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2.2 The Introductory Interview


This is the first live contact between you and the trainees.

As a supervisor you want to know what the trainees expect, you are probing expectations.

On the other hand you express your own expectations and check the reaction of the trainees.


Here you get the important first impression of each other. A good introductory conversation works motivating for the two parties.


You invite the trainees and stipulate the date, hour, address and exact place in the company, possibly with the required tools or clothing.

You read the documents of the sending organisation with the trainees and sign the Internship Agreement.

You ask questions about the expectations of the trainees and try to match them with your own expectations.

  • When you ask open questions, answers can be very broad and you can get a lot of information. e.g. Why did you apply for an internship abroad?
  • When you ask closed questions (e.g. yes/no-answers) you can verify something or get to know a clear opinion. e.g. Do you like working in a team?

A list of things a trainee usually expects:

  • Get to know daily life in a company,
  • Be practically busy,
  • Experience modern techniques,
  • Review and try out their own knowledge and skills,
  • Experience the difference between the requirements in training and in a company,
  • Examine if the chosen training is the most suitable,
  • Carry out tasks with the support of a professional,
  • Put school knowledge into practice,
  • Learn a foreign language,
  • Be treated fairly and friendly!
  • Get clear and simple answers in connection with working life,
  • Build a circle of friends, be part of a team,
  • Have a good time in a foreign country.

You also let the trainees ask questions. Give as specific an answer as possible. This gives a feeling of security and works motivating.


Listening to the expectations of the trainees doesn’t mean you have to make things the way the trainees want them and neglect the objectives of the internship.

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