It always seems easy to choose interns, as they are students eager for experience. So, an internship is a win-win situation for your company and them. You can set the right course for this collaboration. Just make sure that you recruit the interns with the relevant skills for the department they will work in.
Interns can develop a skill that later makes them suitable for a full-time position. They can bring fresh solutions to unfinished projects and industry news that employees might not have time to learn. However, interns without the skills you look for harden the work and leave you with irrelevant tasks. By finding appropriate interview questions, you can determine whether a potential intern is useful for your company. Remember that asking the right questions is as essential as phrasing them well.
8 Questions for Interns and What They Reveal
Before organizing the interview, you can discover clues about candidates from their application files. Read their resumes and cover letters and notice how they built sentences and what information they emphasized. Also, check if the documents follow the templates. Your candidates may have written based on project manager cover letter templates or their desired job. Also, they might get creative and hope to surprise. Notice the clues then ask the questions.
What are You Studying and Why?
This let’s meet question is easy and allows the candidate to get comfortable. You get an introduction to their career goals and see what they mention in response to a question they expect. Meanwhile, you learn more of their comfort zone, whether they are at a prestigious university or small school.
Notice how far the university is from the student’s hometown. You can see how much they are willing to commit to a career. Also, you learn both the main skills of your candidate and motivation behind choosing a specific major.
What Extracurricular Experience Do You Have?
The answer to this question shows you more of the candidate’s interests and character traits. By talking about their volunteer work or extracurricular projects, they tell you how well they fit your company’s values and vision. You also see how they adjust to your corporate culture.
Students who participate in projects and activities outside of the classroom are more motivated and organized. However, they are interested in such experience also, as they might not be connected at all to their major or minors. Such experience can be relevant to your internship, especially if it involves event planning or organizing data.
What Skills Do You Wish to Develop Here?
This question includes what skills candidates already have and what they think they might have and aim to work on. Since internship does not cover a full-time job pay, your candidates must have an authentic motivation that keeps them active during their entire time in the company. Usually, this is skill-based.
You also see more of their expectations regarding the internship and can tailor it to the candidates. Furthermore, you also get a glimpse of the interns’ image of the company. Since they plan to develop certain skills in your company, then they feel like it has all the reasons to help them.
What Do You Know about This Industry?
Here, understanding matters more than coursework. Experience from projects or just ideas shows you if a candidate is educated in the field. By asking them how they can explain a term to someone else, you can see their ability to work with a concept.
These questions are useful for those in customer service, as the response also reveals one’s ability to communicate. You can see how they use jargon, procedures and if they know software. Also, this shows how much they are read industry news.
What are Your Career and Personal Goals After Graduation?
Even if candidates mention a field that only relates to your industry, this will show you if they have potential to become full-time employees. However, this answer also brings an insight to their personality.
A candidate’s purpose might fit your company’s mission even if they aim for a different department after graduation. Also, you will see if they make a good match to their colleagues, considering values and professional purpose.
How Was the Last Project You Worked On?
An intern with leadership qualities will have a complete answer to this question. You see how they feel about past projects, how they identified potential problems and developed solutions. You can also notice how the student worked with the team and prioritized tasks.
This answer focuses on skills: if they can take initiative, work with teams and aim for results. If you have contracts with clients, you can tell whether they focus on plain delivery or projects optimization.
What Would Make this Internship Successful to You?
At this point, you can see whether they dreamed of working in your specific company or they take interest in the field. You’ll know what motivates them and what keeps their interest until the internship program is completed.
You notice if they understand the program and the daily work they will need to perform. They might even come with ideas or already have them. By answering, they show their potential to be integrated into work projects.
Do You Have Any Questions for Us?
Leave the door open for conclusions and ask this question as such. If they don’t have any curiosities, this should draw a signal of their lack of interest, especially if company information was not entirely covered during the interview.
Candidates expect this question and should already have a few curiosities prepared. At this point, you only need to answer and wrap up the interview.
There are plenty of other questions you can ask your future interns. Feel free to include them on your interview list. However, make sure that you shape them to increase interest and gain a thorough answer. Then, evaluate your candidates and welcome the chosen one to your company!