Sample Internship Interview Questions
How to Prepare for an Internship Interview
As you prepare for your internship interview, be ready to address your key skills and accomplishments that you have listed on your resume. You will want to not only know your resume well but be able to speak about it and tell stories that will illustrate your strengths and let the organization know what you have to offer them as a potential new employee (which could very well happen if you excel at your internship).
In an interview, you will want to start and end strong. It only takes 60 seconds to make a positive first impression so starting off strong is crucial to having a successful interview. At the end of an interview, you want to make yourself a memorable candidate by also leaving on a strong note. In these two instances, it’s important to take the lead with a strong handshake, a smile, and thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.
I’ve listed some of the standard interview questions that are generally asked below along with more specific and behavioral questions as well.
General Interview Questions
- Tell me a little bit about yourself.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What accomplishments are you most proud of?
- Do you work better under pressure or with time to plan and organize?
- Why are you interested in this internship?
- Why should we consider you for this internship?
- What do you know about this industry/company?
- How would your faculty/friends/co-workers describe you?
- What three words would you choose to best describe yourself?
- Why did you choose your major?
- Give an example of how you’ve dealt with a conflict with another person.
- Tell me a story either personal or professional that paints a picture of you.
- Describe a situation where your judgment proved to be an invaluable contribution to a team.
- How do you handle meeting tight deadlines?
- Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
- What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle this.
- Give an example of how you work on a team.
- Can you remember a time when you handled a difficult situation with another student or co-worker? What did you do?
- Share an example of how you’ve been able to motivate team members.
- Describe how you would handle a difficult relationship that you felt was holding you back on the job.
When interviewing for an internship, candidates should not only be prepared to answer questions similar to those above; but will also want to be prepared for questions that are less conventional than those that are normally asked.
For example, interviewers sometimes will ask questions where the answer doesn’t really matter. In these types of questions, the interviewer is looking to see the interviewee thought process rather than a specific answer. For example, “how many chocolate chip cookies would it take to go from the Empire State Building to Central Park?” Or, “if you were producing a movie who would be your main actors and what roles would they play?” As you’ve probably figured out there is no right answer to either of these questions so there’s no sense in getting flustered if you “think” you’ve answered these questions incorrectly.
The key is to remain composed and confident and quickly move on to the next question.
Tricky interview questions may be asked to see how much you know about the company culture as well as what are your personal values? Although you don’t want to change who you are when answering interview questions, you will want to do due diligence when researching the company before your interview and be thoughtful to your answers when answering questions that portray your personal value system, i.e., favorite musical artist, favorite movie, favorite TV show, or even favorite video game or social networking site. The answers you provide to these questions could help the interviewer decide if you are a good fit for the company.