With warmer months just around the corner,the summer internship hunt is now in full swing for college students across theUS.
You've done your research, hunkered down inthe library to crank out the applications, endured the agonizing wait, and nowyou've finally heard back.
The only thing standing between you andthat coveted internship is the interview round.
You want to prepare for the questions theinterviewer will ask you, but don't overlook the importance of the questionsyou should ask to improve your chances of landing the job.
"Asking questions is one of the verybest interview strategies you can employ," says Bill Cole, author of"The Interview Success Guide" and founder of the International MentalGame Coaching Association.
"It demonstrates interest in thecompany, and hiring managers find it refreshing," he says. "Theynotice that many younger candidates tend to be either overly polite, waiting tobe asked questions, or shy about asking questions since they view the hiringmanager as the 'authority figure' and don't want to rock the boat."
While it may feel more natural to leaveyour questions for the end of the interview, Cole recommends asking questionsas you go. "By doing this, you can turn what can seem like aninterrogation into a collegial, interesting conversation," he says.
Here are five questions you can ask to setyourself apart in your next internship interview:
1. What are some of the key skills andabilities necessary for someone to succeed in this position?
If you ask this early in an interview, itcan guide your entire strategy, Cole says. You can tell the interviewer howyour strengths match up with what the company is seeking.
2. If I get the internship, how do I earntop marks on my performance review?
This marks you as eager to reach forexcellence. Everyone wants an ambitious new hire.
3. Now that you know more about me, how doyou think I can best help the company?
You want to know what the interviewerthinks about the fit, Cole says. The question also potentially reveals what heor she sees you working on in the position.
4. Is there anything else I can answer foryou? I want to be as complete as possible.
You ask this to gauge the interest level ofthe interviewer and to get feedback, Cole explains.
"They may say, 'There is one thing...' and then you'll have a chance to respond to it in real time," hesays. "As you ask this question, watch their facial expression and bodylanguage. That will tell you how they really feel about you."
Debra DelBelso, director of the careercenter at Siena College, told Business Insider that if your interviewer issmiling and maintaining eye contact, there's a good chance your interview isgoing well.
However, if the interviewer is crossing hisor her arms, leaning away from you, or looking at the door, that might meanthey're not impressed, career expert Lynn Taylor told Business Insider.
5. What can I do or provide for you when Ifollow up?
By asking this wrap-up question, you appearthorough, helpful, and willing to make sure nothing is left to chance, Colesays.
What not to ask
Cole says it's wise to refrain from askingany questions about benefits, time off, schedule accommodations, or otherthings that could be perceived as picky during an internship interview."These 'custom requests' can seem presumptuous and be off-putting to the hiringmanager," he says.
Instead, focus your questions on thecompany.
"If you do some research and askunusual questions that others won't ask, this will mark you as clever,industrious, and willing to go the extra mile to get to know the company,"Cole says. "You will be memorable."