5 Internship Interview Questions & Answers
Getting an internship interview can be a daunting experience in itself. Essentially, it is the first of several job interviews that you will experience in your life. An internship interview will guide you to hold better conversations with people. It is good practice and a good opportunity to help you land that internship you are eyeing.
But first, what exactly is an internship and why is it important?
What is an Internship?
An internship is a real-life work experience. It is useful for those who have little to no experience in the working world. Internships can help get the career rolling for students and fresh graduates. It is a stepping stone to getting the right experience you need to land that first job. For employers, it helps to gauge employee potential in new candidates.
It is significant to mention that an internship with an organisation does not have to be paid. This does not mean zero monetary value in exchange for nothing. Educational credits can also be offered to those who decide to do an internship. This could be during the course of or in between one's studies.
During an internship, you will learn how to network with peers and learn from mentors. You will gain real-world experience that cannot be taught. An internship can be vital to building the foundations of your own career.
6 Internship Interview Questions Asked by the Employer
There are a good many questions an employer may ask you when interviewing for an internship. The most common ones are listed below to help you think and prepare in advance.
1. Why Are You Applying For This Internship?
Be honest, but make sure you applied to this internship because you really wanted it. Genuine interest will naturally show. It will be easier for you to answer this question if it is meaningful for you. You can mention that you want to learn to apply the educational knowledge you have learned to this field.
2. What Do You Hope to Get Out Of This Internship?
You can share that you want to gain hands-on experience in the industry and learn from others. Peers and mentors will be invaluable to you during this time. Mention learning new skills and connecting with new people.
3. Have You Interned Before?
If you have interned before, talk about your experiences and what you have learnt. You can then apply this to how this will benefit this employer for this specific internship. Your goal is to impress them and stand out from the other candidates.
4. Why Should We Consider You For This Internship?
Bring your skills and experiences to the table. Give concrete examples and mention any knowledge that can contribute to the internship. Wanting it is not enough. You have to show that you earned it and will deserve it.
5. What Are Your Expectations For The Working Hours?
Talk about working hours to cover your potential schedule in advance. Know what you are getting into. Ideally, if you are genuinely keen on the internship, you want to give your all. This way, you will get the most out of the internship. But you also have to respect any prior commitments you may have, and this can include your studies. More on this later. If you are in between semesters, you can tell them that. Then move on to talk about the hours and days per week you can commit to.
6. What Are Your Long-Term Goals?
This is a common question to help the interviewer understand more about you. They want to know that you are thinking about the bigger picture. Talking about your long-term goals can show how this internship fits into your plans. An easier way to tackle this question is to think about your short-term goals first.
6 Internship Interview Questions to Ask the Interviewer
You are completely in your right to ask the employer questions. This shows curiousness and that you are genuinely interested in the role. Think about what you want to know more about that has not already been addressed. Being honest and forthright will avoid dilly-dallying and get straight to the point.
1. What Will My Duties & Responsibilities Be?
Find out what your day-to-day role will entail. You can ask if you will be working on any special projects. Figure out if there are any operational or logistics aspects to the role for instance. Will you be sitting at a desk all day or jumping in between offices?
2. Who Will I Be Working With or Reporting To?
Knowing who your peers will be in advance and potential mentors will be helpful for you to know. You can get an idea in advance of what you will be learning and from who. A relevant network shows that the employer is not just looking for free labour. Factor in your responsibilities in advance, before your start date.
3. How Will My Performance Be Evaluated?
Get into the right frame of mind for the internship. Knowing that your performance will be evaluated is half the battle. You want to show your worth during this time. You never know if there could be a potential job or hiring position at the end of the internship. You can pay attention to special skills or tasks that you know will be taken a closer look at.
4. What is the Career Trajectory From This Internship?
Whether the internship bears a full-time or even part-time position at the end of its term is not all there is to it. You can ask the interviewer what career prospects there are for this internship. What areas or industries can it help direct you to?
5. What Are Your Expectations from Me In This Internship In Relation to My School Studies?
If you are still studying, it is important to note that you need to consider your commitments. An employer should understand the importance of your studies at hand. Be cautious that the internship does not impinge on your school time or coursework.
6. What Is Next After The Internship?
It is not an absolute deal-breaker if there is no position at the end of the internship, but there is no harm in asking. You can ask how many interns are hired at the end of an internship program, semester or year. This can give you an idea of your chances. You will also need to decide why you are into the internship. Are you in it for the hands-on experience or more to land a job at this company straight afterward. Know your opportunities and chances.
When it comes to internships, take baby steps towards your bigger goal. You could be aiming for a full-time position or finding a solid mentor and building a strong peer network. All of these opportunities and experiences can be beneficial and help you grow. At the end of your day, focus on your abilities that will bring value to the internship and back to yourself.