Internship Interview Questions

Fri, Feb 19, 2010

Internship Interview

Congratulations! Your cover letter and resume landed you an internship interview. We’ve put together some commonly asked questions so you know what to expect for the interview.

Interview Questions

  • What factors did you consider in choosing your major? Did you consider plans after college when choosing a major? Employers want to see how thoughtful you are.
  • What is your GPA? How do you feel about it? Does it reflect your ability? Sometimes one tough course can disrupt your GPA. If it’s on the low side, here’s your chance to defend it.
  • Describe a tough academic decision you had to make, how did you go about this? Making tough academic choices can help you make tough corporate choices.
  • Describe how you have balanced your academic work with your extracurricular activities. Even in school, work-life balance is important. It’s important to have a life outside of classes.
  • What interests you in a career in this field? The interviewer wants to see what you know about the field.
  • What are your goals for the internship? The interviewer wants see that you’ve thought ahead and established goals to achieve at your internship.
  • What are your strengths? A classic interview question. Be confident but not cocky.
  • What are your weaknesses? Another classic question. Show what you learned from past mistakes.
  • Give an example of a problem you have solved and the process you used. The interviewer wants to know about your problem solving skills.
  • How would your friends describe you? Your professors? Your resume only says so much about you. People are the best judge of other people.

An interview is a two-way street, so don’t forget to ask questions of your potential boss. You have the right to know about the company and what’s expected of you. Here are some good questions to ask at your internship interview.

Questions for Interns to Ask Interviewers

  • What skills do I need for this internship? You want to make sure they’re skills you have.
  • Who will supervise me? How often will we meet? Regular meetings with your boss are important.
  • What can I expect to learn? You need a clear idea of the new skills you’ll develop.
  • What types of projects will I be working on? Does what you’ll be doing match the internship description?
  • How will most of my time be spent? Will you be making photocopies or doing more intense work?
  • Have you ever had an intern before? If yes, find out what past interns did. If no, find out why they need an intern now.
  • What are your expectations of me? You need to know your boss’s goals for the time you will spend at the internship.
  • What is the work environment like? Some things to consider: Will you share space or tasks with another intern? What’s the dress code?
  • Will there be an opportunity to observe other tasks? Some internships let you spend time in a variety of departments to learn about all parts of the company.
  • What kind of person are you seeking? Be sure to tell the interviewer you are that kind of person.

Visit A2XConsulting.com, a business resource that provides useful information for employees and job seekers, such as  helping them determine what managers performance expectations are of employees. The site offers several valuable posts about succeeding in the workplace.

    Your college or university will have many more resources to help you prepare for your internship interview. Visit the career services department to learn more.

    Sources: Allegheny College Career Services, Boston College Career Center, Buzzle.com, Northwestern University Career Services

    By Danielle Bullen.  Danielle is a writer and a resident of the Philadelphia area. Danielle can be reached at Daniellebullen@comcast.net.

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