March 28, 2018 – Shelby Westbrook, Associate
Internship interviews are a little different from full-time interviews. However, in both situations, you will be invited to ask the interviewer questions- and you should be prepared. Generally speaking, these questions will make or break your chances at landing an internship. Here are some questions you will want to ask, especially as a potential intern who is eager to learn more:
Ask about the company, the culture and the people
This might seem like a no-brainer. Asking what the company does, how it operates and the kinds of clients they cultivate might help you decide if this is the company for you before even hearing back about the position. A good note here is to do your research - not just on the company website, but in the media, on LinkedIn and through past employees. Make sure to find out how they maintain their culture and spend time together as a team.
Ask about the role
You may only have a short job description that outlines your role, but not much else. The best way to figure out if you are a fit for them, and vice versa, is to ask questions. You will be dedicating a lot of time to the company’s success, so why not make sure you won’t be miserable while doing so?
Ask about your day-to-day responsibilities
A lot of people forget this one because we tend to think of the big picture questions first. However, this might be one of the most important questions to ask. What would a typical day in the office look like for me? In order to fully understand your role and how you can help, you have to ask what you will be doing daily in order to achieve your goals.
Ask about your manager
If it is your interviewer, ask about their experience in the company, and why they chose to work there. Also, make sure that by the end of the interview, you understand your manager’s leadership style, and how they react in stressful situations. This will help you learn the best ways to give assistance.
Ask about growth, opportunities and challenges
If you are looking to land a full-time role after the internship, ask them how many interns receive offers, and if there are opportunities for growth. This shows you are serious about not only interning for them, but are curious about staying on afterwards. Knowing if there is an opportunity for growth allows you to plan for the long term. Also, make sure to ask about the challenges past interns have faced in this internship. What are ways I can make sure I am successful at this role? How can I prepare for challenges I may face? Most importantly, let them know you are ready to take on the challenges.
Ask about qualities they seek
This is a big one. If you ask this, it shows your potential employer that you are eager to do well, which goes a long way. This question will also tell you what skills you need improvement upon, and at what level past interns have performed. It gives them reassurance that they know you would want to succeed if they hired you.
Ask about THEM
As much as we all hate to admit it, interviews are slightly uncomfortable for everyone involved. The majority of the questions asked will be about you, but a great way to make them feel valued is to ask questions about their experiences. Why did you pick this industry? What makes you love coming to work every day? If you could go back in time, would you change anything regarding your professional life? You’ll be sure to seal the deal with questions that pique their interest.
Ask what the next steps are
Last but not least, ask when you will be hearing about the job, and if there is anything else you can do in the meantime to help them make their decision. Most often, they will say “we will be in touch.” Ask for clarity on this, because it’s better to be clear than to annoy them later with three follow-up emails. One follow-up email is fine, and they will get back to you in due time.
Interviews are hard, but asking these simple questions will make the world of a difference. Don’t feel pressured to ask them all, either. Keep a good dialogue going and make sure you maintain good eye contact, positive body language and a cool tone. If you implement these key points, you will be sure to land your internship.