Looking beyond work experience: 3 things to look for when hiring interns

We all know, hiring interns is a very different process to hiring regular employees.

Many times, you can’t (really) look at their previous experience, only their potential.

But it’s not about just making a gut decision and choosing the candidate with the most enthusiasm. There are a few other things to look out for that can help you find your superhero intern.



You might not have any candidates with any paid work experience, but do they have any experience volunteering for local charities or projects?  If the answer is yes, you might be on to a winner!

Volunteering demonstrates commitment and that the candidate is a well-rounded person who has heart and who can adapt to work on a project outside of their school studies.

It’s likely that they have picked up some practical skills (like working in an office environment), too.

social media presence

Always, always, ALWAYS Google potential interns.

You need to make sure that they present themselves appropriately online. The last thing you want is someone who talks inappropriately about their work, themselves and/or looks unprofessional.

They might be representing your firm one day – if you can find something negative online about them, your clients can too.

The other benefit is that you can see where their interests and passions lie. Are they sharing stories about the events industry on twitter?  Are they involved with their local ILEA or SEPA chapter?

Does their Linkedin page suggest that they’re actually interested in a completely different industry? HINT: you don’t want to be their back up plan.


Have you ever come across any of your prospective interns at a networking event before? If the answer is YES – it’s a very good sign.

The fact that they’re investing time and effort into getting to know others in the industry suggests that they are passionate and committed.

Plus it shows initiative, confidence and an outgoing personality – a perfect addition to your team!

Networking events are also a great chance for you to find interns. Don’t always expect them to come to you. If you strike up a conversation with someone who shows great potential, tell them about your internship program and invite them to apply!  I know Mary has found lots of really great interns this way.

What do you look for when you’re selecting interns?  Leave a comment below and share your best tips and tricks.

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  • weekly “spark” training videos
  • intern homework missions
  • intern report cards
  • intern pop quizzes
  • mentor support and advice

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