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I will soon have an interview about a possible internship.
However there are a few things which are sub-optimal:

  • I do not have my exam results yet - if I sign a contract now but have failed in my exams this would be a problem

  • I am not familiar with the technical skills - I need to learn a lot (which in general is a good thing for an internship) but the deadline is tight and they are looking for someone who is doing it fast. An internship in part-time would be the best option for me since I have other liabilities concurrently and can't spend my whole time exclusively for the internship.

  • I already planned some holidays which I actually can't or do not like to postpone

So, how to address those issues in an interview the best way?
Should I ask them straight at the beginning? At the end?

Is it even appropriate to mention those things or is it better to politely decline a (potential) offer which does not suit me?

Note: It's a big company. The interview will be with the technical project lead. Not the HR department

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    @JoeStrazzere Big companies typically have a GPA minimum set in stone. We routinely bounce people from the program a week before they start for this reason. To be fair it's a very big program. – Dark Matter Mar 3 at 15:57
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Big company big program means multiple interview stages. The first several are general filters designed to cull things down to a manageable level. You want to raise various reasons to not take you at the last stage when you're talking to the hiring manager... but some of these things you mentioned are non-issues.

I do not have my exam results yet...

Don't worry about mentioning it (they know), worry about passing your exams. Big companies typically have a GPA minimum set in stone. We routinely bounce people from the program a week before they start for this reason.

If you get bounced then you get bounced. This is a potential thing and not a certainty so don't borrow trouble.

I am not familiar with the technical skills

Stress what you know, not what you don't know, if they care about a skill they'll ask and/or test.

I already planned some holidays which I actually can't or do not like to postpone

Mention this. If it's religious then they won't (can't) care.

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As there are already answers to salary negotiation and exam results I'd like to focus on your last two points: wanting a part time internship and having holidays planned.

I guess the answer depends on your location, I just can speak for my experience in Germany. If companies offer interhships they expect to get someone that is willing to learn, motivated and might be a potential hire in the future. Depending on the job market and location (near a city with a university) there might be many young people searching for an internship, so in the worst case for you companies have a big pool to chose their candidates from. As you don't have much experience, you don't have as much to offer as an experienced senior developer who has a lot more leverage when negotiating their job offer. This means, internship offers are often take-it-or-leave-it offers. Either you agree to their terms or you find another internship.

This does not necessarily mean you can't take your holidays. In my experience it is acceptable to ask about how many days of an intern gets off at the end of an interview, and then you can mention your holiday and ask if this would work.

For a part time internship you would need to get a tolerant employer. Especially when there are many applicants an employer could see such a request as totally off the line. As an alternative you could consider being a working student that only works up to 20 h per week (as per law) while doing your studies (this is an option in Germany, I don't know about other countries).


A little anecdote to what companies offering internships might expect: when applying for my first internship I interviewed with company "A". A week later I interviewed with company "B" and just two days later got an offer from "B". When I asked "B" for a little time to think, they retracted the offer because "If you don't really want to work for us, then we have better candidates". Life can be hard when looking for an internship.

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