So, you have your first-ever interview in a couple of days. The more you read, the harder it gets for you to pick the perfect answers you’d give to the daunting internship interview questions.
You’re not alone. Like any of us, these questions can leave you blindsided if you haven’t prepared beforehand. After all, that’s one of their purposes.
But where do you start, and which answers do you choose?
Well, that’s where we come in! To help you ace your interview, we provide you with 13 internship interview questions, along with sample answers for you to use.
So, let’s dive right into it!
- Internship interview questions may include typical questions managers ask at any interview.
- Preparing answers to the ten questions you selected before you meet your interviewer is a very helpful strategy.
- We compiled 13 internship interview questions in this article, ranging from ones about your strengths and weaknesses to others about how you keep yourself motivated.
- Be sure that you’re providing honest answers to the questions. Your interviewer can quickly check if the information you provided is false or inaccurate.
13 Internship Interview Questions + Sample Answers
There are seven types of interview internship questions, but the main ones are those about your personality and abilities.
Interviewers expect concise, original, and honest answers. Rest assured, they can spot fluff. During the limited time they have with you, they aim to make a judgment about your skills, personality, and behavior.
The examples of questions and answers we listed are the most common, but keep in mind that nothing is set in stone. Note that these questions are similar to the internship questions for students as well.
#1. Tell me a bit about yourself.
This is usually the initial question in most internship interviews and serves as an icebreaker.
Sample answer: I’m a diligent, productive go-getter who excels in fast-paced environments. This internship is appealing to me because it goes hand in hand with my versatile personality and abilities.
I was in the top 10 of my senior class, and I’ve completed several trainings related to the field your company belongs to. Other than that, I’m an adaptable team player who can also take a leading role if an opportunity arises. In my spare time, I swim and play chess.
This strategy is foolproof because you’re giving them reasons to hire you while simply telling them about yourself. Additionally, following this structure will leave no room for questions that may cast you in an unfavorable light. Replace the achievement above with one of your own.
#2. Why did you apply for this internship?
Simply put, employers seek to find out if your expectations align with their vacancy by asking this question. They also want to hear how excited you are about the role.
Sample answer: Since your company is a leading contender in the field I’m interested in, I think this internship would be a great place to kick-start my career.
I’ve also learned you got recognition for being one of the top 10 new employers in the past year. This led me to believe that this position might be the perfect ground on which I could build my competence and learn about leadership.
This answer works well because the interviewer will hear real motivation backed by recent data about them. Therefore, you may make it to the shortlist as one of the most motivated candidates.
#3. Why do you want to work in this industry?
When an interviewer asks this question, they mainly want to rule out those who are in it only for money and find candidates who understand the industry and are passionate about it. On the other hand, they analyze your motivation and how you would fit into the industry’s culture.
Sample Answer: Since my first year of college, I’ve been fascinated by this industry. I completed workshops and seminars, often covering the costs of these programs myself.
I’m not just applying for an internship—I consider this the next logical step in my professional life. I’d also like to add that I’m focused on only one career path and a particular skill set. This program would be an excellent gateway to my dream job.
This answer is effective because you already seem knowledgeable and eager to embark on a journey in a field you’re passionate about. It helps the interviewer understand that you have already invested resources in educating yourself on the matter.
#4. Tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult situation.
HR managers often ask this question to assess your problem-solving skills and adaptability. They also want to see how you behave in times of crisis.
Sample Answer: I found myself in a situation where one of our clients wanted to take their business elsewhere because our company mistakenly paused the service. Although the mistake wasn’t my own, I took the initiative and scheduled a meeting with them in person.
I headed to them with straight facts and an apology. Then, I listed all the benefits the client has at their disposal but doesn’t use. We devised a strategy for optimizing their operations by adequately using all of our available features.
This plan is excellent because it has no loose ends or weak points. Regardless of who made the mistake, you presented the problem and delivered a solution. Finally, you didn’t mention a mistake of your own making, so they won’t ask tough follow-up questions.
#5. Describe your experience working in a team.
Teamwork is essential for any enterprise, so the future employer will want to know how well you manage a dynamic atmosphere and how you work with others. Likewise, they want an insight into how you handle interpersonal relationships, which are critical for every business operation.
Sample answer: In a team environment, I’m both the observer and the contributor. When needed, I take notes, but I also actively contribute to discussions.
If someone else takes the initiative to oversee the project, I am fine with following orders and complying with everything in front of me. Likewise, if I think my approach would get things done better and faster, I’ll ask them to hear me out.
This answer will work as you not only showcase your collaborative nature but also stand out as someone who can lead the group. By highlighting your ability to get along with others, you cover both sides—personal approachability and professional adaptability.
#6. What are your strengths?
Interviewers examine this question to determine if your most vital points match the requirements. They also want to know how you categorize your traits. For example, perfectionism can be perceived as bad, although many identify it as their strength.
Sample answer: I’d single out resilience and interpersonal skills.
Modesty aside, I think I’m great with people. I find joy in spending time with like-minded individuals, and I’m a great listener. This trait turned out to be useful in the office. Not only are the tasks done more easily, but the atmosphere is nicer when we all get along.
The second greatest strength of mine translates to both personal and professional spheres, and that’s resilience. I don’t get tired quickly, so I can accept a heavy workload without overburdening myself.
Why these? Well, because they’re safe. You don’t present yourself as an omnipotent being but as someone who’s great with people and won’t be scared away so easily.
#7. What’s your greatest weakness?
Here comes a tricky one. The hiring manager asks this question so that they can identify your weakest spot and see if it’s a deal-breaker.
Sample answer: I worked as a literature teacher and enjoyed guiding my students through novels and poems. I didn’t need advanced numerical skills for this job, which is perfect because math has never been my forte. Still, I see it as my greatest weakness.
So, I’ve come up with a plan of action for improving this flaw. Each day after work, I spend an hour helping my wife with paperwork.
This example guards you against mentioning the shortcomings that could cost you the job because a specific skill is essential. While dealing with figures is not too crucial for teaching, it might be for the administrative part. Be that as it may, you offered a solution.
#8. What keeps you motivated?
The purpose of this question is to assess how eager you are to work. In that sense, your future employer will know whether your personal motivators fall within this job posting. If yes, you’re likely to be engaged and productive.
Sample answer: Whenever I feel like I’m making progress, my hunger for knowledge expands. To build up my expertise, I explore both theoretical and practical resources.
The other thing that helps me stay motivated is a challenge. I thrive in environments where I can do my best to overcome an obstacle and make a note of it for the next time.
You’ll want to go with this one because you’re directly stating what motivates you. What’s more, you give off the impression that learning is not a chore for you but something you profoundly enjoy.
#9. How do you stay organized?
It’s not enough to be knowledgeable; you need to know how to categorize work on the go as well. Your interviewer asks this question because they want to know how well-sorted your workload is and how you approach your duties.
Sample answer: I want to start by saying that I’m a big fan of project management tools. I take great pleasure in exploring them, so I quickly manage to keep everything where it belongs.
To the same extent, I always keep my calendar close. I tend to write down even the tiniest bits of my personal responsibilities, as well as the work-related ones.
This response is straight to the point, and that’s why it’s effective. You offered a solid example that works as a strategy for managing most types of workloads.
#10. What would your professor or manager say about you?
An answer to this question is provable, so the interviewer can test your honesty. Mainly, they want to know more about your history. Take a peek into your last feedback report and take out the best parts.
Sample answer: During my last 1-on-1 session with my mentor, he complimented my attention to detail and the way I communicate with others. He described me as diligent, time-efficient, and precise. One of the things he liked the most was my ability to identify hidden problems, no matter how small they were.
As for my soft skills, he said he was impressed with how I encourage others and help them whenever they need assistance.
If you worked with a manager or a professor who had such kind words for you, look no further. Use these points to solidify the image of a dedicated yet kind-hearted future intern in their organization.
#11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Most employers seek candidates who plan to be there for the long haul. In essence, they want to see commitment. If you plan on getting your Master’s degree in a year, you’re less likely to get the second call.
Sample answer: In 5 years’ time, I see myself as an experienced team member with more responsibilities and a far better understanding of the business. Moreover, I hope to have acquired the sophisticated skills necessary for handling complex tasks and operations.
However, I also imagine myself in harmonious and professional relations with my coworkers and clients. I find a mix of these two to be crucial for anyone who seeks to enjoy their job and be good at it.
The reason why this answer will work is that you’re taking on the position of a firm employee who’s still a fresher but has a clear career goal of sticking to one company and working towards improving themselves and their team.
#12. Why should we hire you?
The motive behind this question is pretty clear. An interviewer wants you to convince them you’re the one, so make each sentence count.
Sample answer: I think you should hire me because my education and skill set match the role. Besides, I fit into teams extremely quickly and absorb new information with ease. Hiring me will get you an intern who values expertise over money and who is determined to upscale your team.
With my work ethic and perseverance, your team would get significant reinforcement. If you choose me, I’ll have the chance to refine my skills and be a pillar to rely on in the long run.
Going all-in will take you places. This is not a place or time to be modest. People from the other side of the table will see your confidence and firm standing, which multiplies your chances of making it to the next round.
#13. Do you have any questions for us?
Count this as the last question. The HR representatives want to know how interested you are in the position and where your priorities lie.
These two suggestions may come in handy:
- What does a typical week in your organization look like?
- What are the company’s long-term goals?
Bear in mind that you should prepare at least 10 internship interview questions before the interview. As the conversation flows, you may address most of the points on your list, so if you end up with only two more, ask those.
When you inquire about what the typical week is like, you’ll get plenty of useful information. They will tell you what they expect, and if you accept the job offer, you’ll know what’s ahead.
On another note, the second question reiterates your interest in the company and gives you a peek into projects that may come up in the future.
Regardless of whether the internship interview you’re preparing for is your first one ever or not, it’s rarely easy. The people across the table can be intimidating, especially if they ask about your weaknesses or where you see yourself in five years.
Luckily, this guide will help you prepare and boost your confidence before the interview, so you will be far more ready and knock it out of the park. Best of luck!