The Intern Series: Initial Resume Check and Interview

24 09 2008

This post is specifically for internship coordinators, executives, and HR Representatives that are/have/or plan to interview POTENTIAL INTERNS (PIs – as I like to call them). I know that many of you are dealing with several resumes at a time. When you scan these resumes make sure you look at the following things:

1. Is the intern currently enrolled in school ? If the student graduated in May or June 2008 make sure to check with your company policy to see if it is alright to hire them. Most company policies do not want to hire a student for an unpaid internship if the student cannot receieve any sort of college credit.


What if you have found the PERFECT candidate for your internship BUT they just graduated college? I always tell individuals who have just graduated but still want to intern that they should contact their school. Sometimes, schools can recognize internships on transcripts even after the student has graduated. In most cases, as long as the internship can be somehow recognized on an official transcript – the person can go ahead with the internship.

2.  If you are seeking out fall or spring internship candidates, make sure they are attending school in the same city as the internship or a city close enough for commuting purposes.

3. Relevancy. Make sure the student seems focused on this field. You want someone serious about understanding your business and industry. Check the students major, previous jobs, and previous experience. You want to notice at least one item on the resume that says “I am trying to work in this field”.

I would recomend doing an in-person interview with every potential intern before hiring them. You want to look at the following when they come in:

1. Did they “dress the part” ? Did they make an effort to look presentable for the internship interview?

2. Do they have good communication skills ? Are they making an attempt to speak with you ? Are they conversational ? Do they provide more than “one word” answers to the questions you ask them ?

TIP: I always like to begin an interview by saying, “Tell me about yourself and your professional  goals” – This usually gets the student speaking and doesn’t allow them to give you a “one word” answer. If the student will be answering phones, assisting customers and/or clients, or pitching you want to make sure that they speak clearly and effortlessly. You want to know that after training them, they will be able to communicate your thoughts and instructions to others.

3. Ask them what they would like to get out of the internship. You want to make this experience beneficial for both of you. When I have interns that have a heavy PR focus, I try to involve them with PR opportunities and have them sit on my PR calls. Gauge the students interests so that you can offer them something in return. Internships shouldn’t be a one way street. They help us – We help them. This question will also let you know if the internship is right for them. I had a student apply to intern with me and he told me he wants to be a sports team manager – I told him I thought other opportunities might be better for him to reach his final goals. We aren’t here to waste time in a student’s career path. The internship should help the student decide if the particular field is one where they can see themselves in the future.

TIP: NEVER offer the internship on the spot. This makes your internship look easy to obtain. You want the student to leave and think about it for a while. You want to maintain an impression of “prestige” for your internship program. Calling the student later that day or the following day is appropriate. If you are not making any decisions for a long amount of time, try to properly communicate that to the student. Manage their expectations properly.

TIP: Once you offer a student the internship, tell them that you would like them to take the evening to think about it and call you the following day with an answer. This eliminates putting a student on the spot and having them flake out later on in the semester. I’d rather you not have to train several different interns if at all possible. currently features over 250 Entertainment/Journalism/Web/PR Internship Listings in New York, California, and Chicago. We are currently expanding to Hartfod and Des Moines Regions. We are currently expanding into marketing/advertising/and sports internships. Please contact me asap with any questions/tips/leads.  We have currently received over 400 resumes from students looking for Fall 2008 Internships. We have placed students at Universal Music Group, Interscope Records, VH1 Publicity, Jinks/Cohen Productions, BOP/Tiger Beat Magazine, Sony Pictures Television, Village Road Show, Silver Pictures, The Daily Buzz, Overbrook Entertainment, Feinstein/McGuiness PR, and Thanks so much to all of you who have really helped to build my site.


Lauren Berger

“The Intern Queen”




One response

25 09 2008

Intern Queen, what do you think of online resume portfolios or career pages? Take a look at which lets students build an online professional identify via a free multi-media resume page. Do you think this level of information makes it easier for recruiters to find interns or not?

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