Any tips on interviewing/hiring interns?

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What would you ask them and what would you look for/watch out for?

Whoever we hire will be expected to do mostly filing but also answer phones and occasionally stand in for my boss's secretary. It's no biggie, but they have to be organized and know how to conduct themselves in a more formal environment.

I start interviewing tomorrow afternoon.
I would notice that they were on time, well groomed, and professionally dressed. Also, that they would say hello, shake your hand, and just overall have a professional demeanor. They should be prepared with copies of their resume.


I'd ask them to "tell me about yourself", "why did you apply to this internship", "what is the best class you've ever taken and why", "where do you see yourself in 5 years", and "what makes you the best choice for this internship?".

None of these should be hard for the person to answer, and they shouldnt give quick, few-word responses.
Dedachan likes this.
"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
My coworkers and I just went through this process. On time was a biggie.

One candidate was an hour and a half late and then when we asked her what was her end date..ie when do you have to go back to school she said "Right after Martin Luther King Day, in August". I was like: wait, what? So I said "do you mean Labor Day?" She said "No, Martin Luther King Day. I think...I'm pretty sure anyway. There's a big holiday in August, I'm sure it's Martin Luther King Day, that's when we go back" :blink:

Viewing the resumés, I want to ask the candidates to produce a brief writing sample. I have some CVs that are bit more wordy and have spelling/grammar issues, and some that are fine but very concise, so it's hard to compare them against each other. They don't need to be great writers, but every file that is logged in the system needs to be retrievable.

Any suggestions? I don't want them to write about themselves or why they are right for the job because then they'll just see it as another opportunity to pitch their "proactive" and "interpersonal" skills [sigh..].
Viewing the resumés, I want to ask the candidates to produce a brief writing sample. I have some CVs that are bit more wordy and have spelling/grammar issues, and some that are fine but very concise, so it's hard to compare them against each other. They don't need to be great writers, but every file that is logged in the system needs to be retrievable.

Any suggestions? I don't want them to write about themselves or why they are right for the job because then they'll just see it as another opportunity to pitch their "proactive" and "interpersonal" skills [sigh..].
Originally Posted by Dedachan
I would pick a topic relevant to the overall business field and have them write an opinion on something. As a random example, if you work for a hotdog vendor, have them wrote a page about the question of extra-long vs. regular length hotdogs. I'd tell them up front their answer doesn't matter, just how the can clearly defend an opinion. And have them do it in-house.
"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
I'd be most interested in their motovation for applying for the position; do they LOVE the field/industry/company/product or are they just trying to satisfy a graduation requirement w/ whatever internship they could land?

But of course, the person would need to be able to put a coherent, grammatical sentence together. (Many people, incl. college grads, can't.)
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG


Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 07-05-2012 at 11:48 AM.
I'm going to ask them to summarize a news article in their own words. Being able to sum up the main ideas of a text is key to the job.

Actually, spider, I worry some of these kids have higher ambitions and all we are offering is a tedious clerical job. It's how motivated they will be a couple of weeks into the job that worries me.

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