A job interview is a necessary evil that every Monitoring and Evaluation or junior job seeker must go through before landing a job. The interview is an opportunity for a potential employer to get to know you and what you have to offer. It’s also an opportunity for a potential employer to assess whether your certificates, skills, and competence are a perfect match for what they are looking for.
Preparing for an internship interview can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start off from. Study shows that recruiters or hiring managers usually ask similar questions whether or not you’re attending an interview session as a professional or intern. Luckily, in this guide, we have compiled proper answers to the top 2 internship interview questions any organisation can ask you.
And the good news is that you do not require any experience to learn or craft your answers. What you need, at best, is to continually practice how to answer some of these questions using the samples that we have provided in this guide as an inspiration.
This guide will show you:
- The top 2 internship interview questions to expect before a company will consider you for employment.
- How to leverage your academic experience to answer these questions even though you don’t have any work experience?
- Some sample answers to inspire you to stand out from the crowd.
Here are the most common internship interview questions and answers:
1. Tell me about yourself #
“Tell me about yourself” is usually the first question that recruiters or hiring managers usually ask interviewees. But think about it for a minute. Is there anything unique or special that the hiring manager wants to hear from the job seeker? Arguably, one of the reasons that recruiters usually ask this question is to get a feel of your communication skills and also dig deep to find out more information about you in terms of your priorities and goals.
So when an interviewer asks you this question, here’s how to answer the question to earn a good score:
- Use your opportunity to discuss your background and mention that you’re interested in the job offer to help the company achieve their goals and objectives.
- Show excitement and enthusiasm as you respond to the question. This will help the hiring manager to better judge your communication skills.
Let’s do an example so that you understand the above format properly:
Interview question: Tell us about yourself
The right way to answer
I live in Toronto but am originally from Minnesota, US. I relocated to Canada and decided to work here because of the excellent standard of the monitoring and evaluation degree that I acquired from Toronto University. What fascinates me the most about monitoring and evaluation is the intersection between data analysis and data gathering. I love the fact that I can explore, collect, and interpret raw data to see how an organization performs. So far, my best results were a 50% ROI that I achieved when I ran a social media campaign 2 months ago. I am eager to work in your firm if given the opportunity. This will enable me to bring in my knowledge, skills, and incompetence in a real-world setting.
With the answer above, you can see that even without any job experience the candidate has been able to convince the hiring manager that he or she is suitable for the position of an intern. So don’t be afraid to frame your answers in this regard whenever you are faced with this type of question.
The Wrong way to answer
My name is Tony Edward. I am 20 years old. I graduated 2 months ago and majored in data analysis. Given an opportunity to work in your company will help me better explore the monitoring and evaluation industry. I am a fan of basketball. I love listening to music and traveling.
You will notice that the first part of the answer is already what the hiring manager knows about you: because you already highlighted your name and age on your resume. Also, the second part did not really add anything tangible to the conversation. We are pretty sure an employer will score the first answer higher!
2. Why are you interested in this internship? #
Another way a hiring manager or recruiter can ask this question is: if given the opportunity, how will the experience help you meet your career goals? In fact, some hiring managers can also ask a question like what do you hope to gain from this internship experience?
Regardless of how the question is presented, the hiring manager wants to be sure that the internship opportunity is not only a medium for you to get credits or a line on your resume but that you intend to contribute something meaningful to the growth and development of their company.
Keep the following in mind when answering the question:
- Show enthusiasm and determination about your career.
- Mention some skills that you hope to hone if given the opportunity to work as an intern.
- Drop at least a compliment and focus on what you can learn.
Here’s an example of how to answer the question:
I am interested in this internship because I have a burning passion to become a professional data analyst in the tech industry, and I’ll be happy and excited to see how reputable firms like yours gather and interpret data, and take useful actions to remedy situations. I am also excited to see how your firm has been able to stay ahead of the competition. I am also hoping that this internship opportunity will give me a chance to further develop my project management skills and gather more experience to enable me to excel in my final year in school.
Here’s a wrong way to answer this question:
If given an opportunity to join your firm as an intern, I will get some hands-on experience which will help boost my career in the future when I graduate from the university. Also, I am not particularly sure whether or not I will stick to this field when I graduate from the University, so it’s an opportunity for me to find out if the monitoring and evaluation industry is the right career for me.
Looking to land even more interviews?
Make sure your resume is up to scratch!
Want to save time and have your Monitoring and Evaluation resume ready in 4 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See M&E resume templates and create your resume here.
Other Common Internship Interview Questions #
By now, you should have a strong understanding of what to expect during an interview and how to answer questions with confidence and professionalism. Practice these questions so you can nail your next interview.:
- What skills and abilities do you have?
- What type of workplace do you work best in?
- Why were you interested in employment with us?
- Why did you choose to study at this particular university?
- What are your plans after graduation?
- Where do you want to be in 5 years?
- Tell me something you did when you got negative feedback on your work.
- Why does that make you the perfect candidate for this internship?
- Tell me about a time you had to quickly learn something new.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Tell me about a challenging project or assignment you completed recently.
- Tell me about a time when you worked with a difficult team member. (Hint: Your work experience should stand out from other applicants. Focus on how you achieved a positive outcome despite challenging circumstances.)
- Tell me about a time when you successfully led a team.
- Tell me about the biggest challenge you’ve had to face. (Hint: While it’s important to follow through with challenging situations, it’s even more important to focus on the steps you took to overcome them..)
- Tell me about a tough decision you’ve had to make.
- Do you work better individually or in a team?
- Why did you choose your major? (Hint: Do talk about your possible career plans. You can include a personal story of what sparked your interest in your field of study, but remember to show that there was a thoughtful decision-making process involved.
- What motivates you to achieve your goals?
- What do you know about this company? (Hint: come with findings from prior research on the company)
- What’s your biggest achievement? (Hint: talk about even when you struggled and worked hard to achieve something—it’ll show you’re determined and goal-oriented.)
- What are your strengths?
- What’s your greatest weakness?
- How do you prioritize your tasks?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are the most important elements of successful teamwork? (Hint: Respect, communication, trust, and constructive feedback work well for just about any industry.)
- Can you walk me through your resume?
- How do you manage busy schedules? (Hint: Prioritizing things against deadlines and setting goals is a good starting point for reaching long-term plans.)
Preparing for an interview can be overwhelming even for professional evaluators. But preparing is a major key that will unlock your chance to land a job as an intern in a reputable firm. After an interview session, recruiters will give you an opportunity to ask a question. Use that opportunity to demonstrate your genuine interest in the role and in the growth of the organization.
Lastly, when you are faced with unusual questions, endeavor not to feel intimidated and use the question to sell yourself to recruiters or hiring managers.