As the school year has been underway for some time now, it’s a good opportunity to start considering bringing on interns. And while you may or may not have had successful internship programs in the past, these can be an exceptional entryway to developing talent, as well as a solid team.

However, to nail this right, you need to look at the qualities that are really going to bring an intern up to the next level with your firm. And while everyone’s company is going to have different needs, here are a few helpful tips as to what qualities will separate the good from the great. Check them out below:

If They Have Any Experience With Social Media

Regardless of if you’re hiring for a marketing position or not, it’s always good to bring on someone that has experience with social media. While not required, knowing what a company’s goals are with their social media marketing and whatnot will give you a feel for how they will view your brand, as well as where they think it’s headed. Even just asking if they’ve checked out the firm’s social media profiles during the interview can be a good cursor of interest.

What Their Writing Abilities Are Like

No matter their role, you’re going to want your interns to be excellent communicators. As this is going to be one of their first times being in a professional setting, knowing that they know how to carry themselves via email, in person, and even on the phone will be crucial.

If an intern can’t provide you with either a blog or published work, then perhaps ask for an essay they’ve written. Any material that you can collect will help you give a better look at their ability level.

How Close They Are

While this should largely be considered a secondary consideration, the proximity of an intern in relation to where your offices are is definitely something to consider. For example, if your company is based in New York, then having to explain to them how to find an apartment or how the subway works could start your relationship off on a bad foot. While I’m not saying eliminate all outsiders, perhaps ask some follow-up questions on what they know about where you all are.

How Much They Want To Get Paid

First and foremost, if you’re not already, then you should be paying your interns. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will additionally serve you and your intern better for the long run. As noted by US News, 65 percent of college seniors with a paid internship were hired before graduation. Why? Because these companies are investing in them for the long run.

Considering that they probably haven’t had a ton of professional experience, but have demonstrated the efforts to acquire this role, paying them at least above a livable wage is crucial. However, if they ask for too much, then they don’t understand the role. Too little, and they don’t really have an understanding of themselves.

If They Want To Be Hired On Long-Term

As an internship is supposed to develop talent into becoming full-time members of your team, it’s imperative you get an accurate depiction on if this person wants to be brought on long-term. According to Future Workplace, 91 percent of millennials expect to stay at a job for less than three years. Knowing that they’re confident in that this is not only their career, but the company they want to work for is going to be a significant factor to if you should hire them or not.

If They Genuinely Believe In Your Company’s Mission or Goal

While it’s great to have an intern that is willing to come along long-term, the real test is if they’re passionate about the work you do or not. As noted by CNBC, approximately 75 percent of millennials stated in a poll that they believe their work should have a larger meaning. Honestly, this is going to be one of the most important aspects to judging if you should hire them or not because having an ownership stake in this will only propel you both to more success.

How They’ll Fit Within Your Culture

Finally, it’s key that your intern is able to fit in with your team. Especially with smaller firms, this person will be here day-in and day-out, which means their relationship with you should be one that’s welcoming and melds nicely. Believe it or not, a lot of companies waste the talent of their interns by not bringing on someone that will grow personally as well, which is vital to a young person’s budding career.


What are some qualities you look for in an intern? Comment with your answers below.