What employers think when they hire interns.

Posted by Lindie Johnson on May 21, 2013 1:51:00 PM

As a student, you may be wondering what is going through an employer's head when they are hiring an intern. Trust us - the process isn't only difficult for you! Employers often don't have time searching for and finding the right candidate, so if you think you have the skills, it is important that you let employers know. Based on our experience working with employers seeking interns, we think the thought process goes a little something like this...

"Yes, there it is! My organization's Internship Profile has appeared on . I know I did my Find Local  Internships homework writing down the skill set I expect the student to have and I gave the position an inviting name that did justice to the tasks involved. I wrote a paragraph about the requirements that the perfect student or recent graduate student should have to be successful in this internship.  I even disclosed some information about the culture and attitudes that are prevalent in our organization. Finally, I got the budget approved to make it a paid internship position.

Posting the profile on was a pretty easy affair and, hey, I found out that this service is even free of charge. Let’s give it a few days though, for students to pick up on this posting.

I somewhat expected it, as I pushed all the right buttons developing this internship posting, so I get 2-3 very qualified applicants a day. What a luxury position I am in - these candidates really rock! I decide to start planning some telephone interviews with some students, and even plan some talks with students from Rhode Island colleges that I’ve never done business with. I’m never too old to learn!


describe the imageBummer - I called this student whose resume looked really good, but she was totally unprepared on the phone. I would’ve expected her to save my telephone on her cell phone in advance, so she’d see on their display who was calling. Too bad, I can’t have that kind of unpreparedness in my organization.

The next student I wrote an e-mail to. He provided his address on his resume - what I considered to be outstanding. But now the email has bounced back! Can’t have that either! If the student is already sloppy with their own private info, what should I expect from them dealing with my organization's valued information?

Mmm, this might take a little longer than I expected! Maybe I should reach out to the bubbling under group? Some of the lay-out of their letters I didn’t like, but the experiences and skill sets they presented were really worthwhile. I can’t lose too much time on this procedure anymore. My boss wants this internship position filled quickly and we need to hurry with our marketing campaign. I've got to make some bigger strides here.


Ok, it’s looking better. I have three great candidates in the pipeline. I will invite them here at the office and must choose one of them. Better invite some colleagues and get them in on the selection procedure.


Yes, we sent out an offer! One candidate really stood out; let’s keep the other two waiting, just in case she doesn’t accept….. I know, we take hiring interns here as serious as hiring full time employees!


This procedure went really well. The candidate accepted the position, My boss and colleagues are very enthusiastic. Full steam ahead on hiring this great intern. Procedure is closed!

What do you say? Send the other ones a letter?  Why?…They didn’t get the internship position. Should I be thanking them for their energy and effort? But I don’t have time to send those letters to candidates who didn’t make the won’t make them happy anyway! But maybe this is just a business courtesy? Word-of-Mouth advertisement?......Yes, they might be our customers one day (or even now)….that’s a role reversal I never thought of! Ok, I will plan writing these ‘thank you’ letters, we do value their interest in our organization."

Topics: College Internships