Interviews for internships or even entry-level positions may include a slew of questions about career goals.
These questions are designed to help interviewers understand why you applied for their position.
Because hiring managers cannot rely solely on your lack of work experience, they must assess your knowledge.
They want to know your expectations and whether they are in line with the job description and mission statement.
Here’s how to respond to the frequently asked interview question, “What do you hope to gain from this internship?”
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Why do employers ask a question, “What do you hope to gain from this internship?”
A prospective employer may try to find out what you expect from the available job to distinguish you from other entry-level or internship job applicants.
Your responses can help the interviewer determine whether you and the company are a good fit for on-the-job training and experience.
When you first enter the job market, whether for your first full-time job or as an intern, thoughtful answers to interview questions can sometimes provide a better indication of your career potential than your resume.
If you don’t have any work experience to discuss, an interviewer may be interested in learning about your career goals, both for the position you’re applying for and in the long run.
You are more likely to be a promising candidate if your goals align with the work and the company’s mission statement.
In addition to listening to your response, the interviewer will likely assess your poise and confidence when discussing your hopes for the position.
What should you say in response to the question, “What do you hope to gain from this internship?”
Following these steps will help your interviewer understand what you hope to learn under their supervision.
There are five approaches to this that we will look at below.
- Discuss your motivation
- Make the Brand a Priority
- Be Truthful
- Incorporate Your Strengths
- Make Your Resume More Comprehensive
1. Discuss your motivation
Discuss what prompted you to apply for their position, describing how your interests correspond to the job requirements.
Explain, for example, how you’ve taken courses related to the job you’re applying for and how working with them will allow you to broaden your horizons.
Hiring managers want to see that you are genuinely interested in this question.
In other words, this is your opportunity to express your excitement for the position while also clarifying what you hope to learn from them.
“I’ve enjoyed sketching since I was a child.”
I was primarily self-taught, but I felt compelled to apply after seeing how promising your position is.
I sincerely hope to learn a better technique for sketching illustrations from your top designers.
Their styles are captivating, and I want to learn from a company that produces high-quality work.”
2. Make the Brand a Priority
Because of their low requirements, many internship programs and entry-level jobs are easily accessible.
By emphasizing the company’s mission statement, you’re expressing a desire to learn only from them.
Investigate the company’s history to see if their style matches yours and incorporate it into your response.
Because you’re competing with a larger pool of applicants who may or may not be more qualified in terms of experience, prioritizing their brand is crucial.
Share how learning from them will provide you with a one-of-a-kind experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
Emphasizing the brand is a great way to expand on what you wish to attain from this experience.
Your company’s brand is well-known for having ambitious goals and persisting in the face of overwhelming odds.”
This type of experience is something I’d like to gain.
Overcoming obstacles with proven results can help me advance in my career, which your brand excels at.”
3. Be Truthful
While it’s essential to make an excellent first impression, candor shows hiring managers that you’re setting realistic goals.
Mention how working with them can help you develop soft skills such as effective leadership, teamwork, and communication.
Simple, attainable goals will appear far more convincing than a candidate promising to elevate the company despite having no prior experience.
“I apprehend that I could improve professionally under your direction.”
I admire how your company works together to achieve specific goals, and teamwork is something I would like to improve.”
4. Incorporate Your Strengths
This question provides an excellent opportunity to highlight your strong points.
Applicants frequently seek jobs that play to their strengths.
If you fall into this category, now is the time to emphasize your strengths!
You can also discuss how you want to broaden your skills and develop strong relationships with your coworkers.
I want to improve my understanding of teamwork,” In previous experiences, I was exposed to a variety of teams and developed strong communication and collaboration skills.
I believe that this position will provide me with an opportunity to hone my team-building skills.”
5. Make Your Resume More Comprehensive
As we all know, your resume will never fully represent who you are as a candidate.
This is one of the main reasons why employers rely on interviews to get to know their candidates!
Use each interview question to expand on your resume or mention something that was not mentioned in your cover letter.
I’ve worked in customer service as well as sales for a long time.”
However, with the new protocols imposed by COVID-19, I hope to improve my customer service skills virtually, via phone calls, social media, and customer emails.”
Examples of Responses
Here are some examples of responses to consider when responding to this interview question:
“I am now fluent in French as a result of spending two years at Virginia.”
I eagerly await any task that is assigned to me.”
I applied to your company because it has a presence in South and Central America, and I’d like to learn more about how your company operates on a global scale.
I am interested in pursuing a career in international business, and I believe your company exemplifies how to do so ethically and successfully in the long run.
“While making a decision where to apply for internships, I approached some previous interns through my university’s guidance office.”
The interns who worked at your company had only positive things to say about it. They felt they gained the most valuable career development experience under the supervision of the staff who trained them.
I’m hoping to get the same kind of training and a better understanding of how this field works.”
I have discovered that one of the most crucial skills a human resources specialist can have is conflict resolution.
I attended one of your company’s seminars to learn effective management and intervention strategies while in college, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about your approach.
I’m hoping to be able to collaborate with the course’s creators to improve my skills for a future career in human resources.”
“I interned at a multinational corporation during my college years.”
I learned a lot about how businesses operate, but my experience was limited to one department, with little exposure to other departments.
I spoke with an alumnus who previously worked here, and she expressed how much she enjoyed learning about all of the components that go into running a small business.
That type of work environment, I believe, plays to my strengths as a flexible and cooperative individual.