Interviewing Unpaid Interns
We’ve now had 3 interns at bongobing, so I thought I’d share some of our lessons learned. There is a big difference between hiring an unpaid intern and a paid one. Not because the quality of their work is any different (although many times it is), but because the expectations may be different. The interview needs to be a mutual interview and not just you pushing information onto them and hopping that they agree to it. You need to make sure that the candidate is a right fit with the culture of the company and that they are doing it for the right reasons. Wrong reasons to get an unpaid internship: (1) my parents said that I had to do something, (2) my friend works there too, (3) I’ll be able to kill some time and have something to do. Great reasons to get an unpaid internship: (1) I am very interested in the field and don’t care about getting paid because I’m still in school, (2) I’ll be able to get my foot in the door and hopefully have a job after I graduate, (3) I don’t know much about the industry, but have a good work ethic so I’ll give it a shot. Your job as the interviewer is to identify why the candidate is trying to get the internship. Ask a lot of questions and try to do more listening than talking.