Internship Interview Questions: What to Expect

January 24, 2023

6 min read

Internship Interview Questions

If you’ve got an internship interview coming up, you should be feeling pretty excited. Internship interviews are the perfect way to highlight your skills, experience, and knowledge so you can stand out from other internship applicants. 

Don’t stress about your upcoming interview. Learn exactly how to prepare, with tips on how to practice, as well as the most frequently asked internship interview questions to expect.

What’s an Internship?

An internship is a temporary position for someone to get experience within an industry they have an interest in. 

Typically, anyone can apply for an internship, including:

  • Students (depending on the position, even highschool students can apply)
  • People who’ve graduated recently
  • People who are looking to transition from a temporary position into a full-time position

Internships can be paid or unpaid. If you’re a student, you can often get credit for your work. 

Depending on the position and company, you might even get a job offer after you’ve successfully completed your internship. However, internships vary wildly and completely depend on the employer. 

Many internships require an interview with the candidate to get a better idea of who the applicant is and if they’re an appropriate fit for the position. 

How Long Is a Typical Internship Interview?

Although it can depend on the company and the interviewer, most internship interviews last at least 30 minutes. The average internship interview will last around 45 minutes. 

Internship Interview Practice

Internship interview practice is an absolute must if you’re looking to impress the interviewer and get the position. The best way to practice for an internship interview is to participate in mock interviews or practice answering internship interview questions. The whole point of an internship interview is to convince the company that you’re the best fit for the job (and to showcase all that you can offer!).  

There are a variety of topics that might come up during your internship interview. They’ll often vary based on the industry the internship is in. In general, potential topics covered in your internship interview can include:

  • Personal information
  • Your resume (namely, job experience)
  • Your education experience
  • The company you’re applying to

To practice for your interview, you can have a friend ask you common internship interview questions (we’ll get into these later) either in person or online via an app like Zoom. For example, if you know your internship interview will be over Zoom, it might be best to practice on that platform to make sure you get the hang of things. 

You can also practice by yourself. Recording yourself answering potential internship questions is a great way to do it, since you can review the recording and see where you need to improve. If you’re looking for personalized feedback in a non-judgemental space, Yoodli is a great option. 

Yoodli is a free, AI speech coach that’ll analyze your speech patterns and provide you with individualized insights for improvement. 

After you record or upload your video to Yoodli, the speech coach will provide you with a plethora of valuable analytics, including everything from body language to word choice, and even pacing, among other helpful insights. 

Internship Interview Questions
If you’ve got an interview coming up, use Yoodli to practice common internship interview questions and ace your interview.

Practicing with common internship interview questions makes you better prepared — even more so with the speech pattern data that Yoodli offers. Check out the questions below to include in your practice. 

Internship Interview Questions

Internship interview questions will reference your career experience, your education, and personal information, like your strengths and weaknesses. 

Interviews are a great time to give your elevator pitch — a brief summary of who you are, what you do, and your career goals. Elevator pitches are ideal for most interviews, and yours will give the interviewer a snapshot of who you are as a person (and intern!). 

Even though internship interview questions can differ based on the industry of the company (and the company itself), most internship interviews will have at least a few common questions. 

Make sure to practice some of the more general internship interview questions. Prepare to answer questions about yourself, like: 

  • Tell me about yourself 
  • Where did you go to school?
  • Why do you want this internship?
  • How does this internship relate to what you’d like to do in the future?
  • Why are you the best fit for this internship? 

Make sure you’re ready to answer industry-related questions, too. Some examples include: 

  • What’s the most challenging part of working in [your industry]?
  • Have you ever worked in [your industry] before?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What is your greatest strength?

Also: Prepare to answer the question, “Why should we hire you?” It’s become a more popular interview question, so have a response ready to go. If you need some inspiration, check out this expert take on how to respond: 

Learn how to craft the perfect response to the question “Why should we hire you?” with Yoodli’s expert advice.

What Should You Not Do in an Internship Interview?

To best prepare, you should be aware of some of the things you should never do during the internship interview. 

First and foremost, be honest. Don’t over-embellish your experience and definitely don’t lie. This will always backfire on you and at the end of the day, you don’t want an internship that you’re not equipped for. 

Also, be confident, but not too relaxed. You might be tempted to let down your guard — especially when interviewing for a temporary position like an internship — but resist that urge. This is your time to shine, but you need to be ready for anything the interviewer might throw at you. 

In a similar vein, make sure you dress appropriately. Business casual is usually a safe bet if you’re unsure of what to wear. Even if it’s a video interview, like a Zoom call, dress for the part. 

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

If there’s time at the end of the interview, consider asking the interviewer a few questions. Although you may not have any questions about the internship position itself, think about other relevant questions you can ask about the company, work culture, or other related aspects of the job.  

For example, you could ask the interviewer questions like:

  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the intern?
  • Can you tell me a little bit more about the team I’d be working for?
  • What is your favorite thing about the company [or the industry]?
  • Where do you see the company in the next five years?
  • How would you describe the company work culture or environment?
  • What measures has the company taken to support diversity, equity, and inclusion?

What Should You Do After the Internship Interview?

After the internship interview, be sure to send a thank-you note to the interviewer. This is not only a common courtesy, but also shows the interviewer that you’re interested, engaged, and professional. 

These can be hand-written or sent via email — either is appropriate. Just make sure you’re using professional language in the note. If you’ve never send a thank-you note follow up, be sure to:

  • Use the interviewer’s name 
  • Thank them for their time
  • Consider mentioning something meaningful from your internship interview (for example, “I loved learning about the company’s work on XYZ, and would love to contribute to XYZ”)
  • Let the interviewer know they can reach out if they have any more questions
  • Include a good phone number and email where they can reach you

A thank-you note follow-up lets your interviewer know that you care about the position and demonstrates your interest in a professional manner.

Why Are Internship Interviews Important?

If you’re interviewing for an internship position, chances are, other people have applied and even gotten interview invitations as well. You’ll want to stand out from the crowd of applicants and show the interviewer that there’s no better fit for the job than you.

To do this, you’ll have to practice diligently for the interview by reviewing common internship interview questions. You can’t over-practice, so put in the work now and reap the benefits later. 

The Takeaway

Practicing with internship interview questions is hands down the best way to prepare for an upcoming interview. Although you can’t predict which questions the interviewer will ask, you can expect they’ll ask at least one common question.  

Preparing and working on your weak areas with a speech coach like Yoodli — coupled with having responses to some of the most frequently asked questions — is a great way to ensure you’re as ready as you can be for your internship interview.