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Without a doubt, an internship is one of the best investments a student can make career-wise. It is an essential step in attaining a successful career after college. An internship is an avenue for graduating students to build their skills and knowledge in a specific field. Not only that, but it can also open doors for job opportunities in the future.
Over the last few years, the job market has grown increasingly competitive. Internship applicants scramble to get ahead and stand out for that chance of landing a great internship. Some land the job because of previous experiences or someone in the company referred them. Now, what about those who have zero experience and zero connections?
Research and thorough preparation will be your best bet if you want the hiring manager to notice you. Aside from spending your time creating the best cover letters for internships, learn as much as you can about the company. Prepare for your internship interview as if your future depends on it – because it does.
What to Ask When Interviewing For an Internship
How you answer the questions during the interview is critical. But remember, the questions you ask bear weight too. By proposing relevant and strategic inquiries, you can show the recruitment manager that you are interested in growing with the company. Motivation is an essential trait that companies look for when hiring interns, so make sure you can display this during the interview.
To prepare for your internship interview, consider asking these questions:
Can you tell me about your internship onboarding process?
Make sure that you ask about the company’s onboarding process. Training, shadowing, hands-on practice – request details on how things proceed. Asking this question will help show that you are excited to start. You are conveying the message of wanting to be well-prepared by asking about what’s ahead. Not only that, but the information you get will help you understand the process better so you can prepare in advance.
What are the qualities and traits that you are looking for in interns?
Interviewers always look for the best fit when hiring interns. Whether in culture or performance, they are on the lookout for those they think will thrive in the workplace. When you ask about the qualities and traits they are looking for, you show eagerness to match the company’s expectations. Moreover, the answer you get will give you ideas on the organization’s standards regarding behavior, skills, and performance.
How will the company evaluate my performance as an intern?
Ask your interviewer how they will rate your performance should you land the internship. This topic shows that you are already envisioning yourself hired. More importantly, it shows that you care about productivity, effectiveness, and excelling in the opportunity.
At this stage, your ability to show the interviewer that you are committed to doing well in this job is vital. By asking about the evaluation process, you are showing commitment to quality and work ethics. This detail will help you stand out and give you insights on how to complete your internship satisfactorily.
Are there possibilities for career advancement or employment after the internship?
Ask about potential full-time employment after the internship. This question conveys that you hope to stay beyond the expected timeframe and have long-term goals with the company.
Hiring interns for a full-time position is one of the best ways companies can fill roles, especially for hard-to-fill positions. Interns are great candidates for these roles because they already have experience with the company. They are familiar with the culture, work environment, and job expectations. Letting your interviewer know that you are willing to work your way to a long-term position gives you added leverage in landing the job. They’ll then see that you have long-term goals and a commitment to the opportunity.
What are the next steps after the interview?
To show enthusiasm for the role, ask what other steps you need to take to advance to the next stage. You can also ask about their target start date for the position and anything else you need to do while waiting for the decision. This line of questioning shows that you plan ahead and are willing to take extra steps for the role.
Asking this question will also allow you to have a timeframe for their hiring process. You can then plan for follow-up emails or calls within an appropriate period.
Companies invest a lot of funds in employee development and internships, so it makes sense that they want to hire top talents. Although interviewing for an internship may sound challenging, take it as an opportunity to highlight your strengths. Use these questions during your interview to demonstrate your eagerness, confidence, and ability. Landing the internship is just the beginning of your professional journey. Do your best, and you may soon find yourself with the company of your dreams.
Jane Duckstein is a senior writer and researcher at contentcampfire.com. When she is not working, you will find her in the garden tending to her plants. She lives in Alameda, California with her husband.