How to Weed Out Intern Candidates With a Simple Email…

As we begin to receive resumes for our upcoming newest pool of interns we’ve come up with an additional resume/candidate screening tool to help us not only weed out candidates but more importantly…make the process much more effective and efficient.

After we receive a resume that looks like a good potential intern we send them an email similar to the one below:

Thank you for your interest in working with our company as a Social Media/PR/Marketing intern.

Before we set-up the interview please answer a few questions to confirm your understanding of the internship opportunity and your interest and needs in the internship.

1.       Do you understand this is an unpaid internship?

2.       Do you understand that this is a virtual internship?

3.       Do you have your own computer/laptop?

4.       When can you start?

5.       How many hours per week can you dedicate to the internship?

6.       Will you be seeking credit for your internship?

7.       If you are seeking credit for your internship have you been in contact with your career services center, academic advisor or professor who will be coordinating they credit to gather any documents or requirements you may need to fulfill?

Assuming you are still interested in an unpaid, virtual internship, we would be interested in setting up a phone interview with you next Tuesday, December 7.  We have availability from 9-10 AM, 11AM-1:30PM, or 4:15-5PM PST.

The email achieves a few objectives.

First and most importantly we confirm that the candidate understands that our internship is BOTH UNPAID and VIRTUAL.  That way we know that we aren’t wasting anyone’s time getting on the phone for an interview with a candidate who needs to be paid or has a desire or need to come into our office (this is big…learn from our mistakes, we’ve scheduled numerous phone interviews in the past to find out from the get-go that the person needs to be paid).  We also re-iterate these points on the phone interview.

Second, by asking the candidate to answer a few questions via email you learn first if they can follow instructions and how well they communicate and write.  As this will be a virtual internship and most communications will be via email it’s imperative that our interns be effective communicators and easily follow written instructions.

Third, by asking for the administrative details of their internship you can gauge what your responsibilities will be with the internship (will they be seeking credit?) and also how many hours they intern will be able to dedicate each week and their start date.  If you have a specific project you want your intern working on and his or her start date and time commitment does not fit the needs of your project then right away you know this isn’t the right fit.

Feel free to “copy and paste” our email to fit your needs in your recruiting process.  This is just one of the many tips, techniques and strategies we share with our Intern Profits System clients.

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