Employer Toolkit - Interview Process

The Interview Process

Pre-interview - Analyze resumes:

  • Check for signs of organization, clarity, and accuracy.
  • Note involvement and roles in campus and community organizations.
  • Look for accomplishments, patterns of progression, and growth


  • Choose interns just as carefully as you choose permanent employees. (In 2013, approximately 48.4% of students stayed on full-time upon graduation from college.)
  • Once you have determined your top candidates, arrange interviews in a timely manner (ideally within 3-5 days).

Sample Interview Questions:

  • Why do you want to participate in an internship?
  • Why are you interested in this specific internship opportunity?
  • Why do you want to intern with our organization?
  • How are you motivated?
  • Give an example of a time that you went above and beyond the call of duty for a project, deadline or customer service situation. What were the results?
  • Please explain your past experiences and why they have prepared you for this internship.
  • What do you believe your current or most recent supervisor would say are your strengths and also areas that you need to work on?
  • Give me an example of a time that your leadership skills stood out in a positive way.

**Questions asked of candidates for internship positions do not have to vary greatly from questions asked of candidates for regular employment positions.

Sample Interview Structure

1. Prepare Questions About:

  • Specific coursework related to the position
  • Knowledge or familiarity of equipment, techniques, computers, etc.
  • Previous related experiences

2. Open the Interview (1-2 min)

  • Build friendly rapport through small talk
  • Tell a little about the organization
  • Indicate that the intern will have an opportunity to ask questions later

3. Ask Questions/Gather Information (15 min)

  • Use behavioral-type questions as well as open-ended questions

4. Allow for Questions and Comments (5 min)

  • Answer honestly and illustrate with your own experiences, if possible
  • Assess the quality of the intern’s questions
  • Avoid giving answers that indicate a commitment to a position
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the position, expected training, company structure, company products

5. Give Information (1-2 min)

  • Briefly recap information about position
  • Discuss candidate’s availability to ensure your needs will be met
  • Discuss any academic requirements for course credit

6. Wrap-Up (1-2 min)

  • Briefly describe the next steps
  • Give an estimate of when the student will hear from you
  • Avoid making statements that may be interpreted as a promise of employment

7. Evaluate the Candidate

  • Review your notes before your next interview
  • Be objective and base your decision on the evidence

8. Follow Up Promptly

  • Send “no thank-you” letters to applicants who do not match your requirements
  • Offer the position to the candidate that you have chosen


back to Step 3: Recruiting