Hiring the Right Intern – How to Avoid Ending Up with Your Boss’ Cousin’s Son


It’s the second week of October and you’re likely just getting your head above water at work. All last Fall you talked about finding better interns for the upcoming summer, but by the time you actually got to reviewing the hundreds of college resumés in the Spring, most of the top candidates had already been extended offers.  As a result, you spent 10-weeks training somebody who is not the right fit for a position, rather than focusing on somebody that actually had the potential to be a full-time hire. 

So why do you consistently end up with interns that don’t fit the role…

Because interviewing is time intensive and campus recruiting is expensive… really really expensive.

As you catch up on the work that fell aside while you trained the intern, you probably didn’t realize that the intern hiring process has already begun for next summer. Big companies with fully staffed HR teams have already started hosting info sessions, posting job descriptions, reviewing students, and conducting on-campus events and interviews.  


The Difficulty with Recruiting College Students

College students have three distinct qualities that make them incredibly difficult to review.  They have limited experience, they have numerous job interests, and they are in high demand.

Limited Experience

College students don’t have real job market experience. As a result, soft skills are critical to understanding how a candidate will translate into an intern that can learn your business and become an effective member of the team.

Highly Motivated

  • Students apply to every job that is loosely associated with their desired role.
  • Students tailor each resumé to the job description.

These two factors result in you being inundated with resumés that look fairly similar to the hundreds of other applicants, many of whom don’t actually have a real interest in the position you are hiring for. With the lack of experience, there is very little for a hiring team to review outside of a candidate’s GPA and Major… neither of which are great indicators for a candidate’s success. 


Most major companies have begun courting college students at the beginning of the school year, especially at top universities. This is compounded by the fact that most students are terrified of leaving college without a position. As a result, they are more likely to accept the first position rather than find one that fits their interests best.

Improving Your Odds

Companies that can afford to have an on-campus presence have an obvious recruiting advantage, but also still face the issue of mass application. You can help increase your chances of finding the best candidates by reducing the time it takes to engage them and focusing on a smaller pool. JabaTalks helps you do that.


Our Success

The reason that Geoff and I started JabaTalks is because of the amazing success we had implementing this technology to find a summer analyst for our previous firm. After utilizing the software we no longer needed to phone screening 80+ candidates over the course of several months. Rather, we were able to effectively reduce 300 candidates to a pool of 8 qualified applicants – 90% faster than we had done in years past

The reason for our success was two-fold:

  1. It was incredibly quick and easy for our acquisitions team to review the various applicants and screen down the hundred resumés to less than 10.
  1. Perhaps more importantly… we were able to reach each applicant that applied to the position. Unlike video, our system is quick and painless. Video interviews at any stage are awkward and can be especially restrictive to a company’s hiring process because candidates hate taking them. Candidates using the JabaTalks system consistently provided feedback that our voice interview platform was more comfortable and easier than dealing with automated video systems.


The Results

The biggest success, however, was not just in our reduction in time spent reviewing. What truly made us say “wow” was that we weren’t only bringing in candidates that had the highest GPA or most relevant experience; we were bringing in candidates that were able to express themselves thoughtfully and used the JabaTalks platform as an opportunity to explain why they were best for the position. As a result, we produced a smaller pool of diverse and qualified candidates in 10% of the time it took in previous years.


If you’re interested in kick-starting your intern hiring process and finding the best candidates faster than every before, shoot us an email. We are currently offering a 30-day free trial with up to 100 interviews and can have your interview ready for distribution within 24 hours!

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