited dates, please state them clearly
  5. Please don’t put your date of birth or marital status on your CV. It’s a sexist practice.

We are currently interviewing for interns, so do send your CV over if you think Kia Designs is a good fit for you!


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