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How to Identify Your All-Star Intern

Written by Ahva Sadeghi on August 17, 2018
2 min read

Internship programs are a strategic recruitment plan, perfect for test driving potential employees. They help companies figure out if potential hires fit in the company culture, have the right work ethic, and have the right skillsets to succeed in their careers. We’ve put together some tips to identify the all-star interns you should be offering full-time positions to. Here are 4 traits that are common among all-star interns:
1. Takes initiative

Your intern might not know all the answers, but they should be hungry for the opportunity to learn and support the team. Your intern should go the extra mile, especially if they are to join your team full-time. These are some important questions to ask to gauge your intern’s willingness to take initiative:

• Does your intern offer to help when their projects are completed?
• Does your intern propose new projects or ideas to support the team?
• Does your intern attempt to find answers and solutions independently?
• Does your intern set goals for themselves aside from what you have proposed?
• Have you noticed your intern offer to support and help other teams in the company?

2. Team Player

Teamwork is important to every organization’s success. As they say, team work makes the dream work! Your intern should work well with the team they support and with others in the company. Poor communication skills and poor sportsmanship can be disastrous for the work culture. That is why it is essential to observe your intern’s ability to support the team’s mission and collaborate. Teamwork is a skill that must be observed over multiple instances over time. Just because an intern works well with one group on one project does not mean that they will be consistent. Some of the key team player characteristics to look for in your intern include encouraging teammates to succeed, clear understanding of team objectives and valuing other team members’ contributions as well as giving their own.

3. Meets Deadlines and Completes Tasks with Exemplary Work

As we mentioned earlier, you want a star intern who goes the extra mile and rises above the occasion. Watch closely to see if your intern makes the extra effort to not only complete projects before the deadline but also complete them with excellence. Of course, you should not expect your intern to be a “pro” yet because they are in the process of learning, but you should track your intern’s growth and hard work ethic.

Intern managers play an important part of this all-star intern identifier. It is critical that you set clear expectations with project details and deadlines to ensure your intern’s success in his or her role. You must also provide valuable feedback to help your intern learn and improve their work throughout the internship experience.

4. Positive Attitude

Last but definitely not least, your intern should have a positive attitude. You want to hire employees that will boost morale and happiness in the workplace as this will ultimately yield greater productivity in your organization. People like to be around others with a positive attitude and outlook. This attitude is subjective but can be measured with body language, tone, and vocabulary choice.

With the unique opportunity to try out a potential new hire in the form of an intern, we encourage you to track these characteristics to review whether you might have some top-tier talent on your hands. If so, don’t let them get away and offer them an exciting and permanent position with you if the opportunity arises!

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Ahva Sadeghi

Ahva is the CEO and Co-Founder of Symba. She is a passionate social entrepreneur, and was recently named Forbes 30 Under 30 and a Global Entrepreneur Scholar by the US Department of State. Ahva completed her graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science where she served as President of the Human Rights Students Committee and received the John Lewis Fellow with Humanity in Action.

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