Interview Question: "Why Are You Interested in This Internship?"

Updated August 8, 2022

To get an internship, most candidates have to go through the hiring process, which includes attending an interview. The questions internship interviewers may ask help them learn about candidates who may have little experience in their field and get to know potential interns more deeply. Understanding how to answer common questions about why you want a specific position can help you do better in your interviews and get the internships you want.

In this article, we discuss why potential employers may ask "Why are you interested in this internship?" and how you can craft a successful response that increases your chance of getting hired.

Related: 9 Tips To Help You Find, Land and Get the Most From Your Internship

Why an interviewer asks "Why are you interested in this internship?"

An employer might ask about why you're interested in an internship position to learn more about you, your motivations and your career goals. Often, interviewers want to get to know who you are and what you can gain from an opportunity with them to understand how you can benefit each other. This question also helps them see how interested and enthusiastic you are about the position, which is useful because they usually want dedicated interns who want to learn more about their industry.

To prepare for this question and similar questions about your interest in a role, consider creating a list of your career goals for the next few years. You can then mention these goals during your interview as a reason for wanting a specific internship. Another way to prepare an answer is to brainstorm some qualities you think would make you a good fit for a position and some qualities that you appreciate about the position and the workplace, which you can then use in your answer.

Related: 10 Tips To Excel in an Internship Interview

How to answer "Why are you interested in this internship?"

Follow these steps to help you understand the steps you can take to answer the question "Why are you interested in this internship?" successfully:

1. Understand what you can gain

As you think about the internship for which you're applying, try to understand what you can gain from being employed in this position. Think about what the company, the supervisors and the duties of the job can teach you that may enhance your skills and improve your abilities in your desired field.

One way to understand what you can gain from an internship opportunity is to remember what excited you about the job listing or description and figure out why those aspects made you want to apply. For example, if you're a student studying nutrition and you find an internship that allows you to participate in a medical study, you might have an interest in the internship because it lets you explore the scientific applications of nutrition in health care.

2. Include how it can help your career

Because internships are often an important step for developing your professional life, employers may want to hear about how their internship can help your career. Sometimes, colleges require internships for students pursuing certain majors or minors, so this may be part of your motivation for finding and applying for an internship.

While you can mention these requirements briefly if you have them, it's often useful to focus more on how the skills and knowledge you gain during your internship can help you become a better employee in your field as you advance your career. This way, interviewers can see how they might benefit your education and your job prospects, and it shows them you're thinking proactively about the future.

Related: How To Get an Internship With No Experience

3. Mention the workplace

A great way to describe your interest in an internship position is to mention what you like or look forward to about the workplace. Including information about the workplace in your answer can show employers you did your research about their company and the role and help them see whether your expectations match their company culture.

When mentioning your potential workplace, consider what you would like about working for the organization offering the role, what seems welcoming about the environment and how the people on your team may enhance your experience. This is especially useful if the company recently appeared in the news for something positive, which you can mention in your answer. Typically, you can find this type of information on a company's website or from someone in your professional network who works for this organization.

4. Describe why you're a good fit

Another element you can mention while crafting your answer to this interview question is why you're a good fit for the position and how you would benefit the company if they hired you. Showing your value to employers in this way can demonstrate confidence in your skills and describe the specific ways in which your qualifications or characteristics match the requirements of the job listing.

For example, if a listing asks for history students with knowledge about literature and you're majoring in both of those fields, you can describe how your expertise makes you an excellent choice for the internship. Consider a few aspects of the job listing that match well with your abilities and any prior work or volunteer history and then briefly describe how valuable your experience could be to the position.

5. Discuss industry innovations

Advancements in technology and changes in industry standards often encourage candidates to learn about new and exciting fields, so try to mention industry innovations that inspire you when you answer this question. Understanding the current changes in the industry of your prospective internship shows interviewers you already know about the field and have an active interest in how you can apply those advancements to your future career.

An example of this would be if you're a computer science student looking specifically for internships that use machine learning technologies so you can better understand the popularity and applications of this type of program. In this example, you might mention this interest to interviewers for a machine learning internship and demonstrate to them your current knowledge and excitement about the ongoing innovations in this area.

6. Focus on the job duties

A thorough and cohesive answer to this interview question may include information about the company, the industry and your future career, it's also important to focus specifically on the duties of the job and your ability to complete the role successfully. Many organizations offer internships both to help people who are new to an industry and to provide them with capable short-term employees. This means they may expect you to discuss your interest in the responsibilities of an intern in this position and how well you can perform them.

Use these details in your answer by choosing two or three of the job duties you think you'd perform the best or enjoy the most and mention them to interviewers. Then, you can integrate information into your answer about how these duties fit your career plan, match your interests or seem more exciting because of the company's reputation.

Related: 11 Tips for Writing a Thank You Letter After an Internship Interview

Example answers for "Why are you interested in this internship?"

The following example answers can help you craft compelling and thoughtful answers of your own when interviewers ask why you're interested in an opportunity as an intern:

Example 1

"I'm interested in an internship with Intrigue Medical Equipment Co. because your company constantly exceeds expectations in the medical equipment community, especially with your lightweight wheelchairs. Helping people is important to me, and I'm confident that the custom vehicle engineer internship with Intrigue would allow me to use my knowledge of engineering to design comfortable, affordable individual wheelchairs for customers."

Example 2

"I was really interested when I found the listing for this publishing internship because I've always wanted to learn how a book goes from an idea to a marketable object. I hope to learn more about this process and the different roles involved during the department rotations of this internship to help me choose a career path in this field. Rotating between departments really inspired me to apply, and my organizational skills and quick-thinking can help me succeed in every type of role in publishing."

Example 3

"My interest in the horticulture internship with Blume's Green Food Solutions is because I've studied how to increase produce crops without sacrificing taste and nutrition for the past three years of my undergraduate studies, and I want to apply that knowledge with your company. I've presented my findings at multiple horticulture and food science seminars across the country and hope to learn more about Blume's advanced produce size to integrate my findings with your technology."

Explore more articles

  • How To Become an Engineering Consultant in 6 Steps
  • How To Become a Scientist in 6 Steps (Plus Career Options)
  • How To Get an Umpire Certification in 5 Steps
  • Licensed vs. Certified Pharmacy Tech: What's the Difference?
  • How To Become Police Officer in New York in 5 Steps
  • What Is the Job Description of a Receptionist? (With Sample)
  • 30 of the Highest Paying Online Degrees
  • 16 High-Paying Jobs in Florida You Can Get Without a Degree
  • 13 Part-Time Jobs for Students
  • How To Become a Substitute Teacher in North Carolina
  • 10 High-Paying Architecture Jobs (Plus Salaries and Duties)
  • 16 Travel Agent Companies With High-Paying Remote Jobs