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How to hire the right Intern or graduate for your company

Published 3 years ago by Maud - Category : Employer tips and services

Hiring an intern or a graduate...


Can be a wonderful experience, not only for yourself and your intern, but also for your staff and your company’s development and culture.

A lot of the time we expect that we, as the ‘boss’, are the only people to teach and impart wisdom in the workplace. However, a common phenomenon occurs within successful company internships.

The ‘boss’ will often learn just as much about their company and their team as their intern.

Making the choice to take on an intern should not be taken lightly though – interns often have to work extremely hard, sometimes preparing for years, to win internship placements. So if you are unable to provide them the time or the knowledge they need, then maybe an internship is not the right choice for your company (at this time).


An intern will need any combination of things from you at any given time :

  • guidance, supervision, reassurance, attention, lenience, patience.
  • Internships really are a rewarding experience for a company! Here is how to pick the best fit for you:


1. Really understand what role an intern will play in your company 

Your job description needs to be as specific as possible so only the right applicants with the right credentials apply for the role.


2. Have the basics figured out 

This is, both, for your benefit and your intern’s!

What department will they work in? Who will be their supervisor? What duration will they be employed for? How many working hours per week will they be expected to complete? Is it paid or unpaid? Are there any labor law issues to consider? Will there be a permanent position offered to the intern at the end? How will you receive ongoing updates on their progress?

And this is only the tip of the iceberg…


3. Look at a variety of applicants

Tertiary education is so diverse these days that often interns will reach the same level of experience and qualification through a variety of avenues. Just because an applicant hasn’t gone to the best school or worked in top-tier firms does not mean they lack the passion, knowledge, or experience for the role.

Have a look to our skilled talents.


4. Ask the right questions

Chances are you will receive so many applications you won’t know where to start! Asking the right screening or preliminary questions is an effective way to narrow down the applicant field.

This is not as daunting or hard as it may sound: ask yourself, what type of questions would enable you to shine in a job interview? You want your questions to be industry and company related, even asking specifically about the role itself is a great way to test applicants’ knowledge. But remember, they are only at the beginning of their careers so do not expect them to know as much as you!

Ultimately, choosing the right intern for your company is based on whether that individual is going to be the right ‘fit’ for the role. There is no magic recipe or equation to work out what that ‘fit’ is exactly, but we certainly know it when we meet it!

Without trying to sound contradictory, you need to be as specific as you can in communicating what you want and what your company needs from your intern, but also be open to applicants you may not have first considered.


Internshipmapper is a career portal for students and graduates. We also provide range of graduate recruitment services to help sourcing candidates for internships or graduate jobs, and giving out graduate careers advice.  To hire graduates or browse internships and graduate jobs, visit their website.​

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