Top 50 Internship Interview Questions (Example Answers Included)

By Mike Simpson

UPDATED 6/13/2022

Everyone knows that the best way to get the job of your dreams is to have a resume that highlights and showcases relevant experience. And for college students, the simplest way to get some much-needed experience is with an internship.

Like any other job, you’ll face off against internship interview questions when you try to land a career-boosting position. If you want to make sure that you’re ready for what lies ahead, here’s what you need to know about the world of internships and intern interview questions.

What Is an Internship?

According to the University of Maryland, “an internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work related to a student’s field of study or career interest.” Overall, that sums it up pretty well.

Essentially, an internship is an opportunity for a student or trainee to gain valuable career experience by working within an organization, either for pay or for educational credit. Internships are an excellent way for you to gain real-world experience, network with potential future coworkers and managers, and build your resume, laying the groundwork for your career.

On top of that, many hiring managers use internships to gauge employment potential. This means you want to make sure that you are ready to nail those internship interview questions to score that invaluable experience.

Top 5 Internship Interview Question Tips

Here are our top 5 tips for preparing for an internship interview and how to answer intern interview questions:

1. Study Guide

As a student (or a recent student), this should be the easiest part of the whole process. Pretend your internship interview is a test and study ahead of time. That means making sure you have a proper resume prepared that highlights your related skills and education, as well as your accomplishments.

You also want to make sure you have done your research into the company, not only to verify that the internship being offered is legitimate but also to make sure that the company and the opportunity align with your long-term goals.

2. STAR Student

Speaking of your education and accomplishments, make sure you are prepared to talk about them and have stories ready that will help illustrate your strengths as a potential intern.

Really read the requirements for the internship carefully and then go through your own personal experiences, education, and skills and find examples that illustrate how you can fill those requirements. Finally, take those examples and craft them into great stories by using the STAR method.

3. Head of the Class

During an interview, you may have as little as 5 minutes to make a good impression. Make sure you’re ready by having business-appropriate interview clothes, showing up early, and being an enthusiastic participant in the interview process.

If you have questions about what to wear to a job interview, check out our blog article.

4. The 3 Rs

Rehearse, relax, and rhythm: the three Rs of the internship interview.

Rehearse: The best way to burn through interview nerves is to practice before the actual big day. Take the example questions from this article and have a friend, family member, or counselor conduct a mock interview (or two) before the big day.

Relax: Interviews can be nerve-wracking, and sometimes stress can make it hard to listen to those around us! Do your best to wrangle those nerves and take the time to really hear what the interviewer is saying. You need to ensure you understand exactly what they’re asking, allowing you to provide solid answers. Plus, you’ll get things during the interview like their names and informational tidbits that could help you target your answers.

Rhythm: When we say rhythm, we’re not talking about music or dancing, but about the natural rhythm of conversation. Make sure when you’re speaking clearly and calmly. Pausing between when the question is asked and starting your answer is ok, especially if it means you’re really thinking about the answer. An interviewer is going to be more impressed with an intern who takes a minute to give a thoughtful answer than an intern who fires off a barrage of information before they’ve even had a chance to finish the question entirely.

5. Teacher’s Pet

Last impressions are just as important as first impressions. Remember, as you’re wrapping up your interview, close it out on a strong note. This means making sure you’re asking your own questions (don’t worry, we’ll get to those in a bit).

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5 Common Internship Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Now let’s focus on the potential questions you might be asked in an internship interview. Be prepared for a wide range of types of questions, ranging from behavioral to traditional and even some situational questions.

Along with showcasing a few different kinds of questions, we’ll give you example answers you can use to help guide your own. Here are five internship interview questions that you might face, along with a great example answer for each question:

1. What attracted you to your chosen field?


“I was initially attracted to my major, statistics, because I’ve long had a talent for math. However, statistics allows me to take that further. I can use mathematics to understand various aspects of the world around me, which I find fascinating. It’s a way to reveal patterns that aren’t always clear to the casual observer, allowing me to use math to make insightful recommendations or champion change that can make a real difference.”

2. What are you most proud of?


“One thing that I’m particularly proud of was being selected as the valedictorian for my high school. I worked hard to achieve my grades, and I think that diligence will continue to serve me well throughout my life. I learned the value of hard work, discipline, and planning. Plus, it was only possible not only through my efforts but learning to work effectively on a team for group assignments, which I think was a critical lesson that will help me thrive in the workforce.”

3. How do you think an internship will help you academically? What about professionally?


“Academically, I believe an internship will give me a deeper understanding of how to apply the knowledge I gather to real-world scenarios. It’ll help me see the difference between the classroom experience and what it’s like to engage as a member of the workforce.

“Professionally, an internship lets me build a strong foundation. I’ll acquire new capabilities that will serve me well moving forward. Plus, it’ll help me keep realistic expectations while teaching me how to provide an employer with exceptional value, both of which can help me launch a successful career.”

4. What one word do you think describes you best?


“If I had to pick one word, I believe ‘responsible’ is the best fit. I’m a meticulous and organized person who is diligent about meeting my commitments. I understand the importance of accountability, particularly when it comes to meeting the expectations of others who are impacted by my work. As a result, I’ve always aimed to be responsible, not just as a student, but as a person.”

5. Tell me about a time when you stepped up.


“During a team project in one of my classes, one of the group members had a family emergency that pulled them away from their studies. Since we divided the work equally among the team members, that meant there was a portion that suddenly wasn’t being handled.

“I decided to find the solution to our problem. I reached out to other group members to assess where we all stood with our own portion of the work. Then, I helped distribute the remaining tasks, including assigning the largest segment to myself. While it meant doing more work, it was worthwhile, as we ultimately scored a 98 out of 100 on the assignment.”

45 More Intern Interview Questions You Should Prepare For

    1. Why should we consider you for this internship?
    2. Have you ever interned before? If so, describe your experiences.
    3. Why should we consider you for this internship?
    4. What are your long-term goals?
    5. What qualities will you bring to this internship that other candidates might not?
    6. Tell me a little about yourself.
    7. What are your expectations for your work hours? Is your schedule flexible?
    8. What do you hope to get out of this internship?
    9. Do you have any hobbies, and if so, can you describe how you think they could assist you in this internship?
    10. Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of, and why?
    11. What do you know about our company?
    12. What are your expectations for the role we are discussing today?
    13. Why are you applying for this internship?
    14. Do your current studies align with the type of work we do? Do you see a future in this industry, and if so, in what role?
    15. How do you organize your time and prioritize tasks during a busy day?
    16. Are you comfortable answering and having conversations on the telephone? And what is your experience with multi-line phone systems?
    17. What do you like/dislike the most about being an intern?
    18. What do you plan to do after you graduate?
    19. What would you say are the best skills to have in order to be successful as an intern?
    20. What are your strengths, and how will you best utilize them for this internship?
    21. What are your weaknesses, and what will you do to ensure they don’t affect this internship negatively?
    22. Describe a time that you took a leadership role in completing a task.
    23. Tell me about a conflict that you’ve had with someone you were working closely with and how you resolved it.
    24. Do you prefer to work independently or in a group setting?
    25. Can you describe to me any major trends that our industry has been going through over the last 3-5 years?
    26. How would your classmates or past work colleagues describe you?
    27. What will you bring to the table that will have the biggest impact during your internship?
    28. What level of expertise do you have with traditional office software programs (i.e., Microsoft Office/Excel/PowerPoint, Slack, Salesforce, etc.)?
    29. How do you handle stress? Has it been a problem for you in the past?
    30. Describe a time when you had some adversity in life and what you did to overcome it.
    31. Why are manhole covers round and not square or some other shape?
    32. During team projects, what role do you usually fill?
    33. Can you describe your ideal workplace culture?
    34. What management style best meets your needs?
    35. Share an example of a time when you motivated others.
    36. Tell me about a time you failed.
    37. If you didn’t understand how to handle a task, what would you do?
    38. Why did you choose this specific college and program?
    39. How would you describe your dream job?
    40. What courses have you taken that apply directly to this role?
    41. If you weren’t studying your current major, what degree would you pursue instead?
    42. What are you passionate about?
    43. Describe your previous work or volunteering experience?
    44. Do you have any expectations for this internship?
    45. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. What did you learn from that experience?

Questions to Ask in an Internship Interview

Now that you’ve answered all their questions, you’ll usually get a chance to ask a few of your own. It’s absolutely appropriate for you to ask your own questions, and in many ways, it’s strongly encouraged.

An intern who asks questions is an intern who truly cares about the position and is one who is more likely to get hired. Plus, asking questions is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the internship and the company overall.

To help get you started, here are ten example questions you can ask your hiring manager:

    1. If hired for this internship, what would my duties and responsibilities be?
    2. What are your expectations for me in this internship in relation to my school and homework requirements?
    3. How exactly will my performance be evaluated?
    4. Who will I be working with if I’m selected for this internship?
    5. How often do you hire former interns?
    6. How many hours per week will the selected intern work?
    7. Can you describe the company’s culture?
    8. How would you describe the team dynamic?
    9. Will I be working with other interns along with employees?
    10. After interning here, what have past interns moved on to?

Putting It All Together

Just remember, an internship today is a stepping stone to a career. Treat each internship opportunity like a potential job and prepare as much as you can ahead of time so you can shine during your interview. When you answer internship interview questions, highlight your experiences and your skills, and focus on your accomplishments and the value you bring to the internship. Be calm, be collected, and be yourself.

Good luck!


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About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.