An Employer's Guide to Interviewing and Screening Prospective Interns

Get the facts:

  • What is the time frame for your internship?
  • Are you going to receive credit for your internship? If yes:
    • What is the minimum number of hours you are required to work in a credit internship?
    • What are your school's requirements for a credit internship, such as keeping a journal, writing a paper, meetings with other interns, number of meetings with the work supervisor, etc..?
  • Do you anticipate any need for time off or flexible scheduling during the internship?
  • Are you applying for other internships? If yes, where? (This gives you an idea about their range of interests and can lead to some good discussion on what they want to gain from their internship.) If yes, what is their timetable for making a decision?

Interview Questions:

Why do you want to do an internship?

What do you know about our organization? (Have they taken time to research you?)

Have you had experience with other organizations that provide similar services to those that we provide? If yes, ask them to explain how they are similar and to tell about their experiences.

How do you feel the current or past classes you have taken relate to the experiences you'll gain here? What organizations have you belonged to that may relate to this internship?

Do you have any questions regarding the responsibilities of an intern here? (Take time to describe the intern's role in your own words so they hear your interpretation.)

What do you think this internship will be like? (Discuss their expectations and yours.) Name three things you want to have gained or learned by the end of this internship.

Describe the type(s) of clients served by this agency. (Get a feel for their attitudes toward the clients you serve.)

How do you think you might deal with the following situation: (Name a common situation and try to select one that would be realistic for an intern to handle.)

Describe the ideal relationship that should exist between a supervisor and those reporting to him or her. Why should we accept you as an intern?

Use three words or phrases to describe yourself.

What do you like best about yourself?

What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?

What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?

What are some of the things that provide the most challenge for you? Think of past classes, paid work, or volunteer experiences.

What frustrates you?

What skills do you feel you need to improve?

I'd like to hear more about your past paid work and volunteer experiences. (Refer to their resume and ask to cite specifics. Also ask if there are other experiences they have not included in their resume.)

What leadership roles have you undertaken?

Why did you choose this career field? What led you to your field of major study?

I'd like to hear a little about your future goals. What do you hope to do after graduation? Do you have plans for graduate school?

Do you have any questions to ask of me?