By Michelle Wanjiku
Congratulations! Your application impressed the hiring manager, and you’re officially scheduled to interview for the internship at the company of your dreams.
However, this is not the end; in order to get hired, you need to pass the interview and the best way to ensure this is to know what questions you are likely to be asked and how to answer them.
Remember that an internship is a two-way street. Meaning the employer expects you to help with certain duties as well as wants to provide you with an incredible learning opportunity.
So the questions you will be asked will most likely revolve around what you expect to gain from the internship and what you have to offer.
They also want to know why you’re interested in the internship. What are you hoping to gain? Is it in line with your career trajectory, or are you just looking for something to do while you look for another job?
Here Are Some of The Common Questions You’ll Be Asked in an Internship Interview
1. Tell me about yourself
This will probably always be the first question you are asked in an interview. This is a question interviewers use to find out more about your professional qualifications.
This is why your answer should always revolve around your professional background. This might be difficult considering you don’t have a lot of work experience but you can still talk about your education background and industrial attachment if you did one.
Remember the interviewer does not care about how many siblings you have or where you live. They only want to hear about the professional aspect of your life.
My name is Paul and I’m a fresh graduate of ABC University. I studied Human Resources Management because I really enjoy working with people and I’m fascinated with the role of people in the building and operating companies.
While in school, I undertook an on the job training where I worked with their recruitment team and helped coordinate the interview of candidates for cashier roles. I really understood the role and value that recruiters create and how they help ensure a company always hires the best talent.
2. What do you know about our organization?
This is another very common question you are bound to receive in your interview so you need to go in prepared.
An employer will ask you this question to see if you have any real interest in the company and position because if you truly wanted to work with them then you would have researched the organization.
Not knowing anything about the company will definitely disqualify you from the position because it shows the interviewer that you have made an effort to learn about the company and their products.
Before any interview always try and find out as much as you can about the company and what services or products they offer.
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3. Why did you apply for an internship here?
An interviewer will ask you this question to find out if you put any thought into your application. This is where you need to show them that you know what the company does and have thought about how this will be beneficial to your career in the long run.
For example, a good answer would be;
“Your organization is one of the best recruitment firms in the country and I believe that working here would greatly benefit my career because I get to learn from people who have been in the industry for long. I believe that your organization is the best place for me to learn skills that will help me excel in my career.”
4. Why should we hire you?
No employer wants to waste time training an employee who will not benefit the company. Therefore as much as it is an internship, you still need to prove that you have what it takes to do the job.
This can be a bit difficult since you don’t have a lot of experience to back you up but you can instead focus on how the skills you possess will greatly benefit the company.
“The job description is very particular about you wanting someone with great communication skills. While I may be new to the job market, I worked as a receptionist and customer service representative during my industrial attachment at GHC Limited where I was able to successfully interact with customers and clients.
I also tactfully responded to customer complaints, earning me congratulatory messages from my direct supervisor. I believe that this experience, my passion for customer service and attitude to excel in whatever I set my mind to makes me a great asset to your company.”
5. What’s your goal with this internship?
It’s important to remember that the whole point of an internship is to give you a chance to learn and put to practice what you have learned in school. So at the end of the internship, you should have gained new skills and practical knowledge of your profession.
Your answer to this question will tell the employer whether or not you will benefit from the opportunity it will help them understand what you want to get out of the internship.
The employer wants to know that you have a clear idea of what you want to gain from the internship because this means that you will be more determined to succeed in the role.
6. Why did you decide to pursue this career?
By asking this question, the employer wants to know what makes you tick, they are trying to find out whether you are truly passionate about it or it is just something you chose because you had no other option.
This is because, in order for you to succeed in a certain career, you need to be passionate about it. You will not succeed as an accountant if what you truly wanted to do was procurement.
The interviewer wants to make sure that they are not wasting their time and resources giving you a chance when you aren’t even interested in a career in the same field.
When you show the potential employer that you have passion for what you do, then they know that you will work diligently.
7. Do you have any questions for us?
You should always have a question to ask the interviewer in fact, it’s advisable that you have a few questions to ask the employer. The questions should revolve around the position as well as the organization.
“You have to ask the interviewer a question as it shows your interest in the position as well the organization. When you do not ask a question, the interviewer may interpret that as lack of interest and hire somebody else instead,” says Lucy Karwigi, an Interview Coach at Corporate Staffing Services.
The best way to handle this question is to have a few questions prepared that will give you more information about the position as well as the company.
Employers want to hire someone who’s actually passionate about the field! So if you are able to portray this during the interview then you will greatly increase your chances of getting hired.
Having a hard time selling your expertise in a job interview? Talk to an Interview Coaching Manager today. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
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