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Common Internship Interview Questions

Women sitting together for a job interview.

It is never too early to start planning your career journey and a great way to do this is through an internship. Internships are a great way to build your network and resume and you can test your interests by applying their school knowledge to real-world projects.

How to Prepare for an Interview

Another real-world experience you will likely check off thanks to an internship is the endearing experience of an interview. Treat interviews for volunteer positions, co-op/internship placements, or part-time jobs with a great deal of seriousness and respect. Not only will this be good practice for the future, but many of these positions could also become full-time jobs in the future or connections to other career areas. 

Use these internship tips to ace your interview!

  • Have a firm handshake (or an alternative). If you are going to shake hands, make sure it’s done with enthusiasm and confidence. Practice with someone who can give you feedback. If you prefer to not shake hands, have a reason and a respectful way to address it. 
  • Silence your phone. Leave your phone at home or turn off the sound before you enter the waiting room for your interview. Definitely do not answer or look at your phone during the interview.
  • Be confident. It’s natural to be nervous but have confidence in the abilities and skills that you know you have worked hard to achieve.
  • Practice. It might feel silly, but sit down in front of a mirror (or with someone you trust) and run through some sample questions.
  • Dress appropriately. Despite what you’ll be doing on the job, dress for the interview. When in doubt, ask a parent or teacher, call the job ad’s receptionist for advice, or go with business casual.

Common Internship Interview Questions 

A great way to prepare for an interview is by reviewing and practicing commonly asked questions. By preparing ahead you can research and familiarize yourself with content in a structured way. Employers are interested in knowing about what you can offer and in turn what they can offer you. 

Here are a few commonly asked interview questions:

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why did you apply for this internship?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • Describe an occasion where you took initiative.
  • Describe a team you worked well with.
  • What are five words that best describe you?
  • Why do you want to work in this industry?
  • Why should we hire you? 

How to answer, “Why should we hire you?“

A great interview tip is to always personalize your response. Don’t worry if you have never had a job, this is a great opportunity to utilize (and highlight) your soft skills. Research initiatives and strategies the company has adopted and ways those skills could be used. This is a great time to brag about what you bring to the table! For example, “I have always been interested in the value-based industry. I believe in the company’s mission, and I’m certain I am the best pick for the job. My diverse part-time work experience has made me detail-oriented, focused, and a great communicator. Lastly, I offer a youthful perspective and an energetic vibrance to the team.”

Why should I apply for an internship?

Internships are a great way to learn what really happens in a work environment. You may discover a lot about yourself and your future career choice by identifying your strengths and weaknesses, as well as learning what tasks you love and what things you definitely do not enjoy. You’ll also have the opportunity to begin building your professional network.

Take the opportunity to complete an internship to find out if your main career choice is a good fit. You’ll get so much out of the experience! 

Read our How To Apply For an Internship blog to access our internship guide! If you have already procured a position, read our blog, Internship Advice for Women In Canada for more internship resources and advice on what comes next.

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