Know It All - 101 Questions About Internships


Is doing an internship mandatory? Would you be paid as a first year intern?

Internships form the crux of our graduation and career. But we all have certain questions that remain unanswered regarding internships. So here’s your go-to guide for internship related questions - from your pay to your documents, we have it all covered in this 101 Q&A about internships.


Q.1 What is an internship?

A. An internship is work training for a temporary period of time at an organisation.

Q.2 Who is an intern? A. Anybody who works on a temporary tenure with the organisation is an intern.

Q.3 What do interns do? They work for the organisation, as per the role or project given to them.

Q.4 Can you be an intern? A. An intern needs to have the essential skills required for the successful completion of the project assigned. If you have the requisite skills, go ahead.

Q.5 Do interns get paid? A. Yes they do. Unpaid internships are an exploitation of an intern's effort and time that they invest in an internship.

Q.6 What is a summer internship? A. An internship you do in the summers, May-July is termed a summer internship. It is usually pursued after completing your even semester exams.

Q.7 What is a winter internship? A. Winter internships are pursued in November-January, when the temperature drops and the odd semester exams end.

Q.8 What is an internship project? A. An internship project is the one you work on during your internship tenure.

Q.9 How to find an internship? A. Use SwitchIdea if you are looking for verified internships as per your custom availability, location and domain. Else, you can browse online, contact HR managers of companies or seek your friends/neighbours/relative's help.

Q.10 As a first year UG student, can you get an internship? A. An internship is meant for students enrolled in a university programme, having relevant skills for the position. If you have the skills, you can get an internship, irrespective of the year of studies.


Q.11 What are the minimum grade requirements to apply for internships? A. Irrespective of your academic performance, internships can be applied for as long as you have the requisite skills. For example, Candidate A has a strong CGPA but no knowledge of WordPress. Candidate B has an average CGPA, and knows the go-to-essentials about blogging and Wordpress. In this case, Candidate B will be preferred by an employer over Candidate A.

Q.12 What are some common skills required for internships? The skills required vary from role to role. For example, you may be required to know HTML/CSS for a web development internship, while SEO knowledge and language proficiency can help you with a blogging internship.

Q.13 Where to acquire these skills from? A. While you may learn some at your college, due to syllabus and time constraints you may have to look for other options. Otherwise, you can look for nearby meet ups in your city (recommended), or you can try online courses at Alison, Coursera etc, among various MOOCs from MIT and Harvard.

Q.14 Where to look for internships online? A. You can consult with your Training & Placement department about getting an internship in your course, or network with your college alumni to search one. Additionally, there are a number of online portals for helping you get an internship. Use SwitchIdea if you are looking for verified internships as per your custom availability, location and domain. Or you can create an account on other free portals and look for internships.

Q.15 What do you call the person you intern for? A. Employer. As an intern, you work for the employer who offers you the role in the organisation.

Q.16 Do you have to pay for your internship? A. No! The employer pays you for the work, you do not (and shouldn't).

Q.17 Do interns who are still pursuing their degree get paid? A. Yes. Interns are mostly college students, and they get paid for the work they do.

Q.18 What is meant by internship details? A. Internship details brief about the duration, dates of application, stipend, location of work and the position offered. (See example below)


Q.19 Where does an intern go to work at? A. As an intern, you get to work from the office of the organisation (recommended). While 'work from home internships' allow you to stay home and work on internship project virtually.

Q.20 How long is an internship? A. The duration of an internship is usually 4-8 weeks. The duration is usually mentioned in the internship’s details.


Q.21 Is an internship a job? A. No, an internship is not a job. An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to potential employees, called interns, to work at a firm for a fixed, limited period of time. Interns are usually undergraduates or students. As an intern you are offered this position to work for the organisation for a short period of time, while job is a full time commitment.

Q.22 When can one apply for an internship? A. Internship applications are rolled out usually in the months of September-January for winter internships, and in April-July for summer internships. However, many internships can be applied to during other times of the year too, depending on the availability of the student.

Q.23 Why should you be an intern? A. In July 2017, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar stated that it is mandatory for students in technical courses to be involved in at least 3 internships during their course also otherwise an internship helps you in getting the necessary exposure from the industry.

Q.24 Do you need permission from your college for doing an internship? A. Yes, you need permission in the form of a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the college, signed by the HOD or training and placement head.

Q.25 Which documents do you need to submit before an internship? A.The NOC from college, along with your CV needs to be submitted. Additionally, you may be asked to submit a letter of recommendation and statement of purpose.

Q.26 What is a CV? A. Curriculum vitae (CV) is a brief account of your grades, skills, courses, work experience etc. over the years.

Q.27 Should I add my phone number to the CV? A. Yes you should. The employer can contact you for the internship on the contact details provided. So make sure the you mention your correct phone number and email address.

Q.28 Should there be a summary about myself? A. Yes, preferably. When adding a summary about yourself in the CV, briefly mention about your grades, courses, skills, work experience etc.

Q.29 Should the career objective be related to the position applied for? A. Yes, write the career objective which is identifiable with the position you are applying for.

Q.30 Do your class 10 grades need to be specified? A. Mention your class 10 grades, year of passing and the board in CV.

Q.31 How about the class 12/diploma grades? A. Yes, you should mention class 12 grades, year of passing and the board.

Q.32 I have done some courses. Should I add them? A. Definitely! If you have certificates which can be verified, they add value to your CV, so yes, add them.


Q.33 Should I mention the grades obtained in them? A.Yes, write the grades and the year you pursued the courses in.

Q.34 Do I need to add the work experience as well? A. If you have prior work experience, write about that. Do mention the dates along with it.

Q.35 I have done voluntary work. Should I add that? A. Yes, voluntary work should be added to the CV as well. For example, if you were a part of the core team which organised successful cultural event in your campus, you should add this as an experience in your CV.

Q.36 Should I add descriptions about each role? A. Adding a short description about the role you previously worked for should be written.

Q.37 I am a part of a club/society. Need I write that too? A. Yes, mention the clubs and societies you are associated with in your CV.

Q.38 Are references mandatory to be added? A. References provide the employer with people who can testify your conduct, thus enabling a background check. Add references to your CV at the end, and mention their contact details correctly.

Q.39 Should I contact the referees beforehand? A. It is suggested that you contact the referees prior to adding their contact details in your CV.

Q.40 Should I vary the font size and the font in the CV? A. No, refrain from doing so. Stick to a readable font and font size in your CV.


Q.41 Dates! What order should I arrange all the dates in? A. Reverse chronological order is suggested for arranging the dates in.

Q.42 Is a cover letter important? A. A cover letter consists of your skills, your interest in the position and why you should be hired. It forms your first impression on the employer, and gives you the much needed edge.

Q.43 What is a LOR? A. A Letter of Recommendation acts in favour of your candidature for the position, and can be signed by the Principal or HOD.

Q.44 What is a SOP? A. A Statement of Purpose is a written account by you, mentioning about why you want to pursue the internship with the organisation or role offered to you.

Q.45 Will there be an interview? A. Yes, there can be an interview for the position you apply. It is to gauge you better and helps employer to know you better.


Q.46 In case of an interview, how should I introduce myself? A. A very common interview question, start with an interesting note and talk about you. Mention your work experience, achievements, extracurricular activities etc. in no longer than 2 minutes.

Q.47 How do I know more about the organisation? A. Research the company’s website, social media pages and mentions in the news to know the organisation better.

Q.48 How can I add value to the role offered to me? A. The employer is looking for skills and as a suitable candidate, you should utilise them to the fullest for the successful completion of the project.

Q.49 Strengths and weaknesses have me confused. Help! A. The skills you excel at, like problem solving, leadership, prioritising form your strengths. Whereas, weaknesses are the areas you lack but are working on improving them, your programming skills for instance.

Q.50 Should I give examples for my skills? A. Yes. Show, not tell them. Give relevant examples where you portrayed those skills and avoid only listing them.


Q.51 Why would the employer hire you when there are many others? A. Research about the company and the needs of the employer, and answer accordingly. Focus on your skills and experience. Give your best during the interview, be optimistic and don't worry about the decision.

Q.52 How do you know your strongest points? A. Your strongest point are known to the people have or are working with. Your friends, family, teachers and former employers can help you with this.

Q.53 How about your questions about the organisation? A. Feel free to ask questions to the employer about the role you are applying for, about the organisation, etc.

Q.54 How many internships can you do during graduation? A. A minimum of 3 internships are mandatory for students in technical courses to pursue during the course of their graduation. You can do as many internships as you like, and can find time for during your graduation.

Q.55 Is it necessary for an intern to be dressed formally? A. Informal dress code is allowed for interns in certain organisations. They can turn up in casual, work appropriate clothes.

Q.56 What are the work timings for an intern? A. Usual work timings can be between 10am-6pm. However, you should adhere to the company’s policies on timings, and inform your senior about any delays.

Q.57 Is there a special code of conduct for interns? A. No, interns are expected to follow company’s policies on conduct, being well-versed with basic professional ethics.

Q.58 How I get the most out of my internship? A. Work on the project whole-heartedly and put your best foot forward. Follow the company policies and inform your senior of the progress from time-to-time. Having a ‘can do’ and learning attitude shall take you a long way.

Q.59 Who should you inform in case of a delay in project? A. Your senior is your go-to person for such queries, and it is suggested to keep her/him informed of the progress milestones of the project.

Q.60 Which documents would I get after completion of internship? A. An internship certificate, experience letter and program outcomes report would be given to you at the end of your internship. If you don't get a Program Outcomes, you may miss your chance to earn college credits for your internship.

Q.61 What is a program outcomes report? A. Defined by National Board of Accreditation, Program Outcomes (POs) is a report/document given by HRs, who assess and grade the intern's work after completion of internship, sign it, handing over a copy to the intern.

Q.62 Can I get a job in the same organisation? A. Yes, if you perform exceptionally well and depending on the available vacancies, you may be offered a pre-placement offer (PPO) by the company.


Q.63 How will an internship help me in getting a job? A. An internship enriches your knowledge and skill set on the practical aspects of the industry. It is thus an added advantage in getting a job.

Q.64 How can I prepare for the internship? A. Start reading industry-related blogs/publications. Reach out to your supervisor with thoughtful questions (whose answers are not already online) and ask if they can suggest any preliminary reading that will help you hit the ground running.

Q.65 What skills should I have gained by the end of the internship? A.This will vary greatly by field so we suggest asking your mentors about the kinds of skills you should be developing.

Q.66 What should I be doing for the first few weeks at my internship? A. EXPLORE; BECOME PART OF THE TEAM; OBSERVE AND ADAPT.

Q.67 What can I expect from my employer? A. A Specific Role/Responsibilities, Supervision, Feedback, Exposure, Insight and talking points for your next job interview.

Q.68 What does my employer expect of me? A. A Professional Conduct, Proactive Engagement, Preparation and in some cases an exit interview.

Q.69 What if my internship does not meet my expectations? A. Sometimes an internship will not meet your expectations despite all of your effort and preparations, as you might arrive during a low work season, a time of transition, or your boss’s sudden leave or absence. It happens. However, these disappointing experiences are essential to your growth and an opportunity to create value despite huge challenges.

Q.70 What are the benefits of an internship? A.In addition to potential wages earned, student work and internship experience is valuable for exploring fields of employment which you may wish to enter after graduation. Experience helps developing new skills and strengthens existing skills. Work experience helps you establish professional contacts in a potential field of interest. You will be able to demonstrate work setting accomplishments in your resume.

Q.71 How can I get a job or internship if I have no experience? A.Employers value skills developed through academic work, volunteer experiences, extracurricular experiences, or other experiences which demonstrate skills useful in work. Not all of these skills are job type specific; some of these skills are general such as communication skills and analytical skills, and can transfer to different settings.

Q.72 When should I start looking for a summer position? A. Begin searching in the preceding fall semester in order to take full advantage of all the resources and listings available to you. Some deadlines are very early! Beginning early allows you to more evenly balance the time required to conduct a successful summer job search with other demands on your time.

Q.73 When should I look for a winter internship? A. As with summer positions, winter internships can be applied for during the preceding semester to get the best of the postings available. Hurry for the deadlines!

Q.74 How many hours can I work as a student? A. If possible, wait to commit to a job until you have a feeling for how much time you have beyond coursework, extracurricular activities, and some time for yourself.

Q.75 What kind of assignments would be assigned during the internship? A. The type of work you do at the internship is defined by the domain you are interning in. You may be blogging, working on embedded systems, web development or marketing. The nature of work and responsibilities are mentioned in the internship posting.

Q.76 I am having troubles dealing with the work load. Who should I contact? A. Your senior shall help you here. Work load may overwhelm at you times, and the experienced workers shall help you deal with it.


Q.77 What internships exist for science students? A. If you are pursuing degree course in computers/IT, you can try web development, mobile app development. For streams such as chemistry, physics and mathematics, chemical production, statistics & design thinking are some suggested internships.

Q.78 What internships exist for engineering students? A. For computer and IT related fields, mobile apps and web development are popular. Also, DB management and UI/UX designing can be tried. For streams such as electronics and electrical, circuit designing, robotics are common choices. Mechanical and civil departments have CAD design and 3D modelling popular.

Q.79 What internships exist for humanities students? A. Policy research, content development, video editing, journalism, digital marketing, finance are popular choices among humanities students.

Q.80 Would I be asked to do a free assignment before starting the internship? A. No. As all internship postings on Switch Idea are verified, you are not expected to submit a free assignment before beginning the internship.

Q.81 If my application gets rejected by the employer, would I get employer feedback for that? A. Yes. If your application gets rejected, you would be provided with proper feedback from the employer.

Q.82 Would I get training for the project from the employer? A. Relevant skill set is required for completion of the project. However, as and when required, the employer shall provide you with necessary training for the project.

Q.83 Would I get a separate travel allowance for the travel during the internship? A. If it is not mentioned explicitly in Benefits and Perks (see below), you would not receive travel allowance. You would get a stipend though, and it shall cover your travel expenses.


Q.84 How about food? Do I need carry my own lunch to the office? A. This varied from organization to organization. Some organizations offer lunch to the interns, others do not.

Q.85 Do I need to follow the company’s policies and procedures? A. Yes you do. As an intern, you are expected to be aware of basic professional ethics and follow them too. Also, the organization may have a set of policies which are meant to be followed by you.

Q.86 I am stuck at the internship assignment. Who should I contact for help? A. Your seniors would be the supreme help with this. However small the issue, contact your senior workers for help.

Q.87 Can I take up an internship abroad? A. Yes, you can pursue an internship abroad. Ensure that you make arrangements for visa, accommodation, travel and other facilities beforehand.

Q.88 Are the internships included as experience on my resume? A. Yes, internships provide related experience and attract employers too. Internship in career related stream provides the much needed experience and increase your chances of getting a job.

Q.89 What is the number of available internship slots? A. The available internship positions are mentioned in the internship listing.

Q.90 Can I take more than one internship at a time? A. If you can manage both, and do justice to both the internships, you can enroll for 2 internships. It is suggested to assess the time constraints and the work load management for both the internships before you proceed.

Q.91 Can I intern in a different city or state? A. Yes you can intern at a different state. It is suggested to make necessary arrangements like accommodation, food and other amenities beforehand.

Q.92 How would I be paid the internship stipend? A. The manner in which you are the paid the internship stipend can be the form of a cheque, or amount being transferred to your account.


Q.93 How does Switch Idea help you with getting internships? A. Switch Idea is an internship platform connecting students with verified employers. You can create an account on the website and get internship assistance, apply to unlimited internships and get rewarded when you get hired.

Q.94 Are all internships on Switch Idea paid? A. Yes, all the internships featured on Switch Idea are verified and paid. You would be paid a stipend from 5k-25k INR from the organisation.

Q.95 Why do I have to pay subscription fee when I sign up? A. To enrol only genuine students and rule out fake IDs, we have put up a subscription fee of ₹499 and ₹699 for one and two year modules, respectively.

Q.96 What services do I get when I register on Switch Idea? A. You get access to these services: a) Verified internship projects b) Dedicated internship helpline c) Industry-academia assistance d) Application tracking e) HR reports f) Fixed delivery assets g) Guaranteed Stipend (5k-15k) h) Program Outcomes

Q.97 What are the two modules for? A. You can opt for one year (₹499) and two year (₹699) subscription modules on Switch Idea. In both the plans, you get all the premium services, the difference being the time for which they are provided. In one year module, you can apply to unlimited internships for 365 days, while it increases to 730 days in the two year module.

Q.98 How does Switch Idea tackle fake employers? A. To curb the fake companies, each employer on Switch Idea goes through a series of verification checks. This includes their contact and office address being verified, in addition to their LinkedIn history, Glassdoor reviews and VoIP confirmation.

Q.99 Can I find all necessary documents in one place? A. Yes, to ease things up, we have an all-in-one documents folder on the portal, from where you can access all the necessary documents’ formats, and their relevance.

Q.100 How do I contact Switch Idea for help? A. Our team works round the clock to provide you internship assistance. Feel free to drop a mail at support@switchidea.com or call at +919555141142 for any help with the portal, or internships, we’re happy to help.

Q.101 Am I rewarded for getting hired from Switch Idea? A. Yes, on being hired from our portal, you can ping us. A surprise awaits all interns hired from Switch Idea.


Good luck, happy interning to you! :)

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