Top 20 Internship Interview Questions (with Sample Answers)
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Top 20 Internship Interview Questions (with Sample Answers)

post by Hong Yuan

by Hong Yuan

Jun 24, 2024
at 5:54 PM

Acing an internship interview is your first step towards landing that valuable work experience. While the specific questions may vary depending on the company and role, some common themes emerge. Here are 20 frequently asked internship interview questions, along with sample answers to help you prepare:

interview success

This is your chance to introduce yourself and showcase your skills and experiences relevant to the internship. Briefly discuss your academic background, relevant coursework, and career goals. You can also mention a personal interest that connects to the company or industry.

Sample Answer: "I'm a [Year] at [University] majoring in [Major] with a strong interest in [Industry]. In my coursework, I've particularly enjoyed [Specific Class] which involved [Project Description]. I'm eager to gain experience in [Desired Skill] and believe this internship aligns perfectly with my goal of [Career Goal]."


2. Why are you interested in this internship?

Do your research! Demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the specific internship. Highlight what excites you about the opportunity and how it aligns with your skills and aspirations.

Sample Answer: "I'm particularly interested in [Company's Mission] and the work you do in [Specific Department]. This internship in [Internship Title] caught my eye because it offers the chance to gain experience in [Desired Skill] through [Specific Project or Responsibility]. My skills in [Your Skill] would be valuable for this role, and I'm eager to learn from experienced professionals like yourselves."


3. Why do you want to work at our company?

Go beyond generic answers. Research the company culture, values, and recent achievements. Explain how your own values align with theirs and how you see yourself contributing to their team.

Sample Answer: "I'm impressed by [Company's Achievement] and your commitment to [Company Value]. My own values of [Your Value] and [Your Value] resonate with this, and I believe I can contribute by [How You Can Contribute]."


4. Why Did You Choose This University?

This question allows you to showcase your research skills, academic focus, and alignment with the internship opportunity.

Sample Answer: "I chose [University Name] because of its strong reputation in [Field] and the [Specific Program] program. The curriculum focuses on [Relevant Skills] which perfectly aligns with my interest in [Industry] and the skills required for this internship."


5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Be honest but focus on your strengths first. After that, how do you give the right answer about your weaknesses? Remember to choose a weakness you're actively working to improve on.

Sample Answer: "One of my strengths is [Your Strength] - for example, in [Past Experience] I [Demonstrate Strength]. However, I'm always looking to improve, and I'm currently working on developing my skills in [Area for Improvement]."


6. What Are Your Hobbies?

The "What are your hobbies?" question is a common interview inquiry that goes beyond simply filling time. Employers want to see well-rounded individuals with interests outside of work. Your hobbies can reveal valuable personality traits like creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, or dedication. They might even spark common ground with the interviewer, building rapport.

Sample Answer: I enjoy activities that allow me to [mention a skill or quality your hobbies reflect, e.g., unwind and be creative]. For example, I find [mention a specific hobby] engaging because [briefly explain why you enjoy it]. This activity has helped me develop my [specific skill] which can be valuable in [briefly connect it to the job, e.g., meeting deadlines].


7. Are you a team player or do you prefer to work independently?

Highlight your adaptability. You can be both a team player and enjoy independent work depending on the project's needs.

Sample Answer: "I thrive in both team environments and independent work. I enjoy collaborating and learning from others, but I'm also comfortable taking initiative and working autonomously."


8. How do you prioritize your work?

Showcase your time management and organizational skills. Briefly explain your process for handling multiple tasks and meeting deadlines.

Sample Answer: "I prioritize my work by creating to-do lists and using a scheduling app. I break down large projects into smaller tasks and estimate completion times. This helps me stay organized and meet deadlines efficiently."


9. How Would Others Describe You?

Explanation:  This question allows you to showcase your positive personality traits and how you interact with others.  Highlight 2-3 strong characteristics that would benefit the internship environment.

Sample Answer:  "Others would describe me as a highly motivated and collaborative individual. For instance, in my previous role as a team lead for a fundraising event, I effectively motivated my team members by [Action demonstrating motivation] which resulted in us exceeding our fundraising goal by [Percentage]."

how to stand out from others candidates?

10. What makes you stand out from other applicants?

This is your chance to shine! Briefly highlight your unique skills, experiences, and qualities that make you a perfect fit for the internship.

Sample Answer: "My passion for [Industry] combined with my strong skills in [Your Skills] and experience in [Relevant Experience] makes me a quick learner who can contribute meaningfully from day one. I'm also a highly motivated and [Positive Personality Trait] individual, eager to learn from experienced professionals and become a valuable asset to your team."


11. Tell us about a time you had to meet a tight deadline. How did you manage your time?

This showcases your ability to work under pressure. Describe a situation where you had a short deadline and the steps you took to complete the task on time.

Sample Answer: "In a recent group project, we had a presentation due the next day. I realized some team members were falling behind, so I divided the remaining tasks and created a clear timeline. I also offered help to those struggling, and we ended up pulling an all-nighter to ensure a polished presentation by morning."


12. Describe a situation where you had to learn a new skill quickly. How did you approach it?

This demonstrates your adaptability and willingness to learn. Describe a situation where you needed to learn something new and the methods you used to gain the skill. It could be a soft skill or a hard skill

Sample Answer: "For a volunteer project, I needed to learn basic website design. I enrolled in an online course, watched tutorials, and practiced building mock websites. I also reached out to a web developer friend who offered guidance throughout the process."


13. Tell us about a time you faced a challenge. How did you overcome it?

This is your chance to showcase your problem-solving skills. Describe a specific situation where you encountered a hurdle, the steps you took to address it, and the outcome.

Sample Answer: "In a previous group project, we encountered a disagreement on the approach. I took the initiative to gather the team, reviewed the project goals, and facilitated a discussion to find a solution that everyone felt comfortable with. This helped us achieve a successful outcome."

14. How do you handle criticism or feedback?

This demonstrates your professionalism and willingness to improve. Briefly explain how you approach constructive criticism and use it to improve your work.

Sample Answer: "I appreciate constructive criticism because it helps me identify areas for improvement. I actively listen to feedback, ask clarifying questions, and then work on implementing the suggestions to enhance my work in the future."


15. Are you familiar with any project management tools?

Many companies use project management tools.  Research common tools used in your field and highlight any you're familiar with. Briefly explain how you've used them in the past.

Sample Answer: "I'm familiar with project management tools like Trello and Asana. In a previous group project, we used Trello to assign tasks, track progress, and meet deadlines effectively."


16.  How do you stay organized?

This showcases your time management skills. Briefly describe your methods for staying organized and managing your workload.

Sample Answer: "I stay organized by using calendars, to-do lists, and scheduling apps. I also prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. This helps me manage my time effectively and meet deadlines consistently."


17. Tell us about a time you worked on a project with a difficult team member. How did you handle the situation?

This demonstrates your interpersonal skills and ability to navigate conflict. Describe a situation with a challenging teammate and the steps you took to address the issue.

Sample Answer: "During a group project, a teammate had a different approach than the rest. I initiated a conversation to understand their perspective. We then discussed compromises and found a solution that incorporated everyone's ideas, ultimately leading to a successful project outcome."


18. What are your career aspirations?

This helps the interviewer understand your long-term goals and how the internship aligns with them. Briefly explain your career aspirations and how this internship contributes to your future plans.

Sample Answer: "I aspire to work in [Desired Field] and eventually [Long-Term Goal]. This internship in [Internship Title] aligns perfectly with my goals by providing experience in [Desired Skill] and mentorship from experienced professionals in the field."


19. What are your salary expectations?

Research average internship salaries for similar positions in your field and location. Be flexible and open to negotiation. You can also discover your earning potential with our Salary Checker.

Sample Answer: "I've researched typical internship salaries for this role and location, and I'm open to discussing a competitive compensation package."


20. Do you have any questions for us?

Always prepare questions!  This demonstrates your interest and initiative. Ask thoughtful questions about the internship, company culture, or a specific project you'd be involved in.


By preparing for these common interview questions and crafting well-structured responses, you'll increase your chances of landing that coveted internship!





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