What do you do with an intern?

what to do with an intern by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Hiring an intern is all fun and games until you’re 3 weeks in and there’s no more work to do…

Managing an intern is different to managing full-time employees. Your fresh-faced newbie will be hungry to learn, eager to impress and full of anxiety.

Failing to prepare to take on an intern is once of the most common mistakes employers can make. It can lead to confusion and boredom pretty quickly. But it’s also easily avoided.

But first: what are you going to pay your intern?

1 – Do you need them?

I know that taking on a few interns is tempting, but ask yourself: do you really need them?

It’s a good idea to lay out all of the tasks you would give to your intern. Are there enough? Remember that internships are all about creating a mutually beneficial arrangement, so be sure to include tasks for their professional development too.

A good balance of short and long term projects and responsibilities is the recipe for success.

2 – Pick the right intern for you

As a graduate recruitment agency, we know a thing or two about picking the right people for the job. We’ve seen first-hand what works… and what doesn’t.

Although your gut instinct might prompt you to give the job to someone you would love to go to the pub with, please be careful. As important as culture fit is, experience, ability and passion are vital. Be sure that your intern is excited about your company and the role. If their heart lies in sales and you’ve hired them as a marketing intern, you might have a problem down the line.

What do you do with an intern?

3 – Give them some trust

Once you’ve chosen your intern (or two), you might be tempted to hover over their shoulders to make sure they don’t break anything. Everyone’s entitled to their own management style, but please give your intern some trust.

Even though your intern will probably have little to no experience, you’ve picked them for a reason. Let them take up responsibility, make mistakes and solve their own problems where they can. These are vital things that everyone has to learn at their first job.

4 – Keep communicating

Even though it’s vital to give your interns independence and trust, you also have to keep communicating with them. Have a morning meeting, email check-in and end of day catch up to ensure that you answer any questions they might have. This will make the whole process so much easier for both sides.

Let your intern know when they’ve done something great and where they can improve. And before your time with them is up, ask them about how you can improve as a manager.

Where to find talented interns

Did we mention that we’re intern experts? If you’re looking for a passionate, skilled junior try out DigitalGrads. We pre-screen our applicants and help you through the hiring process to ensure that you’re all set up for a great working relationship. Sign up and post your role today!

About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
Posted in Managing Juniors