Often these programs ask you to write essays of interest or stories about your background. In order to be a competitive applicant, your essay must reflect the values of the company and the mission of the program. For example, Facebook University had an essay prompt: “Is the Internet a human right?” Find out what executives from the company have publically stated. Has the CEO explicitly answered the question already? If so, their answer is something to keep in mind.
In startups, people with a wide array of skills are coveted. However, you can often make up for a lack of experience with extreme passion for what the company is working on. Try their product and have opinions on how to make it better. You can often approach these companies as a user first before applying for an internship. Their executives are often searchable through Stanford alumni databases and LinkedIn, and they do respond to enthusiastic Stanford students!
Don’t overlook this option! Many of the best professors at Stanford let freshmen and sophomores into their labs to take on fairly independent projects — often more responsibility than you’ll get at a standard internship. This can be a great springboard into industry next summer and a great way to develop connections.
Get Gayle’s Cracking the Coding Interview — Google uses questions directly from here
Share any personal projects you’ve done online through GitHub or LinkedIn etc.
Do your homework on the company – familiarize yourself with their product
Show you are passionate and willing/able to learn new things
Apply to more than 1 internship and try to interview at places you’re less interested in first so you get practice before interviewing for the jobs you really want
Link to a pdf of Cracking the Coding Interview: https://robot.bolink.org/ebooks/Cracking%20the%20Coding%20Interview%20-%20150%20Programming%20Interview%20Questions%20and%20Solutions%204e%20Small.pdf
Blog post with some relevant information: https://medium.com/@qrazhan/cs-internship-recruiting-guide-aebb68912808#.3yxxpcg72