10 Internship Interview Questions and Answers

Image shows a woman interviewing another woman for an internship. Text reads: "General internship interview questions: why are you interested in this internship; why are your strengths and weaknesses; why did you choose your major; what accomplishments are you most proud of"

Image by Theresa Chiechi © The Balance 2019

For many students, an internship can be the first step toward starting a career. If you’re nervous about the interview, you can get ready by reviewing these common internship interview questions.

Key Takeaways

  • Internship interview questions can be very general.
  • Internship interview questions may be about your education, career history, or skills.
  • Interview questions might be situational or hypothetical.

What Types of Questions Are Asked at an Internship Interview?

Although it seems like there are a wide variety of questions you need to be prepared to answer, internship interviews will likely consist of questions about your skills, education, and experience.

In an interview with The Balance, career coach EB Sanders noted that although internship interview questions can be broad, they usually are very typical interview questions. In other words, if you prepare, you shouldn’t worry about having too many hardball questions thrown your way.

Preparation is the key to a successful interview and can help steady your nerves. “Students can best prepare by researching the company and its employees,” Sanders said. “If there is a way for you to connect with an employee or previous intern, all the better. But at the very least, run through some expected questions and have an idea of how you would answer.”

Popular Internship Interview Questions

These are some sample internship interview questions and answers that can help give you an idea of the types of questions that might be asked in a job interview, and how you can answer them effectively. Of course, you’ll need to customize the answers and make them about your unique career and education history.

Hypothetical Questions

  • Question: If you found yourself disagreeing with another intern about the next steps for a project, what actions would you take?
  • Answer: First, I would review past email communications and meeting notes about the project to see if any next steps were clearly mentioned. If I can’t find any notes about what the next steps should be, I would request that both the other intern and I meet with our manager to make sure we’re all on the same page about what we need to be working on to move the project forward.
  • Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Answer: In five years, I will ideally be working in digital marketing. At that point, I’d like to be settled in a role that focuses on social media campaign management.

Situational Questions

  • Question: Can you walk me through a time you had to find a solution to a challenging roadblock when trying to complete a project in school or at a job?
  • Answer: I realized some of the data might have been distorted on a group project, and we only had a week left before the project was due. I rallied the group together, and organized a night where we all went through our data together. The errors ended up being more minor than we thought, and we were able to work through them together.
  • Question: Can you tell me about a time when you used Excel to manage a project?
  • Answer: During a group project for my marketing class, I used Excel to track all of the different data points we were collecting. This allowed me to analyze the data and create graphs showing trends that we could then highlight in our class presentation.

Skills Questions

  • Question: What is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?
  • Answer: My greatest weakness is that I struggle with public speaking and presenting in class. I’ve been working to overcome this by joining my college’s debate club. This ties into my greatest strength, which is how proactive I am. When a challenge presents itself, I immediately try to come up with a solution.
  • Question: Do you have any leadership experience?
  • Answer: For the past two years, I’ve worked as my college newspaper’s editor in chief. I oversaw a staff of 12 student writers, was responsible for making sure all publication deadlines were met, and managed a small production budget.

Education Experience Questions

  • Question: Why did you choose your college and major?
  • Answer: In high school, I thought I wanted to be a doctor, so I chose my college for its excellent pre-med program. While I was in college, I realized that although I still loved biology and science, patient care wasn’t the right fit for me. I’m much more interested in research.
  • Question: Which college classes do you think helped best prepare you for this role?
  • Answer: I believe that the two-semester Introduction to Accounting course I took this year prepared me for this internship. I hope to use the skills I learned in this class while interning.

Career Experience Questions

  • Question: What are the two most important skills you developed in your last internship, job, or volunteer position?
  • Answer: I believe communication and time management are the two most important skills I learned in my last job as a restaurant server. In this role, I learned how to professionally navigate difficult customer interactions, how to communicate clearly when an issue arises, and how to manage my time effectively when attending to multiple customers at the same time.
  • Question: Can you walk me through what your responsibilities were as the president of the college club you referenced on your resume?
  • Answer: As the president of the Young Environmentalists Club, I helped determine which service projects we should take on, created the metrics for project success, and managed a budget for each project.

Tips for Answering Internship Interview Questions With Confidence

Job interviews can be stressful at any stage of your career, so it’s understandable if college students feel a bit uneasy going into their interviews.

It might help boost your confidence before an internship interview if you remember that the hiring manager knows that they are hiring for an internship or entry level position. “They don't expect you to have the knowledge of someone who's been in the role for years,” Sanders said. “They really want to know if you can solve problems, think critically, and above all, learn. These are all skills that you engage in every day as a student.”


Alongside practicing their answers for popular interview questions, students can carefully research the organization they’re interviewing with to ensure they know enough to provide thoughtful answers when questions about their interest in the role or company arise.

“Above all, realize that they feel you are worth their time—that's why you are there,” Sanders said. “They already think you are qualified. They are just trying to see if you'd be a good fit.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you prepare for an internship interview?

Research and planning are key when preparing for an internship interview. Be prepared to talk about yourself and your interest in the company. It can be helpful to research the company, its recent projects, and the department you’re interviewing with, before the interview.

What should you wear to an internship interview?

Dress professionally for internship interviews to show you take the opportunity seriously, even if the interview happens over a video call. It’s important to wear clothes that are clean and unwrinkled, and shy away from flashier styles and a lot of accessories. You might not want to wear perfume or cologne to in-person interviews since some people are irritated by fragrances.

What questions should you ask in an internship interview?

Use some of your interview time to ask questions about the role, the team you’d be working with, and the company. Asking thoughtful questions can help you better express interest in the internship opportunity. These questions can also help you learn whether or not the internship is right for you.

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  1. Virginia State University. “Preparing for the Internship Interview.”

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