Whether you're hoping to be hired for an internship, or you're the one asking the questions, it's important to consider what should be asked ahead of time. Discover some common internship interview questions so you'll be prepared to provide or request the right kind of information.
Common Internship Interview Questions and Answers
Internship interviews usually include some of the typical interview questions you'd expect to be included in any job interview. After all, just as with regular employees, recruiters are looking for interns who are well suited for the work and the organization's culture.
- Why do you want to work in this field? - Get ready to clearly and concisely explain to interviewers the specific reasons that you have chosen to work in the profession that you are studying to enter. As a student or recent graduate, you will be asked this for internships and jobs, so draft a solid response and commit it to memory.
- Why do you want to do this internship? - Don't just explain why you want or need to do an internship in general. Research the company ahead of time and be able to clearly state what it is about that particular organization that appeals to you as an intern site. Maybe it's because they're a market leader or are known for being particularly innovative.
- What are your goals for the internship? - Be prepared to give specifics about what you want to accomplish as a result of the internship, such as gaining hands-on experience in a real-world environment so you'll be prepared to succeed once you enter the workforce in a professional role.
- What do you expect to gain from the internship? - Be prepared to explain how you think you'll benefit from the internship. For example, maybe you expect to gain hands-on skills, apply what you've studied in school in the real world, develop a deeper understanding of what it's like to work on a professional team, or build your professional network.
- How has your school experience prepared you to intern? - Share a few key concepts you have studied that apply to the type of work the internship focuses on. Demonstrate that you understand the theory and share that you're ready to apply what you have learned in a practical work experience.
- Other than school, what else are you doing to prepare for career success? - Be sure to mention doing an internship in response to this question, but don't stop there. Include things like joining professional associations, earning industry certifications, and more. For example, if you're a human resources major, demonstrate that you know how to prepare for a career in HR.
- What is your understanding of ___________________? - The interviewer may ask you to explain a concept specific to your field. For example, if you're a marketing major, the interviewer may ask you to explain brand identity. If you're a finance major, they may ask you to explain certain financial statements. Whatever your major, be prepared to show that you understand key concepts that are foundational to your chosen occupation.
- How will the internship fit into your school schedule? - Demonstrate your ability to multitask and manage your time effectively by explaining specifically how you plan to meet the internship requirements while also keeping up with the rest of your academic requirements.
- What would your favorite professor say if I asked for a recommendation? - Chances are, the recruiter will ask your professor for a recommendation, so answer this question honestly. Reflect on what your favorite instructor would say about your potential for professional success, and share that information.
- What are your plans for after graduation? - Provide a general overview of your career plans following graduation, such as whether you plan to immediately seek full-time employment in your field, whether you're hoping to stay local or relocate for your first post-graduation job, or if you plan to go to graduate school.
- Why should we consider you for this internship? - This is your opportunity to sell yourself. List and describe the characteristics that make you a stand-out candidate for the opportunity. For example, you may want to discuss your work ethic, motivation to excel in a professional job, excellent academic track record, etc.
Stand Out in Internship Interviews
Make sure your internship interview preparation involves getting ready to answer questions like these, along with other challenging interview questions. Additionally, it's important to be prepared to ask the interviewer a few specific questions about the internship at the end of the interview. Doing so will greatly increase your chances of success.