I am an undergraduate student in Electrical Engineering, and I have currently completed about 60% of my course. In order to graduate, an internship is mandatory.

I am not in a hurry to find an internship at all. I didn't even look around for any internship opportunities. My plans were that once I was at about 80%, I would start looking, since the last 20% of the course is much less harsh, and is designed knowing that students will be taking an internship (so students will have plenty of time to dedicate to their internships).

But, someone that I know, that works for Cool Company, told me "hey, I heard we will soon open a position for internship, and knowing you, I know you are very well suited for it, keep an eye open, I'm sure you can get the position!".

Cool Company is a very well-known, top-tier company. I am sure that many people would love to work there, and would do their best not to miss such an opportunity. And apparently, Cool Company doesn't open internship positions very often.

But I am not even close to being that thrilled.

I agree that it is a great opportunity, but:

  • In my university we can only take the mandatory internship after completing 70% of the course. I'm at 60%. I still could take the internship but it wouldn't count as the mandatory one; it would only start counting in six months.

  • The internship is 30 hours a week. This is a lot. I believe I can survive, both the studies and the internship, but I'm sure I'd have to give up everything else, such as my hours of sleep and all sorts of hobbies and leisure. And I would have to take this for at least one whole year... (six months of non-counting internship, the other six months counting as the mandatory internship)

  • I am very confident in my skills, I don't think I would have much trouble in finding other internships in the future.

But we're talking about Cool Company here. And more importantly, I never took any internship before. Actually, I never participated in any job interview at all. So, with this in mind, I decided to apply for the position anyway, in the grounds that it will be great for my personal development.

And a few days ago I was contacted by email: they scheduled an interview for this Wednesday.

Part of me wishes I don't get the job. Then I wouldn't have to work and study like crazy for one year. Part of me says that if I get the job, after one month I will be eager to quit and get back my time (to study, sleep and watch some TV). But then, part of me says, "Are you insane? Are you really going to miss an opportunity like this? How many people would like to be in your place?".

Enough said. My main concern is: I don't even know if I really want the job. Clearly I am not super motivated. How should I answer interview questions such as the following?

  • Why do you want to work with us?
  • Are you motivated to work with us?
  • Do you hope to keep working with us after your graduation/internship is over?
  • 4
    Just a small tip: taking an internship with a Cool Company who won't provide a reference - or who would serve as a terrible reference because you didn't take the opportunity seriously, dedicate yourself, and do a good job - would close way more doors than it would open. In your decision making please remember that an opportunity is only what you choose to make of it. You can do the interview regardless, but before you take the job you should decide for yourself very clearly if you will dedicate what is necessary to make it a good experience.
    – BrianH
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 2:29
  • Possible duplicate of this or this. I believe we also had a more recent question in the same vein that I can't seem to find right now.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 7:49

1 Answer 1


However confident you are about you getting another internship, if it is a good career opportunity at a good company, you should take it. Some opportunities do not come again. Slogging for sometime at an undergrad level balancing your internship and courses does not sound like a terrible thing and does not sound like a reason enough to drop the internship.

Why do you want to work with us? Are you motivated to work with us?

Having said that, if you are really not motivated for the job, then you just have to be honest about it without sounding arrogant or uninterested. Just tell exactly what you are really thinking instead of making up motivational answers. (I do think telling them you cannot take burden of internship and courses together would hurt negatively on your own abilities). However, wish of part of you which does not want this job may be granted..!

Do you hope to keep working with us after your graduation/internship is over?

Again, if you are not sure tell them you are not sure about it and you may want to explore other options like higher studies or another job.

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