Based on the premise that past performance is the best predictor of future performance, the
candidate is asked competency-based (or behavioral) questions that require them to provide
specific examples of when they have previously demonstrated the required competency. The
intern will be expected to answer using the following structure:
*Describe the specific situation or incident
*Detail the actions and steps taken
*Describe the outcome of these actions
Experience has shown that these are the most common competencies for an internship
position. The competency (behavior) is listed, an explanation given of what that competency
looks like and a sample behavioral question given. Intern candidates can reflect on past
experiences, select appropriate examples and plan their answers. Examples of possible
situations are listed to guide the candidate in the internship interview.
Prepare for a question that explores the ability to learn and apply new information and skills.
This competency involves assimilating and applying new data or tasks as quickly as possible.
The motivation to learn and the resourcefulness used in acquiring new knowledge is explored.
"Give an example of when you were able to learn something complex in a relatively short
period of time."
Examples of possible situations that can be referred to include undertaking a new project, a
difficult assignment and learning a new skill.
Prepare for a question about your initiative. This competency involves the ability to be
proactive, generate new ideas, come up with solutions and take on new opportunities.
"Describe a time you have had to meet a major challenge." Possible situations include your course requirements, your extracurricular activities and sports participation.
Prepare for a question that identifies your problem analysis and problem-solving abilities.
This involves the ability to gather, organize and analyze relevant data using different resources
and use this to find an appropriate solution "Describe a situation where your initial approach failed and you had to try something different to meet your result."
Situations include undertaking projects and assignments, reaching goals and objectives in work,
sport and extracurricular activities.
Consider your planning and organizing skills. This refers to the ability to plan ahead, set
priorities and manage time and resources to achieve outcomes. "What goals have you set for yourself, what steps have you taken to stay on track?"
Prepare for a question that looks at your contribution to teamwork. Are you able to work
effectively as part of a team or group to reach desired outcomes? "Describe a group project you achieved successfully, what was your contribution?" Possible situations include group assignments or projects, team sporting activities etc.