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The Interview Format You Need to Screen the Best Interns (From the Worst)

By Benjamin David on July 7, 2016

Hiring interns is a very calculated risk. A good intern helps your employees deal with overbearing workloads and bring in a fresh new perspective, while a bad one will only give your team more work. An internship is a mutually beneficial arrangement, where interns provide their service in exchange for the experiences a company can give. For the company, it is integral that they get the best interns that will not only be able to help the company now, but can be potential assets in the future. To do this, there is a right way to screen the right interns when you get around to interviewing them.

Interviewing interns is a bit different since they won’t be permanent fixtures in your company. What you do need to know is if they’ll be able to provide the certain skills you're looking for. Interns are harder to screen as they have had less time to develop relevant experiences and skills, so your job is to find a way to get the best interns with the limited information they have.

Here’s a format we’ve prepared to help you screen the best interns from the bad ones:

Skills and Competence

Source: Giphy

Interns don’t have previous jobs or big corporate projects to show off in their resume, but this doesn’t mean they have nothing to contribute to the company. While they have their grades and academic performances to prove their competence, this is not enough.

Ask them about their course, and how it can be relevant with the company, about what subjects they took, the extracurricular experiences they have like organizations, councils, or volunteer work. With these information, you’ll be able to know how these experiences can be beneficial to your company.

Work Ethic

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Interns need to have a strong dedication to provide the best output, as their job for is to ease the load of your employees.  Because let’s face it, It’s useless hiring interns that will be a burden to your company. Find out which interns are industrious enough to be able to work for your company without dragging you down. Get the ones you can trust to work with minimal supervision.

So during the interview, ask them how they deal with criticism, how they strive to improve themselves, and how they can deal with disagreements with their superiors. And lastly, it’s also important to know how they work with a team, so ask questions geared towards that as well.

Company Fit

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To get the most dedicated interns, find out if they are really willing to work with your company culture. Ask them what they know about your company, to see if they have any idea what your company does. This is also to test if they did their research prior to applying for the position. Ask them if they know anything about the industry your company is in, and if they’re willing to learn more about it. It’s important to have an intern who wants to work in your company or industry as opposed to one that is just looking to pad their resume.

If your prospective interns fit with this criteria, your company has a good catch on its hands.

Source: Buzzfeed

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