How to pick the right intern: best interview questions

If you have a position to fill that you feel would be best suited to an intern there are a few things you might want to consider before you start interviewing interns. An intern can be a major asset to your business and you in turn can be an asset to their future employment choices. 

Hiring the right person can be difficult. However, you can cut down the choices of hiring someone that is not the right fit for your business by conducting a successful interview. You may have a list of questions that you ask at every interview. Adding these intern specific interview questions may just help your business choose the right intern and save you valuable time when interviewing interns.

Q. Why do you think this internship fits in with what you are studying?

This can kill two birds with one stone. You can get a good idea of what exactly the intern is studying, and if they are enjoying what they are studying. You will also find out if the applicant put any research into your company and the position you are offering. On top of this, you will get a good grasp on how the applicant can express themselves and communicate ideas.


Q. What knowledge do you have relating to our business’s industry?

If an intern can answer this question and relate it to information they have learned about the industry’s strengths, trends, and weaknesses, then they are a step ahead and are showing that they have a desire to really jump in and learn more.

Q. How have you worked to advance your skills outside of school?

This question is a good indicator at a person’s work ethic and personality. If the applicant has been content to just sit in class and not gain any “real world” experience, then they may not be a good fit for your company. Look for an applicant that can provide you with specific examples, including how they went about gaining the experience and what additional skills they now possess due to this experience.

Q. What are your future goals?

Asking this question will give you a good idea as to whether the candidate is serious in expanding their knowledge and gaining experience for their future pursuits. Finding an applicant whose goals mesh with the experience you can give them will help both your business and the candidates future success.

Q. What kind of personalities do you get along best with?

Judging a future candidates interpersonal skills is just as important as knowing they are motivated to work hard.  You need a person that is going to either fit seamlessly in with your current staff, or improve the morale in the office. If a candidate can give you an honest answer you will have a good idea of who they will work well with and who you may want to avoid pairing them with.


It is important to keep in mind when you are interviewing interns what your main purpose for hiring an intern is. If you are looking for someone that will make a contribution to your company and could possibly become a potential full-time employee in the future, then asking the right questions can help your business hire an intern that will make a positive impact in the workplace.

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Bridge is a program that focuses on connecting employers and students in Rhode Island. The goal of Bridge is to match Rhode Island employers with talented students looking to gain valuable professional experience. Applying knowledge and skills acquired in college to a professional setting is a vital component of a student’s college education. Students who gain relevant internship experience are better prepared for full-time employment after graduation. By hiring interns, employers gain qualified, career-driven young professionals as employees. Student bring with them exposure to cutting edge practices and technology, new insights and philosophies, flexibility and a thirst for knowledge. bRIdge has a particular focus on connecting students and employers from specialized fields such as Business, Science, IT, Technology, Health, Design, Engineering and Manufacturing. The bRIdge website allows employers to post paid or unpaid internships online and directly reach out to a vast and talented pool of students. College students and recent graduates can sign up and start looking for an appropriate professional learning opportunity in minutes. bRIdge is a program of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) and RISLA’s College Planning Center of Rhode Island. RISLA has joined up with Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island (AICURI), the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education (RIBGHE) and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to bring together academia, business and community. If you have any questions about this program or if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us.

2 thoughts on “How to pick the right intern: best interview questions

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