By Juila DiNardo of Fashion Pulse Daily
Not too long ago, I posed the question, “Are you Ready to Take on an Intern?” and in the post, offered some tips to evaluate taking your blog to the next level with some extra help. If you feel like it's intern time for you and your site, in this secondary post, l've got some suggestions on where to look for/post for interns, what to consider from their previous work experience, along with some questions to ask in an interview.
Use Your Networks and Resources Online
Why not start with your site as a basis for the intern search? Put up a post, send out a tweet, or a Facebook post with criteria and contact info. Also work the other networks you may belong to, such as LinkedIn, or an alumni network from your alma mater. Depending on what kind of internship you are offering, you might want to more specifically target journalism, fashion, or marketing departments at the college/university. You Don't rule out putting up a post through the school's Career Services department, which may help you procure a student-friendly format that can get you to the kind of student you have in mind. Other great sites that get a lot of eyeballs on them are FreeFashionInternships.com and Ed2010; just be sure to specify in your posting if you need someone locally or if they can truly intern with your site virtually from anywhere in the world.
How Much, or Little Background in Blogging is Necessary to Intern with You?
This is something you definitely should consider prior to weeding through resumes, or even posting your listing. Since internships help students get their foot in the door, chances are that most candidates won't have much, if any experience in the field, with the chances being even slimmer that they are a whiz at WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, or whatever platform you may use. Instead, you may want to look for key indicators of willingness to learn, passion, perseverance, and dedication via their extracurricular activities, and previous employers. DO contact a reference or two to gain further insight into their personality and work ethics. If they list or mention that they have a Twitter handle, Pinterest, Instagram account or blog, check it out to verify a level of professionalism you would want from someone associated with your site, as well as interpret what the candidate's interests and aesthetic tastes may be like (and of course, if it could be a match for your site).
If it is mandatory for you that the candidate comes equipped with certain skills and experience, such as managing social media accounts, using On Sugar, or understanding HTML, make it quite explicit in the internship posting that these areas are mandatory, but if encouraged or helpful for the position, use other keywords to indicate it as such, like “knowledge of Adobe Photoshop a plus.” Regardless, students without your required experience may still apply, but you never know; maybe they are such exceptional candidates that it is worth calling them for an interview!
Ask Questions That Apply Beyond the Realm of the Intern's Responsibilities
I always think, no matter how large or small a business may be, formal, casual or creative the environment may be, it's important to exercise the utmost professionalism on an interview. As an interviewer, if you happen to do an in-person interview, keep tabs on small details that may become big ones later, like tardiness and attire worn to the interview. First impressions really are important and can proclaims level of seriousness and consideration which can apply to both the interviewer, and interviewee.
I like to have a set of essential questions that I always ask an internship candidate, some relating to logistics of availability and school credit, while several of them revolve around the specifics of my site. What drew the candidate to want to work particularly at my blog, and what kind of content do they like and see themselves contributing to in the future? What might he/she hope to get out of this internship? How might this internship compliment his/her studies, interests, and future career goals. It might be deep thinking, especially for just an internship, but the candidates that have already thought about this and craft thoughtful responses tend to make the strongest impression on me in regard to their maturity and dedication to work in the realm of fashion and the digital space.