Be prepared to ask questions during internship interviews

Anny Chih photo

By Anny Chih, 24 hours Vancouver




The annual summer internship hunt is in full swing and students seeking the best positions should prepare for interviews with fully developed answers to common questions and thoughtful questions of their own.

There are certain questions asked in almost all interviews, which is why interviewers expect candidates to have fully developed answers when they’re presented. If you’re being interviewed, you should be able to tell an interviewer why you’re interested in the position and what makes you ideally suited for it. One should also have an assortment of examples for every “Tell me about a time when…” question that relates directly to the internship.

A fully developed answer is not synonymous with a long answer. It is usually the opposite. A fully developed answer is one showing you have thought about the question prior to your interview enough to be able to summarize your answer in a concise manner. By being prepared to answer common interview questions with brief but complete responses, you demonstrate that you are respectful of an interviewer’s time.

Though prospective interns are expected to know why they want an internship and what makes them ideally suited for it, they are not expected to know everything. Internship programs are meant to be learning experiences, which is why managers are looking for interns who are interested in learning. To show your enthusiasm for learning, ask questions of your own showing your interest in the company and internship opportunity.

Asking thoughtful questions during an interview also gives you an opportunity to connect with the interviewer. By asking for specific examples that demonstrate the company’s corporate culture for example, the interviewer must reflect on their personal experiences and share something that may be more informative than what’s written in the company bio. In doing so, the interviewer also becomes more engaged in the conversation and is more likely to remember you as a result.

Internships are short, as are the interviews for them, which means that students seeking these opportunities must be quick to learn and easy to remember. Preparing for questions and preparing questions of your own is a good place to start proving that you are both.


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