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10 Questions to Ask in Your Internship Interview

Written by Angela Finding

Applying for an internship is exciting. Not only do you get to work with experienced professionals in your field, you’ll also be taking the first step on your own career path—which might include a future job offer. However, keep in mind that while there are 1.5 million internships that are filled each year, there are also 20.5 million college students currently enrolled in the United States—and you don’t have to be a math major to know that competition will be fierce.

How can you stand out from the crowd? One easy way is to nail your interview by asking the right questions of your prospective employer. Using these questions to demonstrate your interest and your level of knowledge can help you break away from the pack:

  1. How will my performance be evaluated? This question shows that you’re eager to do a good job, and also implies that you’re willing to do some prep work before the internship actually begins. Plus, it’s good for you to get a feel for your employer’s expectations.
  2. What can I expect from my first day/week on the job? Speaking of expectations, this question can tell you a lot about your entry into the position. It’s good knowledge to have, and shows your interest in the internship.
  3. What projects will I be working on? The same logic applies here, except you’ll be focusing on bigger projects and accomplishments, rather than daily tasks and routines.
  4. Who will I be working with? Internships rely on strong partnerships; meeting your trainers, coaches, and coworkers in advance shows that you recognize and appreciate this, and gives you a sneak preview of the relationships you can expect.
  5. How long have you had an internship program? This is an illuminating question about your employer’s goals, vision, and experience.
  6. How have your other interns performed? Not only does this provide more information about the company’s history, it also shows that you’re eager to improve on the works of others.
  7. What are the greatest challenges of this position? Asking about the challenges shows how serious you are about the position, and your willingness to work past the obstacles that are bound to come up.
  8. Any question about the company. Prove that you’ve researched the company by asking an educated question about it—it may be about the company’s history, operations, brand, or some other area so long as it’s well-informed.
  9. What should I do to prepare for this position? Again, this question demonstrates your willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty for this internship.
  10. Is there the possibility of a full-time job opportunity in the future? Don’t be too pushy with this question, but do gauge their reactions. If nothing else, this question shows how serious you are about the opportunity.

Make sure to ask these questions—or variants of them—during your internship interview. It’s no guarantee that you’re going to be hired, but it will help you make a better impression and differentiate yourself from the other applicants.

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