Interns have become a valuable part of the workplace these days – especially for startups that don’t have the capital to hire a full staff of assistants. Internships can actually result a mutually beneficial relationship for executives and office managers, as well as interns — if the right person is hired for the right job. However, without the right hiring process in place, companies can easily end up with an intern that…well, kinda sucks.
The internship interview process is a crucial part of making sure you hire the right person for the job, and the internship interview questions you choose can determine whether you end up with someone motivated, enthusiastic and capable who will turn out to be a rockstar – or someone who is just a dud.
If you’re still looking for yours this year, here are some key internship interview questions to ask in order to reveal your candidate’s true potential. Otherwise, good things to keep in mind for next year!
Internship Interview Questions that Work
The following 5 questions can help you determine, during the course of an internship interview, whether you’ve find the right candidate for your team.
1. What does our company do?
A candidate who doesn’t know anything about your company is an immediate red flag. Start the interview off by asking them what they know about your company – see if they’ve done their research. Not only does it show that they have taken an interest in what you do, it also shows that they are motivated and want to impress you. It’s an easy way to weed out the lazy, unqualified candidates.
2. What skills are you looking to hone?
Ambitious folks who send in an application for internship positions will always have an idea in their heads about what they stand to gain from a situation. An ideal intern will know exactly why they are applying to your company and what specific skills they will hone or come away with after working for you. Direct questions like this during the internship interview give them the chance to reveal areas where they might need experience and that they are eager to gain it – which means they are more likely to be hard workers.
3. What was your favorite part of your last job?
Your candidate doesn’t necessarily have to have work experience in your industry or field; internships are all about gaining initial experience, after all. But it is ideal for them to come in with some kind of work experience, even if it is working at a coffeeshop or doing work-study programs at school. Showing up to work regularly teaches you the importance of being reliable and accountable.
4. How would your role here create value?
Internships are often a little vague in nature. You might need a jack-of-all-trades assistant or someone who is skilled in one specific area. Find out where your candidates’ interests lie and what value they see themselves adding to your organization. Look for answers that show that they understand your company’s mission and values and for candidates that feel comfortable expressing their ideas.
5. What are you doing this weekend?
This is one of our favorite internship interview questions. Hiring a great intern also means hiring someone that fits into your company culture. If you value teamwork and relationships (which you should!), finding out a little bit about what your candidate enjoys doing in his or her free time can give you some insight into whether or not they’ll get along with everyone. While you want someone who is professional at work, it’s also great to have someone who enjoys themselves outside of work.
Knowing the right internship interview questions to ask can help you seek out the best possible candidate. Just remember to keep in mind the needs of your organization and the skills and traits that each candidate could bring to you.