Congratulations, you’ve gotten an interview! What now? You can read our Five Top Tips for your Interview to polish your interview skills, but there’s more you can do to prepare. Many students try to think through answers to some of the more common interview questions.
Although there are some questions that you can expect to hear at any interview, an internship interview is going to be slightly different than a typical interview. While most interviews will ask questions about longevity or salary, most companies offering internships will ask questions to figure out your compatibility with the company. That being said, here are six questions you might hear at an interview and how to prepare for them.
1. Tell me about you
Yes, admittedly this is not a question, but it is often the first thing a potential employer may ask. Since almost every interviewer asks this, having a good idea of what you want to say will help you seem confident and prepared. You can briefly mention your major, your university and any relevant previous experience, as well as any other information you want to convey early.
2. Why do you want to work for us?
Many students may answer that they want to make connections or gain experience, however almost any internship will offer experience. Instead of giving a vague answer that can be applied to any job, try to be specific to the company or position.
3. What do you want to get out of this internship?
In this response you can list the soft skills you want to develop, in addition to any hard skills you want to learn. This question gives you the opportunity to state generic goals that you may want to leave out of the previous question.
4. What do you know about us?
Before an interview, you should always do a little research on the company and its operations. Not only does this question show the interviewer that you have done your research, but it also demonstrates what you prioritize in a company. For example, whereas aligning yourself with the company’s mission gives a different impression than simply explaining the industry itself.
5. What experience can you offer us?
Since many students interviewing for internships likely won’t have much job experience, this question gives you the opportunity to list any relevant skills you may have developed in classes as well as former employment.
6. Give an example of a time you had to use problem solving skills
Many interviewers like to ask you to provide examples of times in your life where you have exemplified certain soft skills. Where many interviews for permanent positions will inquire about times you’ve demonstrated leadership, most internships will ask about something on a smaller scale. Think back through a few recent scenarios that demonstrate these skills.
Although this article provides tips for preparing answers to these common questions, don’t just practice your answers by yourself. Schedule a mock interview with our AES staff or your university’s career development department to polish your interview skills and dazzle your interviewer.