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Best interview questions for your hiring process

Internship Interview questions

Internships help students gain valuable work experience and prepare themselves for careers. Still, they are also beneficial resources for businesses. You might be giving essential wisdom for an intern’s job and training a potential employee.

Interns will help your teams with various tasks and ease the workload of other employees. Furthermore, they might give your business that enthusiasm and fresh ideas it might need!

Interns should have the following skills:

  • Multitasking and teamwork skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and manage important deadlines/tasks accordingly
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Strong motivational skills and desire to learn

Interviewing an intern

Interns will be in charge of different tasks, support other areas of your team, and help your business achieve goals more effectively. Although interns may not have much working experience, they must have an eager-to-learn attitude and willingness to accomplish projects and objectives assigned by their supervisor.

For this reason, hiring the right intern is essential. The interview process needs to be well-thought-out and help you understand your candidate better. To help you achieve this, we’ve put together a list of the right questions to ask your candidate.

You should note that our interview questions are meant for early-stage candidates with a generalised internship. They are, therefore, not focused on a specific industry.

How to open the job interview

Interns are just beginning their careers, so there might be a chance you are one of their first interviewers ever. This might be nerve-wracking for them, giving you the wrong impression of them because of their nerves.

To avoid this, start your interview with some easy questions that will get the conversation flowing naturally. This will benefit your candidate and you as well!

Best interview questions for your hiring process

Also see our Internship job ad template

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why are you interested in this industry/company/internship position?

What experiences or skills do you hope to gain from this internship?

How would others describe you?

Behavioral Questions

When it comes to teamwork, what is the most successful team you’ve ever been a part of and why?

This question will help you understand how your candidate works with others and envision how good of a match they are for your team. It answers whether the candidate is a good fit for the business culture and your management style.

Tell us about a time when you took the initiative or played a leadership role.

A good intern is a person with a drive and motivation to learn, take on tasks, and improve themselves. Your candidate should answer with a situation they took charge of or the initiative to make a change.

Tell us about an assignment or project you worked on from beginning to end. What went well, and what would you have changed?

An intern will have various tasks and assignments. This question allows you to understand your candidate’s process and how they tackle projects. Look for how organised, efficient, and much of a team player they are.

How have you overcome a challenge you’ve faced?

This will tell if your candidate is adaptable and how self-aware they are. A person’s attitude towards challenges, mistakes, and failures can reveal a lot about their attributes that will make them a good intern and fit with your culture.

What is one project or achievement you are proud of, and why?

Now is the chance for your candidate to boast about their achievements and interests! It is excellent to understand their interests, how they match with their career life, and what they are passionate about.

Soft Skills

Why should we hire you? What makes you the best candidate for this internship?

Now is the chance for your candidate to sell themselves off and showcase their understanding and skills. Your candidate should mention some of the skills and areas of expertise they can bring to your business. Furthermore, they should showcase how they are a perfect cultural fit to achieve your business goals. 

What type of work environment do you thrive in?

This is a perfect question to check whether the candidate is a good fit for the team. The correct answer will depend on your business environment and how it correlates to your candidate’s productivity. 

What keeps you motivated to achieve your goals?

You want a motivated intern, a hard worker, and someone interested in your business. Well, this is a perfect way to gain insight into how your candidate would be as an employee. Your candidate should explain their strengths, interests, and match your company’s values. 

What is your greatest weakness?

Honesty and an interest in self-improvement are essential. Your candidate should be self-aware of not only their strengths but also their weaknesses. They should be able to talk about their shortcomings honestly and the steps they take to address them.

Hard Skills

What metrics do you regularly track (e.g. conversion rates, number of new customers, expenses)? What information do you research, and how do you use it?

Analytical skills are essential for problem-solving and gathering information. Your employee should be able to use critical thinking skills to evaluate information. This question can be tailored more for the specific internship position you are seeking. 

What’s the best sales approach: Increase prices to achieve higher revenues or decrease prices to improve customer satisfaction?

Although his question might be tricky, it is good to challenge candidates with complex critical questions to reveal their skills. The correct answer might depend on your business mission and culture. You can analyse their critical-thinking skills even if your candidate responds incorrectly. 

How do you organise your work when you have to juggle multiple projects/clients at the same time?

The ability to prioritise tasks is essential for all roles, especially interns. Interns with good prioritisation skills should be able to manage their workload effectively and use their time wisely. Your perfect candidate should be able to control their stress when dealing with multiple tasks and understand task prioritisation. 

What’s your preferred way of working on a group project: each member works on an assigned task independently, or the entire team meets and works together? Why?

Teamwork is an essential aspect of an Intern. They work with multiple teams and help other co-workers with tasks and goals. A good team player should accept feedback, improve their work, have excellent communication skills, and understand each person’s unique strengths.

Operational / Situational Questions

Your manager wants to buy new software or hardware that will increase the team’s productivity and asks for your recommendation. How would you reply?

A good intern should judge and come up with ideas that will help your business. They should be able to communicate their ideas to co-workers, evaluate important information, and find solutions. Although this question will depend on the specific business position, it will showcase the level of interest and expertise in the industry your intern possesses. 

Explain step-by-step how you troubleshoot [X] problem (e.g. “Wi-Fi connection issues” or “a sudden drop in sales”).

It is essential to test candidates’ way of thinking by letting them guide you through their thought processes and problem-solving processes. The best candidates are intrigued by challenges and are more likely to effectively manage complex situations on the job. 

You’re working on a project and struggle to agree with your team about your next step. What would you do to ensure you choose the right direction and get your co-workers on board?

Disagreements can happen in any business with any co-worker. It is a common occurrence. The important thing is to have a good decision-making process and deal with challenging situations logically. Your candidate should be consistent, unbiased, and able to make good and fast decisions.

While working on a team project, you notice that some of your co-workers are falling behind. What would you do to help your team meet the deadline?

Interns will have to make work-related decisions about unexpected situations daily. A good candidate will evaluate the circumstance, consider the alternatives, and weigh the pros and cons. This question will not only decide whether they are a team player but also if they have a problem-solving attitude. 

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