Interview Scorecards: The intern edition

By Adam Robinson,
December 18, 2012

A few days ago we talked about determining whether your “intern” is legally an intern or if they are an employee in the eyes of the Department of Labor. That crucial first step not only ensures you are upholding the law, but it also clarifies what you need to look for in potential new “interns.” 

When the time comes to interview candidates, both you and the candidate should have a good understanding of what the position entails. But a general understanding just isn’t enough. What if a candidate does have previous administrative support experience, but after coming into work that first week you find out they are very uncomfortable speaking on the phone and with office guests? Luckily with the use of interview scorecards, situations like these can be avoided through the use of strategic interview questions.

You may think that because the candidates are only interviewing for an intern position, the interview isn’t all that important. But keep in mind that these “interns,” paid or unpaid, can bring a lot to the team – both good and bad. By using interview score sheets with each and every “intern” interview, the chances of hiring a new team member with fresh ideas and strong work ethic are greatly increased. 

If that’s not enough to convince you to use a score sheet with “interns,” then maybe this will help.

1. Rate candidates on past behaviors as well as present

Rather than scoring a candidate based on the position you are hiring for, scorecards also take into account their past and present behaviors. An effective scorecard will look at the successes a candidate has had in their past and current positions, and then use that information to increase (or decrease) their score. By looking at specific traits that made the candidate successful, such as leadership skills, organization and persistence, the score sheet is able to gauge their potential success at your company. 

2. Based on sound research, rather than your “gut-feeling”

Gut-feeling, eh? Are you sure you’re not just hungry? Rather than grabbing a sandwich before your interview to make sure your gut is in tip-top interviewing shape, just use an interview scorecard. It uses a researched and tested algorithm that allows you, the hiring manager, to compare candidates and make the right hiring decision. Plus, if you have to consult with your team before handing over an offer letter, the interview scorecard will have a lot more sway than just your gut-feeling.

3. Incognito lie detector

It’s no secret that some job-seekers embellish their past job duties and successes on their resume and even during the interview. Don’t think that just because you are looking to bring a college student on-board doesn’t mean the won’t exaggerate. Take it from a college student, we are told over and over again that if we don’t have internship experience, we’ll never get a job. So rather than working hard to achieve more success, some students just lie in order to land an interview. Luckily, a good interview scorecard is able to unveil such lies. How? Easy – by scoring in-depth follow-up questions. 

Why risk making a bad hire? Whether you develop your own scorecards or use Hireology’s, you’re significantally decreasing the risk of hiring someone who could be detrimental to the company. 

Want even more tips on hiring millennials, download our free guide!

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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