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Interview Questions To Ask When Hiring An Intern

Hiring an intern? Questions you need to ask!

An intern can make a great addition to any company. They are eager to learn, impress and gain a hands-on experience into their industry of choice. Therefore when it comes to hiring someone looking for an internship, it is essential you ask the right questions to ensure you attract the right talent.

What to ask…

What interests you in this job sector?

Asking this question will ensure you gain an understanding of their rationales into wanting to work in the industry. The question will also probe them to provide examples to represent their true feelings regarding their interests and passions.

Why have you chosen this career path?

As the intern is likely to just be starting out in their career, your questions regarding work experience are limited. Therefore it is important you grasp why they chose the certain career path and favoured it over others.

Why did you choose this company?

The intern could have had a pick at a handful of different companies but they chose yours, why is this?

What are your future career goals? 

Understanding where they see themselves in 5 years, 10 years, etc… is essential in determining how serious they are regarding their career and their dedication to the potential role.

What are your plans for after graduation?

If the potential intern is still in education, the answer to this question will provide you with an insight into whether they are committed to starting their career straight away. Or if they are interested in taking a break before seeking a full-time position.

What was your reason for choosing your degree subject?

The potential answers to this question can differ. Some may have always known they wanted a career in their degree subject area whilst others may have changed their mind over time and are venturing out into unchartered waters. Hoping an internship will provide them with some valuable insight and will make a great addition to their CV before applying for full-time positions.

How well do you work with others?

An intern must be able to demonstrate they have the capability to work well with others and be able to provide examples within the interview. This is essential because, within their role, they are likely to be assisting, shadowing and helping others within the company. Therefore it is important they can communicate effectively and make a great addition to any team.

How do you take direction?

The purpose of this question is to ensure the potential intern is able to listen to instructions without difficulty. This may be their first taste of professional work so understanding how well they will take direction is imperative.

Describe a time when you used initiative 

At times the intern may be left to their own devices. Therefore they must be able to prove they are capable of completing individual tasks without supervision or with the help of more senior employees.


What NOT to ask!

A few questions on what not to ask…

Are you prepared to work lots of hours and for free?

A bit of an extreme question… But for obvious reasons, this can completely put off the candidate and scare them right out of the interview door! If you are hiring for unpaid work, make sure you highlight the benefits the experience can bring to them rather than focusing on the negatives of essentially working for free.

Are you sure this career path is right for you?

This question will instantly put doubt into the intern’s mind and make them question their own reasonings behind applying for the job. Instead, if their degree or work experience don’t match the internship role ask them why they switched career paths.

Are you any good at making cups of tea?

If you ask this, explain how you ask all potential employees this question and not just the intern!


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