The insider’s guide to hiring the best interns [Employers]

As an employer you might be looking at your intern applicants and thinking that this whole process is shaping up to be a lot of work. Going about the search the right way, though, can really make it a relatively painless process with great payoff and provide your company with a host of benefits.


When you screen correctly for the best interns, you put yourself in a great position to test and essentially train tomorrow’s talent throughout an intensive internship.

Because you control the ins and outs of the internship, you can have interns doing real work that has a tangible, felt benefit.

Ways of Hiring the Very Best Interns

At the same time, you can drastically increase your employee retention rate since your interns are the best and brightest among your pool of applicants and genuinely enthusiastic to be helping out your organization.

Just over two-thirds of interns mature into full-time employees; and, over four-fifths of those job offers were ultimately accepted.

Those numbers in conjunction with one another tell you that employees are correctly identifying tomorrow’s top talent – and people compatible with their organizations – but it tells you another thing as well.

Because four-fifths of one-time interns took the job offers extended to them, it tells you that the offer was seen as mutually beneficial. How do you get to that enviable position as an employer?

Remain Proactive

The expression that “time and tide wait for no [wo]man” really applies here: Employers who consistently lasso the top interns in their area do so by being proactive in their search.

First, you need to home in on the main spot that interns – of all stripes, backgrounds and abilities – are coming from.

To succeed, start by finding a way to be on campus during job fairs to attract upperclassmen, and you might even consider finding a way to speak on campus during orientations and introductory classes.

Enlist the Help of Professors

Since the lion’s share of your internship pool is going to reside on college campuses, why not enlist the help of professors in making that search even easier?

Perhaps after you’ve spoken on campus or set up shop at a college or university job fair you could go over and introduce yourself to professors in the field (e.g., business marketing) who can steer promising students towards your area.

Give professors a rundown on what you do and what exactly you’re looking for in order to get the best results.

Stay in Touch

Some have called career services offices the most important offices on campus because they curate databases on internships and job opportunities while putting together job fairs, providing career guidance and sharpening applicants interview skills. You definitely want to be in the good graces with this on-campus resource.

Conduct Effective Interviews

You should, of course, bring up your applicant’s career goals, perceived strengths and weaknesses, and concerns with their resume.

Absolutely, but also see if interns can answer situational questions and negotiate future challenges they’re likely to face on the job. Use the STAR technique here.

Post Everywhere

Taking an all-hands-on-deck approach is a great way to up the chances that your internship opportunity attracts top talent in your area.

So, where are students and other young professionals looking when they have a general idea of the field they want to internship within?

It turns out they look at a variety of sources from, LinkedIn, Glassdoor and even Google to and, the less well-known but increasingly effective,

At a minimum, post your internship opening on to find interns in Rhode Island and your official website so that you’re found on Google.

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Bridge is a program that focuses on connecting employers and students in Rhode Island. The goal of Bridge is to match Rhode Island employers with talented students looking to gain valuable professional experience. Applying knowledge and skills acquired in college to a professional setting is a vital component of a student’s college education. Students who gain relevant internship experience are better prepared for full-time employment after graduation. By hiring interns, employers gain qualified, career-driven young professionals as employees. Student bring with them exposure to cutting edge practices and technology, new insights and philosophies, flexibility and a thirst for knowledge. bRIdge has a particular focus on connecting students and employers from specialized fields such as Business, Science, IT, Technology, Health, Design, Engineering and Manufacturing. The bRIdge website allows employers to post paid or unpaid internships online and directly reach out to a vast and talented pool of students. College students and recent graduates can sign up and start looking for an appropriate professional learning opportunity in minutes. bRIdge is a program of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) and RISLA’s College Planning Center of Rhode Island. RISLA has joined up with Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island (AICURI), the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education (RIBGHE) and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to bring together academia, business and community. If you have any questions about this program or if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us.

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