So, you are interviewing for an internship? Questions to ask in an interview can be tricky. Below are 10 questions that will help you know whether this is the right internship opportunity for you!
10 Questions to Ask in an Internship Interview
#1 What does your organization do?
What you’re after with this question is to get a sense of what this organization does more broadly. Your day-to-day work is important, but it’s also helpful to have some context on the bigger picture.
Follow-up question: How will I, in this role, fit into that bigger picture?
#2 What are some qualities of a good intern at your company?
Find out what kind of interns stood out to the one who runs the program. This will give a good idea of the kind of person they are looking for.
Follow-up Questions: What do you think makes an intern successful in this role? Or, what should I be thinking about as the internship goes on?
#3 How would you describe the work environment here?
This is getting into the day-to-day. How are the days structured, when are meetings. Do the communicate in-person or via email, etc.
Follow-up Questions: What is the team dynamic like? Or, how long have you been at this company?
The best internships will be challenging; it shows that they expect you to do meaningful work and/or grow as a professional.
#4 Tell me about what it is like working with your team members?
The team dynamic is important.
You want to find out if the ones you’ll be working with are supportive and helpful, or everyone’s trying to do their own thing. A good reference from a previous boss can go a long way here too!
Follow-up Questions: What have been some challenges on your team? Or, what makes someone an ideal candidate for this organization?
You will also get a sense of whether you fit into that culture by how they answer these questions.
Be prepared to ask follow-up questions about different aspects of the role as well – just in case!
#5 What is your favorite part of working here?
This is a great question to ask at the end of an interview. It shows you are interested in working there and what kind of things they like best!
Follow-up Questions: What do interns usually enjoy about this program? Or, where would I be most successful within your organization?
It’s also just good for networking purposes if you want to stay connected with them after the internship has ended. You never know when you might need their help or guidance again!
Don’t forget that questions not only show interest but also give the interviewer some insight into how well prepared (or unqualified) you are for this position.
#6 If I was to get the internship, what would be my first project?
This is the perfect way to find out what it will actually be like on the job. You can also use this project as a chance to ask any questions you might have about the skills or training necessary for success in the role.
Follow-up Questions: “What kind of background would someone need?” Or, “Is there an opportunity/time set aside for professional development?”
You should know exactly what’s expected of you before accepting an offer! It’ll make both sides feel better if everything is clear from the
#7 How do you see me growing in this role and how can we work together for that goal?
This is a great opportunity to get insight into where they think you might grow in the role and how that will help them out. If there’s no growth, it could be less than ideal (unless you’re looking for entry-level work).
Follow-up Questions: “What do your interns usually go on to do after this internship?” Or, “Would I have an opportunity to shadow other team members?”
There should always be room for advancement within a company! Don’t let them brush off the question of more senior roles or challenges later down the road if that doesn’t seem evident right away.
#8 How long will this internship last?
This question is great to ask right at the beginning of an interview before you get too far into it. It helps ensure that both parties are on the same page about what your expectations will be and how long it might last.
Follow-up Questions: “How many interns do you hire each year?” Or, “Are there any other internship opportunities within this company?”
You don’t want to find out after accepting a job offer (or even halfway through) that this was only supposed to be temporary or that they aren’t hiring again until next summer!
#9 Is this a paid or unpaid role?
This is a great question to ask right off the bat. It’s usually more professional and respectful of them as an organization if you just get it out there early on in your conversation.
Follow-up Questions: “Is travel or housing covered?” Or, “What kinds of benefits might I be eligible for after this internship ends?”
Just like with any job (internship or not), make sure you know what kind of compensation and perks come with the position before committing! (Or ensure you know if it’s an unpaid role.) You want to feel comfortable during your time here regardless of how short that may end up being.
#10 Are there opportunities to move into a full-time, permanent role?
This is a great question to ask as it shows that you’re interested in staying with the company and not just looking for short-term paychecks. It also ensures that both sides are on the same page about what happens after your internship ends!
Follow-up Questions: “What’s usually involved in taking this from an intern role into full time?” Or, “Is there room for advancement within this job?”
There should always be some kind of plan or move up within an organization – otherwise why would they hire interns?
Make sure all options will be available to you if everything else seems ideal during the interview process.
#11 What are some challenges interns face in your organization?
The best internships will be challenging; it shows that they expect you to do meaningful work and/or grow as a professional. A great way to find out what you’re getting yourself into before accepting an offer is to ask about the struggles of interns in this department.
Follow-up Questions: “How often do these challenges come up?” Or, “What are some examples of past intern experiences that can help me get a better idea of how things work around here?”
#12 How does feedback work at this company?
This can help give you some insight into whether it’s something they value (and if, how often) and whether they’re open to feedback.
Follow-up Questions: “What kind of guidance and/or training have you had in the past? What was helpful and what wasn’t so much?” Or, “How often do team meetings take place?”
Conclusion: Ready to Ask Interview Questions for an Internship Position?
Now that you know what questions to ask during an internship interview, make sure you prepare beforehand.
Research the company and department as much as possible beforehand so that your interviewer can see how excited and prepared you are for this opportunity!