So I am in Michigan, USA and I have an interview tomorrow for a paid internship position as a .Net Web Developer.

We had a phone interview and they made it clear that the internship is only three months, and we agreed that I will start immediately if they decided that I am a good fit.

I was planning to go back to my home country this Christmas when I finish the Fall semester (Friday December 16th) and come back before the Spring semester (Monday January 14th).

I did not schedule or/and buy the tickets yet, but I really want to do both the internship and the visit. I know that their holidays are from Friday December 23rd (included) and till Monday January 2nd (included). Would it be okay to ask for off days a week before and a week after? Taking 8 working days in total (4 before: Monday->Thursday and 4 after: Tuesday->Friday).

  • 2
    "Would it affect my professional behavior to ask for a week earlier and a week later so I make it from December 19th and till January 6th?" Before you even start? You have not even been selected. It sounds like you will have to decide which one is more important or ask to start in January or later instead
    – Donald
    Nov 1, 2016 at 1:35
  • Related, though that's about a full-time position and I think an internship would be different in some ways. Still might be helpful, though. Nov 1, 2016 at 18:58
  • 1
    Are you willing to do any work while you're out of the country? Show that you're willing to work something out that benefits everyone.
    – user8365
    Nov 1, 2016 at 19:18

5 Answers 5


My advice is to be up front about it. If the vacation is truly more important to you than the internship, then notify them immediately that there's a scheduling conflict. Tell them how much you want the internship, but that you have a scheduled conflict you can't get around.

Be prepared to not get selected for the internship though.

  • 5
    Pretty much, dotnet developers and interns are a dime a dozen, chances are they'll just hire someone else.
    – Kilisi
    Nov 1, 2016 at 6:21

You are looking at a 3 month internship, which would be roughly 60 days (20 working days/month), and you're wanting to take 8 of them off. That's 13.3% time off. That's more than double what regular, full-time employees generally get (15 days / 240 working days = 6.25%).

You are absolutely welcome to try and negotiate it, but they may not accept and/or they may just eliminate you from consideration.

Prepare for the most likely outcome: No. Outside of company holidays, interns do not get ANY vacation time.


You may want both the internship and the vacation, but you need to decide which you would pick if you had to choose.

If the internship is more important, only raise the vacation as "I would like to take this vacation if possible, but understand that may be too much time out of a three month internship.". Perhaps ask how much time off they can allow.

If the vacation is more important, bring it up early in the process so that you minimize the time and resources they spend on you if they do not agree. Even if the vacation prevents you from taking this internship, you presumably want to remain on good terms with the company.


It is unfortunate that you have agreed to start immediately. You have effectively already lied about your availability date.

Your availability date is one of the first questions you will always be asked, and you need to be very clear and honest about the answer. Would they still have interviewed you had they known? Were other candidates overlooked for availability conflicts?

What would you do if this was a notice period issue? Talk to them as soon as possible to see if your start date can be deferred, take extreme care not to give them the impression that you have accepted another offer to see how it worked out.

If you are starting with a group, no matter how small, you will be out of phase with the starters, so it now impacts their internships.


Buy the tickets, then set your start date after your return. It would be a strange company that couldn't accommodate that for an intern. You aren't being hired to put out a fire.

  • 8
    If this cuts out 3 weeks of a 3 month internship, I could see the company not thinking it worth the effort to pursue.
    – Eric
    Nov 1, 2016 at 2:30
  • In my experience interns are given far less flexibility than regular employees when it come to accommodating time off.
    – Myles
    Nov 1, 2016 at 15:41

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