If you’re looking to potentially hire new people, it’s important to consider what traits make for a great intern — and a great prospective employee in general.
Here are nine signs that you have an exceptional intern on your hands:
1. Your intern anticipates your needs
“If an intern regularly shows the ability to anticipate needs, lock them in as a full-time employee,” Sherry Dixon, senior vice president of Adecco USA, tells Business Insider.
If your intern seems to always know what you need day in and day out, that’s a great sign. This trait is an indication that they’re tapped into your organisation and they have got a great attitude.
2. They do a better job than you asked for
Superior interns don’t turn in adequate work. Every day, they turn over assignments that go above and beyond what you were expecting.
“For example, if they are asked to do something but realise they could improve the results if they made a little extra effort, and they do it without asking, that’s a young professional that understands the more value they provide, the more they are valued,” says J.T. O’Donnell, the founder of career-advice site CAREEREALISM.com and author of “Careerealism: The Smart Approach to a Satisfying Career.”
3. They are flexible and calm under pressure
“Adaptability is one of those soft skills that can outweigh an entry-level job candidate’s lack of experience,” Dixon says.
No one wants an intern that sounds great on paper but falls apart whenever challenges arise in the office. Problems can spring up at any time. A great intern will be able to handle them without much hand-holding.
4. They’re open about the fact they want the job
Lauren Berger, founder and CEO of InternQueen.com, says that many interns see their hopes of receiving a job offer dashed because of one massive blunder.
They don’t tell their employers that they’re interested in a full-time job opportunity.
A good intern just does excellent work. A great intern does excellent work and has the smarts and gumption to do everything it takes to get hired.
5. They’re easy to work with
Great interns focus on being friendly, helpful, and reliable every single day. They have bad days too, but they don’t let it show.
Try to be the intern that’s never sitting around with nothing to do — introduce yourself to different people in the office — your magic words should be ‘I’m here to help,'” Berger says.
6. They don’t complain
Whiny people don’t get far in most offices, so you can just imagine that whiny interns don’t have much of a chance.
The best interns have a great attitude to go along with their impressive work ethic. If problems arise, they don’t complain (out loud or on social media). They tackle the issue in some more proactive, positive manner.
7. They take the initiative
When they’re just starting out, interns can be excused for needing some extra help and education. Additionally, if your company’s internship program is very rigid and structured, it’s understandable that interns just stick to the requirements.
However, the best interns always find a way to approach their work in a proactive manner. They jump for every extra assignment. They ask for more responsibilities. They go above and beyond their job descriptions.
8. They fit in with the organisation’s culture
An individual might be a great worker, but things will likely turn sour eventually if they don’t fit in with the company culture of the office.
This is true for full-time workers. It’s also true for interns.
The best interns won’t just produce great work — they will get to know their coworkers and truly immerse themselves in the office culture.
9. They’re indistinguishable from other employees
In most cases, you can tell the difference between an intern and a full-time employee. You might have a wonderfully decent intern on your hands, but they’re still not quite operating on the level of someone that the company’s actually hired.
This isn’t true in the case of the best interns. They’re essentially working at the same level as everyone else in the company. Sure, they needed more help and education at the beginning of their internship, but over time, it’s impossible to tell their work from anyone else’s.
That’s a sign that you’re working with a great intern.
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