Site   Web

November 13, 2012

Finding Good Interns For Your Small Business

A successful internship program provides the intern with real-world experience and your company with new insights and feedback on how to run an even better internship program. It can be a win-win situation.

If you’ve hired the wrong intern, however, you may suffer lost resources and productivity.

Students are using sites like,, and to find internships. Your company should be visible on at least one of these sites, if not all.

While the internship requirements vary based on the business, there are a few traits that every marketing intern should possess to succeed and make a positive impact on your inbound marketing strategy.

The following are a few tips on finding good interns for your small business.

1. Literary competency

Writing competency is a crucial part of the success of any business venture. If a new marketer is joining your team, he or she should be able to contribute written content.

Ideally, your intern maintains his or her own blog, even if it isn’t about your industry or marketing in general. Consistent writing habits make for strong writers who, likely, will produce valuable content for your company.

2. Interviews

Interviews are crucial in evaluating how an intern will operate under pressure. A good intern should be able to operate successfully even when under pressure. Look for eye contact, professional attire and clear communication skills.

Decide on whether your interviewing style is more casual or more intense, and stick with that theme through all of your interviews. Every prospective intern should be subjected to a comparable amount of pressure and intensity. An intern’s actions under the pressure of an interview can be indicative of their behavior in high-pressure situations at work.

3. Great expectations

Finding someone that is excited to work can be difficult, but those people do exist, especially among a younger demographic that’s hungry to prove their worth. Look for an intern that is excited about starting work in a real-world setting, wants to gain professional experience and already has some ideas of a project he or she could start right away.

4. Social media savvy

Lately, social media has become as much a professional platform as it is a friendly one. If the prospective intern has inappropriate pictures of themselves on Facebook or hasn’t built up a LinkedIn profile, that’s a red flag.

Assume that your intern prospects have been sufficiently warned and that any questionable findings are a deliberate choice to ignore those warnings.

5. Experience

While the intern may not have years of experience, it’s important that they have some context in order to communicate clearly about marketing with the rest of your team. Interns will have a lot to learn but they should not weigh down the progress of the department.

After getting their footing, your interns should have enough knowledge to take the position to new levels and generate their own ideas and contributions.

6. Team work

It’s important the prospective intern demonstrates experience in teamwork and time management. A prospective intern with leadership experience, whether they hold a position on the student council or founded a nonprofit organization, is likely to be self-motivated and hard working.

One of the most important internship traits is the ability for an intern to think on his or her feet. Give interns some room to mess up and learn for themselves because it will be a more effective learning opportunity.

Finally, it’s important that your intern leaves with a positive impression of the internship with you because his or her recommendation will impact the success of your internship program in the future.

Whether the goal is to train new talent for your company, have an impact on the success of a young professional or increase productivity, be sure to take time and care when hiring your next intern.

Yo Noguchi is an experienced freelancer, guest blogger, and frequent contributor to a blog hosted by Benchmark Email, one of the world’s global provider of email marketing services.