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The Ultimate Guide to Hiring an Intern

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring an Intern

This is an example of a procedure the person in charge of the Human Resources department will follow to hire an intern. The HR manager is expected to work with the Line Management in this procedure. 
Finding interns
Choosing an intern
Interviewing interns
Create an offer letter
Prepare intern contract
Ensures full compliance of contracts with law
Maintain original copies of contracts
Monitor ending date and inform management
Hold exit interview

Finding interns

Kicking off the Ultimate Guide to Hiring an Intern, you need to compile a list of potential candidates. Record this list and other important details using the form fields below.

Hiring interns is a sure-fire method for companies to manage human resource costs, build or supplement a team, support local education, and serve the community. This applies to any size organization—small, medium, or enterprise. You get bright-eyed, motivated students who are willing to learn and possibly seek full-time employment with your company after they graduate. It is ideal for start-ups. Students love ground-floor opportunities, and as an owner you can serve as a leader and a peer at the same time. 

Best Ways to Find Interns:

1. Most schools in your area will have online job boards set up. Sometimes the listings for internships are integrated with the employment listings, and sometimes schools maintain a separate job board just for intern listings. Either way, get your listing onto these boards stat! Some schools will require you to pay a small fee to list your position, while others will list it for free. 

2. Call the recruiting coordinator at the school(s) where you’re going to post the internship. As you establish a good relationship with the school, though, you’ll likely develop a point of contact who takes care of listing your positions for free (because you provide such awesome experience for their students).

3. Set up some space at a job fair to have the benefit of screening candidates face to face, and performing a little mini-interview before inviting them to your office.

4. Students are using sites like Internships.com, SimplyHired.com, and Craigslist.org to find internships in their area. Your company should be visible on at least one of these sites, if not all. Make sure you indicate clearly whether your internship is paid, for credit, or both, and provide a clear description of the duties the intern will be responsible for — and remember, it shouldn’t be fetching coffee!

Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32649/How-to-Recruit-Evaluate-Rockstar-Marketing-Interns.aspx

Choosing an intern

Next up, you need to choose your intern from the potential pile. Fill in the form fields and work through the sub-checklist below to be guided through the selection of the perfect intern.

  • 1

    Scan applicants’ resumes with the help of human resources. Pay particular attention to the skills and match them to those of the job description.
  • 2

    Shortlist applicants and select six to 12 applicants for a phone interview.
  • 3

    Call the candidates and setup a 30-minute phone interview. A phone interview is primarily used to check facts presented in the resume. Ask a few questions to gauge each applicant’s level of enthusiasm for the job, as you want to hire people who want to work for your company. Use individual phone interviews to narrow your selection down to between two and six candidates.
  • 4

    Set up in-person interviews with all applicants. Ask more probing questions like if they should encounter a problem with his work, what is the best thing to do.
  • 5

    Select the intern who you think is best for the program.

Interviewing interns

Interviewing interns is not an easy task. Interviews or recruiters are greatly tasked from looking for candidates up to the hiring of the best ones.

Some things most companies consider in hiring interns through looking at the resumes are the school where the student comes from, the GPA and the acquired experience that is related to the offered job.

Building rapport with the intern is necessary to ease uneasiness and even allows the process of the interview to go smoothly.

Here are the steps in interviewing an intern:

  1. Know what you want, provide a job description and tasks to the intern.
  2. What does your company do? Provide and introduce yourself and the company prior to the tasks.
  3. Ask what they are looking for after and during the internship. Is it compensation or the experience?
  4. Ask for past school projects or other work in relation to your project or tasks
  5. What does the interviewee do for fun? (Building the rapport and detecting how to manage their stress)
  6. Explain to the client the current situation and why the need of interns.

Source: http://www.ianfernando.com/2010/interviewing-an-intern-dont-act-so-cool/

Create an offer letter

Now that you’ve found the right intern, let them know! Send the selected student(s) an offer letter or email and upload a copy to the form field below.

Create an offer letter that includes:

  • Date or duration of the internship
  • Specific pay
  • Deadline for acceptance
  • Contact information

Do not send out rejection letters to the non-selected students until you have been notified by the selected intern of their acceptance or denials. Once you have been notified of an acceptance, give notice to the non-selected students about the decision made in a letter.

Prepare intern contract

Make sure to use the Internship Agreement form to create the contract for the intern. As with the offer letter, upload a copy of the contract to the form field below.

Be sure to revise it and have it ready to be signed the first day of the intern so that he or she can get started working immeditaely.

Set a reminder in your calendar so you don’t forget.

The Intern Contract should contain:

– Intern’s Duties and Responsibilities

– Time Frame or Number of Work Hours Required

– Payment Information, if any.

– Job Expectations

– Future Jobs, if any.

Look over the contract to be sure all names are spelled correctly and that it spells out the terms of your agreement clearly and effectively. It should name both parties and responsibilities on both ends, as well as any company info that is relevant to the situation. 

Ensures full compliance of contracts with law

Review and ensure that the internship complies with the law here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm

Meet with the company lawyer if needed to ensure the contract is still up-to-date with law.

For your own protection, such an agreement should also include the following:

  • confidentiality obligations – to ensure that your information must be kept confidential;
  • confirmation of your ownership of rights relating to inventions – to ensure that if an intern creates or contributes to any intellectual property during the internship then it is owned by the organisation hosting the intern;
  • commitment to your health and safety arrangements – the intern should accept any health and safety policies and otherwise be treated the same as any other individual spending time at your offices: you may also need to tell your insurers;
  • commitment to your equal opportunities policies –otherwise you could be liable if for example the intern upsets one of your staff; and
  • confirmation of opt-out from the Working Time Regulations – these rules impose a maximum average of 48 hours worked per week; if there is any chance that the intern might work for a longer time than this, the opt out should be included.

Source: http://realbusiness.co.uk/article/9026-what-to-include-in-an-internship-agreement

Maintain original copies of contracts

File the copies of contracts signed by the intern in the filing cabinet in the HR office AND scan them and attach them here so they cannot be lost and everyone has access.


The security of signed documents is critical. Maintain signed contracts in a locked storage environment with limited access. When someone needs to review the document, provide her with a photocopy of the original. Whenever possible, create a secure online storage location that is password protected. Authorized personnel can be given access to a scanned copy of contracts online. This method protects both the original document and the privacy of its contents.



Make a list of all contracts in a spreadsheet along with critical information from each. Include the origination date, basic contract provisions, contact information, payment address and contract termination date. Use this spreadsheet to easily reference all contract information without needing to weed through legal jargon each time there are questions about a contract.


Source: http://www.ehow.com/way_5166266_contract-management-tips.html

Monitor ending date and inform management

Create an event in Company’s Google Calendar so everyone knows when the internship ends. Record the date here in the form field below too, for future reference.

Make sure the intern knows when his or her program ends so that they can have everything ready by the time he or she leaves. 

You can set up electronic reminders via email or electronic calendar system that sends alerts about important dates to all company employees involved with the contract.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/way_5166266_contract-management-tips.html#ixzz2n1qSd4V0

Hold exit interview

Schedule an exit interview before the intern leaves so that you can gain feedback on his or her experience with the company. 

Create an event in the Company’s Google Calendar so everyone else in management is aware. 

Below is a form for the intern to fill out as well. Scan and upload it after the intern finishes it. 

Scheduling an Exit Interview

Schedule an exit interview in advance to give the student opportunity to prepare
his thoughts and questions. Avoid scheduling on the student’s last day on the job so that there is time to take care of any action items that come up.

Exit Interview Steps

1. Explain the purpose of the exit interview.
2. Encourage the student to be as candid as possible.
3. Explain that you will be taking notes.
4. Begin with less sensitive questions to put the student at ease.
5. Gradually move into areas of greater sensitivity.
6. Ask the student is he/she has remaining questions or suggestions for improving the internship program.
7. Conclude by thanking the student for his/her time and honesty.


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