Are you looking for the perfect internship opportunity? When you're exploring interview programs and interviewing for positions, be prepared to make a great impression and gather key facts by asking the right questions. Choosing the right internship will impact what you'll have an opportunity to learn and how prepared you'll be for a professional position after your internship.
Questions to Ask Before Accepting an Internship
Completing an internship is a great way to get experience in your field while you're still in school. Prepare to land a great internship by identifying internship programs that meet your needs; then prepare to make a positive impression in all of your internship interviews.
Questions to Ask Your School's Internship Coordinator
Most colleges assign students to work with an internship coordinator when it's time for them to start seeking real-world work experiences. If you're not sure who to speak with, ask your academic advisor or reach out to the career services department. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
- Are you aware of any current internship openings for ___________________ majors?
- Which companies have accepted interns from the ___________________ program at this school?
- Do any of those organizations tend to keep interns on staff as regular employees after the internship program?
- Are there any school alumni working at those companies that you could connect me with for networking purposes?
- Can you share internship coordinator contact information for those companies so that I can submit a resume?
- I really want to work at ___________________ company. Do you know if they have an internship program? If not, how can I find out?
- Will you help me update my current resume so that it's appropriate to submit when applying for internships?
- Should I focus on looking for internship opportunities in the geographic areas I'd most like to live and work after graduation?
- What are your thoughts about pursuing a virtual internship versus one that involves working on-site with an employer?
- How do you suggest I approach looking for internship opportunities with companies the school isn't already working with?
- Once I submit my resume or application to an internship program, how do you suggest I follow up?
Questions to Ask When Interviewing for an Internship
Once you start applying for internships, you'll need to start getting prepared to interview. That means you'll need to get ready to effectively answer common internship interview questions. You'll also need some good questions to ask the interviewer. Include a few that are specific to the unique nature of the internship role.
- What qualities do you look for when selecting interns?
- What characteristics do your most successful past interns share?
- Are there any factors that people who are not successful as interns tend to share?
- What kinds of projects are interns typically assigned to work on?
- Are interns assigned to a specific project team for the whole time, or do they move around to different teams?
- Do interns receive performance feedback? If so, how often and in what format?
- Do interns have the opportunity to participate in client meetings?
- Does the company hire multiple interns to work at the same time, or just one?
- Did any of the company's current employees start out as interns?
- What kinds of things should I do as an intern to increase my chances of being hired for a regular position?
- Do you expect that there might be an opportunity to extend the internship past a single semester?
Identifying and Landing the Perfect Internship
When you're exploring internship opportunities or going through the interview process, asking the right questions will help you find the perfect placement. Leverage the internship resources and connections available through your school and do some research on your own. Apply for programs that look interesting and interview every time you're invited to do so. You'll learn something from every interview and build your interviewing skills along the way. Before you know it, you'll find the right internship program and start gaining practical work experience while earning school credit.