Interview questions for Internship
1. How would your boss/friends/coworkers describe you?
This can be a difficult question if you haven’t thought about it ahead of time. Consider recent feedback you’ve received, both positive and negative. The point of this question is to see if you’re self-aware, so a good response would include two positive traits and one “needs improvement” to show that you’re insightful and honest.
Because you won’t have your boss/friends/co-workers beside you while you answer this question, you do have some leeway, but be cautious. If you’re hired, your new employer will want to see that sense of humor you talked about in your interview.
2. What are your hobbies?
Try not to overthink this question. Hiring managers don’t ask it to trip you up. They genuinely want to learn something about you and make sure you’re a good fit for their company personality-wise.
Again, honesty is the best policy here. You don’t want to lie and say something you think is impressive like that karate is one of your hobbies only to find out the hiring manager is a black belt and wants to know more about your dojo. Simply share a few hobbies that demonstrate your commitment and show that you have a life outside of work. And don’t share anything controversial (keep politics and religion out of interviews) or that could be construed as having a negative impact on your work.
3. Why are you applying for this internship?
Hopefully this is a question you’ve asked yourself long before you started the actual internship application process and before you ever agreed to an internship interview. An internship is an amazing opportunity to get hands on experience in your chosen field, network with peers, meet people who might be invaluable mentors and guides and ultimately might lead to a permanent paying position.
4. Where do you see yourself in five years?
If the position you’re interviewing for aligns with your future goals In your response, emphasize what drew you to this career path. You don’t need to have a specific future role in mind, but ensure your career goals follow a natural progression from this position to more senior roles in the industry. Your answer should strike a balance between being realistic and being ambitious. But if you aspire to become President of the World by your 30th birthday, it’s best to keep that one to yourself.
5. What do you expect to gain from this internship and what are your work expectations?
The answer to this question reveals what your candidates expect to get out of this position and what they think the work will involve. This provides insight into whether you can fulfill the interviewee’s expectations so that neither of you wastes time.
“My expectations involve being able to learn how to identify business problems, how to choose strategies to address these issues, and how to plan and execute the tactics needed to achieve these goals. By learning this, I can gain real-world experience of what it takes to drive business operations forward.”
6. Provide an example where you had to take the lead in a group setting to overcome an obstacle?
Based on the candidates’ answers, you can gauge their problem-solving and collaborative skills. It’s important to understand if your interviewees possess problem-solving skills and can work in a team environment.
The pet shelter I volunteer at needed to reach new audiences and increase awareness of adoption opportunities. However, funds were limited. I rallied volunteers, identified that the shelter wasn’t using social media or posting frequent blog content, and mapped out a content and social media marketing plan that could be implemented within the budget using free marketing tools and platforms. As a result, awareness and adoptions increased by 10 percent within three months.
7. Why should we consider you for this internship?
For an unprepared intern candidate, this can be a heartbreakingly hard question to answer because the first thing you’ll be inclined to say is “because I really want this internship. Make sure your answers are targeted directly to the internship you’re applying to and include concrete examples of your skills and experiences and how they relate to the internship overall.
8. Why should we hire you?
This question is similar to the classic: “What makes you the best candidate?” You’ll want to approach it with a two-pronged approach. First, highlight the strengths, attributes, and/or experiences that make you unique. Second, show how that uniqueness will enhance the company. Since you’ve already studied up on the company prior to the interview, use that knowledge to tailor your answer. Highlight characteristics that would make you a great fit for the company culture in this particular position.
9. Who was the most difficult person you ever worked with?
As a new intern or new employee, you’ll be working with lots of different people. Some of them will be very different from you, and you won’t get along with all of them—but you still have to work productively together. In asking this question, the interviewer is confirming that you’re a professional who can get along with anyone if need be.
When answering this question, be cautious: The company you’re interviewing with doesn’t want to hire someone who is petty. Make it clear that while you did have problems with your co-worker or classmate, it’s behind you, and you don’t hold a grudge. Don’t name names, and end on a positive note. Even if there was no clear resolution, you want to show that you did what you could to improve the situation and learned from it.
10. How exactly wills my performance here evaluated?
Asking for feedback on your performance shows the hiring manager that you’re truly interested in the educational aspect of the internship. Hiring managers want interns who are interested in long term professional growth and who are open minded about fixing weaknesses.
11. What is an example of a conflict you had to resolve?
This is another question seeking to check that you’re a team player that can work with anyone. Stick to work-related conflicts for this one; you don’t want to give the interviewer a sense that you can’t separate your personal and professional life. Your response should focus on experiences where you showcased your leadership and problem-solving skills in a professional or academic setting. Again, the STAR method is your BFF. Even though the interviewer is asking for an example of a conflict, they’re really asking how you went about resolving it.
12. Do you prefer to work on a team or independently?
Pretty much every job requires you to work with others in some capacity. When you respond, be diplomatic, assuring your potential employer that you’re versatile. Your preferred work style, whether you can play well with others and whether you can stay focused without direct supervision. Share your preference and then describe two positive examples: one in which you thrived as part of a team and one in which you thrived working solo.
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