Nine things to look for when hiring interns

It’s no secret Edge hires the best interns. They’re witty, hard-working and go onto great success. Meet some of our past interns in Chicago, New York and California.

While interns can benefit a company with fresh perspectives and another set of hands, they also leave with real-world experience under their belts.   

Pre-interview:

1. Know how and where to reach potential interns. You have to go to where they are. This could mean setting up at table at a career fair, creating a job listing on Handshake or LinkedIn, or sharing job opportunities on your company’s social media pages.

2. Are they prepared? It doesn’t matter if the introduction is made virtually or in person. If the candidate doesn’t have a resume prepared or some sort of opening pitch, their lack of preparedness likely reflects their work ethic.

3. Read what’s on their resume. Most hirers will say resume scans are the best way to eliminate candidates before narrowing down the pool. Check for grammatical error, resume length (more than one page) and even margins. Concise is key.

4. Observe if they follow directions. Take notice of whether or not they follow directions for setting up an interview, such as sending a resume and writing samples by a certain date or drafting a mock news release for the interview.

Interview:

5. Understand the difference between two common candidates. The first is the inexperienced and eager to learn candidate, and the second is the inexperienced and just looking for a job title candidate. Both are inexperienced, but you want the one who’s actually professional and eager to contribute to your company.

6. Ensure they’ll fit in with your company culture. This may be hard to figure out in just one interview. Look for certain characteristics that would make them the right fit, such as a sense of humor and confidence.

7. Make sure they can write. Many companies require writing samples or even a writing test, which, as it sounds, is a test. If they cannot write well, they may not be the best candidate for the job.

Post-interview:

8. Did they follow up? It’s a common courtesy to send a follow up after the interview. Most strong candidates will get on that right away in the form of a handwritten note or email.

9. And, most importantly, make sure they aren’t allergic to your office dogs.

Aaron Pumfery