This question is common mostly in interviews for internship positions, volunteering roles, and for some entry level and interim roles in big corporations. You are just starting out, with all the options in the world. You can opt for an internship, entry level job in a big corporation, or you can take a year off and travel the world, before starting your corporate career.

One way or another, the interviewers wonder why exactly their offer, their company. They wonder about your motivation, career goals, and whether the working experience can offer you what you are looking to gain from it. Hence they will ask you one of the following questions:

  • What do you hope to gain from this internship?
  • Is there something you hope to get out of this program?
  • What do you hope to learn at the end of the job as an intern, that you don’t think you have now?

Let’s start directly with seven sample answers to this interesting question, answers that will fit any of the alternatives. I will also analyze the question briefly afterwards.


7 sample answers to “What do you hope to gain from this experience/internship?” interview question

  1. More than anything else, I hope to gain my first working experience. As you certainly know, it is very hard to get any paid job in journalism without previous experience. Your publishing house has a great reputation in the city. Working here will definitely help me later on in my job search. But I also hope to get a glimpse into the ins and outs of publishing business, and perhaps understand where my career should head in the future.
  2. I hope to meet new people, improve my language skills and broaden my horizons. I’ve been never abroad before, and hope that this volunteering experience will open my eyes somehow to all the differences we have in the world. It is supposed to be my school of tolerance and patience. That’s what I hope to gain from this program with your organization, but who knows–maybe I will gain even more. Some good friends, a partner, new perspective for my life–we will see.
  3. This interim position is my opportunity to explore a new field of business, and perhaps learn how logistics processes work in a successful automotive company. I hope to improve my skills while working for you, but I want to stress that I came here primarily to give, and not to take. I hope to bring my experience onboard and perhaps also help you with some significant improvements to your production process. * Special tip: If you are new to the world of job interviews, and not sure how to make the right impression, or answer some tricky scenario based interview questions, have a look at our Interview Success Package 2.0. Up top 10 premium answers to 104 interview questions–basically any questions you may face in an interview for a non-technical job, will help you get rid of interview preparation headaches, streamline your preparation, and eventually get the job of your dreams.
  4. Experience. It summarizes everything for me. I have heard great things about your employees’ training program. And since I am just starting my professional career and my entire knowledge is in the level of theory, I can’t wait to learn from more experienced people. Having said that, I do not have plans to leave you after I gain some experience. This is an amazing and diverse corporation, at least in my opinion. If I can grow here professionally, I am ready to stay and apply for other jobs with you. To sum it up, at the end of the job of an intern, I hope to learn everything I need to have a regular job with your company, and to do it well.
  5. I hope to get to know new people and to learn from experienced healthcare workers. Your internship program is well-structured, and it makes a perfect sense as a next step in my career plan. What’s more, physicians working here have an excellent reputation, and I’d like to learn from the best, so I can perhaps one day also excel as a medical professional.
  6. I do not apply with an intention to gain anything, to be honest. I feel an urge to help people in need, and that’s exactly what your organization does. It’s my calling, my purpose, or at least that’s how I feel at this stage of my life. Volunteering for your organization I simply want to follow my heart and do something good for the others. But I also know that we gain the most when we expect a little, and surely this will be the case also with your organization.
  7. Speaking honestly, I want to gain a chance to work for your organization as a regular employee one day. It is impossible to succeed without experience, but once I complete my internship here and perhaps achieve good results, you may give me a chance to work here full time. But even if my goal does not materialize, I will still be happy. There’s certainly a lot to learn from the people in your organization.

Special Tip: This isn’t the only difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!

Talk also about giving, not only about gaining something from their job, program, or internship

Your attitude matters the most for the interviewers. Surely, nobody would work if they did not get anything in return–salary, experiences, feeling of fulfillment, or any other thing people seek while applying for low paid or even unpaid internship positions in big corporations.

But good employees also want to give something back, and you should present this attitude in your interview. Say what you expect to gain, and add what you hope to bring onboard, how you hope to help your new employer. Check sample answers no. 3 and no. 6 for great examples of this attitude.


Connect your future with their company

If you apply for entry level or internship role (this interview question in pretty common in such instances), you should realize that more than anything else, these are forms of talent acquisition. Companies hate to see their interns go and find a regular job with one of their competitors. They invested time and money into these people.

Say that that you hope to get a full time job with them in the future, or perhaps a chance to apply for your dream position within their company. Once they see that you aren’t necessarily in only for a short time, they will give you preference over other candidates.

* Do not forget to check: How to dress for an interview – 5 things to consider when choosing your clothes.

Praise them for something and connect with them on a personal level

Interviewers and HR managers are human beings, just like you or me. They like when someone recognizes their good work, their achievements. They enjoy hearing words of praise in relation to their company.

Talking about things you want to gain while working for the company is a great opportunity to praise them for something. For example:

  • You hope to learn, and you know you will, because they have the best training program for new hires in the city.
  • Wanting to meet new people and experience diverse cultures, you made a right choice applying for a volunteering opportunity with this organization, because they are renowned for promoting cultural diversity in their teams.


Conclusion, other difficult interview questions

Cause and effect, action and reaction. These principles rule the world. And though most of us work primarily because we need money to live (or at least to survive), you should be able to refer also to something else while interviewing for the job, internship, or for a volunteering spot.

Talk about new thing you hope to learn, new people you will meet, and about doors this working experience will open for you in the future–once you have some experience, it will be easy to for you to get better jobs, and basically you will have more options in your professional career.

Read the sample answers once again, and use them as an inspiration for your superb answer. When you are done, continue with preparation for other tough interview questions below, or check our Interview Success Package 2.0 for up to 10 premium answers to 100+ interview questions. These answers are not available to general public, and they will help you stand out and outclass your competitors. Thank you for checking it out!

May also interest you:

Matthew Chulaw
Latest posts by Matthew Chulaw (see all)