11 Questions To Ask in an Internship Interview

By Indeed Editorial Team

December 8, 2021

An internship can be an important step in starting your career. Whether you’re applying for a paid or unpaid internship, the interview process provides a valuable opportunity for you and the company to learn about each other.

In this article, we offer examples of questions you can ask the hiring manager in your next interview for an internship.

Read more: What To Expect During an Internship Interview

Best questions to ask during an internship interview

An internship can lead to an exciting and rewarding career. Even an unpaid internship offers valuable life experience and professional connections that will help if you continue with the company. Asking these questions will help you decide if the internship is the right fit.

1. Can you tell me about the onboarding process?

Every company has a unique process for bringing on new employees. Asking about this process, specifically training, during your internship interviews will help you determine which internship better aligns with your career goals. Some employers may require you to complete paperwork or testing before your start date. If you know what to expect ahead of time, you can prepare for your internship onboarding more effectively.

Since many employers set the duration of internships in advance, it will be beneficial to know how much training they require before you can begin the main responsibilities of your internship. For instance, you may need to learn specialty software to input orders for a sales firm. An extended training period might prepare you more thoroughly, but shorter training might offer more time for hands-on professional development.

2. Can you describe the company's culture?

A company's culture refers to its values, ethics, goals and working environment. Each company you interview with will have distinct characteristics. A better understanding of the company culture and how it fits your personality can lead to a better internship experience. Your interviewer's answer might also reveal other job perks, like paid meals and company outings.

3. What are the main day-to-day responsibilities involved in this internship?

Each internship will have its own unique daily routine. Having a detailed answer about your regular tasks will help you make an informed decision about accepting an internship. Some organizations might assign high levels of responsibility, while others might ask you to answer the phones. Knowing ahead of time what specific work you will do will help you choose the right position for your skills and interests.

4. What are some essential qualities for successful interns?

Personal traits are important in deciding whether the internship would be a good fit for you. This question shows your interviewer that you want to fulfill their expectations. Your interviewer's answer will also provide insight into their standards for your performance and behavior. Whether or not you receive the position, you can use the answer to this question to prepare for future internship interviews.

Questions to Ask in an Interview

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Questions to ask in an interview:

  1. Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?

  2. What are the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?

  3. What's the most important thing I could do within the first 90 days?

  4. What are some of the challenges people in this role encounter?

  5. How would my performance be measured?

  6. What does the career path for someone in this role look like?

  7. What other functions or departments does this teamwork with most often?

  8. What does your job look like day-to-day?

  9. What do you like best about working here?

5. What challenges do you find interns most frequently face in this role?

The job description doesn’t always speak to the difficulties a position may present. By asking for the challenges of the position, you ensure that you have the most well-rounded view of your upcoming role. This question also shows your interviewer you know that your time at the company will include a variety of experiences and that you will prepare for them.

6. What resources do you provide interns to help them succeed?

Knowing what resources the company provides will help you make the best use of your time as an intern. It will also show how invested the employer is in their interns. An employer that gives you tools for success can prepare you well for the next steps in your career.

Read more: 10 Ways To Get the Most From Your Internship

7. How do you evaluate performance for this position?

As with permanent employees, employers often check on the progress of their interns and whether they are meeting expectations. This question shows your interviewer that you want to be successful in the position and are open to feedback. Knowing how and when the employer will evaluate you will give you a better understanding of what is expected of you to achieve success.

8. Are there opportunities for full-time employment or other advancements?

The potential for a job offer after your internship might be a deciding factor in choosing between two internships. Asking this question in your interview shows you have a long-term mindset and that you are willing to devote more time to the company beyond what they require for your internship.

Related: How To Turn Your Internship into a Full-Time Position

9. What is the next step in this process?

It is always a good idea to show your interviewer you think ahead. This question shows employers you are eager to begin work. Knowing their answer can also guide you in any follow-up measures you can take. For example, if they do not plan to hire for a month, you should wait beyond a week to send an inquiry email about the position, although you can send a thank-you note right away.

Read more: Guide To Thank-You Notes

10. Do you have any additional questions about my background or qualifications?

Employers may expect many of these commonly-asked questions and will likely give you fixed answers. This question can open up a more candid conversation between you and your interviewer. Asking this question also allows interviewers to fill any knowledge gaps they may have about you and communicates your confidence about being a good fit for the job.

11. Ask questions specific to the interviewer

Asking your interviewer questions about their own experience at the organization can help you build rapport and gain direct feedback about what it’s like to work there. They may also offer a more detailed view of the team you will be working on so you can assess whether or not the position will be a good fit.

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