Inspiring Interns have placed over 5,000 graduates in graduate jobs with the country’s leading businesses. The relationship between graduate and company is mutually beneficial, providing graduates with valuable experience and companies with highly motivated, valuable employees.
In today’s super-competitive climate, it is essential to attract the best employees possible but finding the right person can be difficult. Graduate internships are a great way for employers to “try before they buy” and for graduates to learn new skills, improve their CV, and gain experience in the business world.
Before the Interview
Make sure you really understand what you’re looking for in a graduate. If you didn’t write the job spec, have a meeting with the person who did so that you can get a thorough understanding of what kind of personality, skills, past experience and passions suit the role best now – and what the role will become if they go permanent.
What to Focus On in the Interview
It’s easier to teach skills than to try to change personality to suit the role. Through the way they present themselves, converse with you, and respond to questions you’ll be able to tell if they’re the right personality for the role.
Experience and Qualifications
In order to hire the best graduate, finding someone with the right experience and qualifications is key, but when hiring an intern it is less essential. Interns love to learn, and want experience. Be open to hiring someone with the right attitude, even if their degree is unrelated to your industry. For example, a History student recently came to us, we organised and interview at Macquarie Bank for her, where she is now interning on a £35,000 salary.
Compatibility with Company Culture
Will this candidate would work well with your current employees? Does he/she have the right values, attitude, and work ethic to complement and add to your company culture?
Soft skills and social intelligence are very valuable. Look for the ability to navigate social situations, work well with others, communicate effectively, develop interpersonal skills, thought processes and emotional intelligence. If an intern has this, it is a huge asset to your organisation.
Useful Questions to Ask
In addition to the specific questions you have prepared for the role, we recommend asking these.
- Who are you going to be ten years from today?
- Why do you work?
- What makes you get up in the morning and do what you do?
Their answers show the candidates’ drive and ambition, which helps you understand whether or not they will grow with your business.
Let Them Interview You
A candidate’s questions illustrates their values, priorities, and how well they understand everything you’ve discussed so far. Give them time to interview you so you have more information to evaluate them on.
If you are interested in hiring an intern, follow the link to view Inspiring Intern’s best candidates.
About the Author: Ben Rosen founded Inspiring Interns in 2009, and later that year partnered with the charity E-AC, working to support deprived children to improve their educational opportunities. Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency connecting talented graduates with top companies and start-up businesses in the UK. They specialise in sourcing graduate jobs and paid internships (going permanent), and have kick-started the careers of over 5,000 young people since 2009.