Written by Tina Samuels
There are a few tips and tricks for choosing the right intern for your company. Interns are vital members of your business team, and should be chosen with care and consideration. Don't disregard them as just temporary help.
Develop a Checklist
Make sure you know what characteristics you want your intern to have.
List them, the educational background, and the expertise you'd like to see in a checklist. Have that checklist with every interview and check off the things that the candidate has, so that when you go back to the office to consider them you can quickly scan to remember what made each candidate stand out.
Adaptation and Prioritisation
The right intern will know how to prioritise projects and tasks effectively.
While this can be learned, the right candidate will be able to grasp the concept quickly and have a knack for knowing what needs to be done. In this same vein, the right intern is adaptable and isn't rigid in the way he/she approaches tasks. This trait will help interns be able to think fast on their feet.
Match the Energy Level of the Job to Applicants
If the job the intern will do is fast paced or mentally intense, you want to hire someone that has a high energy level. In comparison, doing slower or mentally taxing jobs such as filing or file-copying will require hiring someone with relatively low energy levels. Those doing high-energy work with low energy levels will be frustrating to the company, while those doing low-energy work with high energy levels will become bored themselves.
How is Their Communication?
While they shouldn't be a Chatty Cathy, interns need to be able to speak up when needed and to effectively communicate their thoughts. In this same principle, they should be able to take constructive criticism without getting upset or becoming irate. To check for this in the interview, try open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer to gauge their communication level.
When you go to hire the intern, make sure they believe that there is still much to learn about their job and their ability to do the job. Those that give off warning signs of "I am an expert" and "I know everything about X" will tell you that they probably aren't going to be willing to learn, believing that they already know everything they need.
Hiring a good and trustworthy intern, even when they are merely short-term employees, helps keep your small business running smoothly and efficiently.
Always look for those star interns that you may consider for a more permanent position, too!
About the Author
Tina Samuels writes on small business topics for various websites, including ripoffreport.com.