Creating an Internship Program for Your Online Business

If you are considering implementing an internship program for your online small business, here are some things to consider:

Is an intern right for your business?

Before recruiting, there are a few questions you need to answer so that you can create a successful internship program that will benefit both you and your intern.

  • What should my intern(s) accomplish?

The first step to answering this question is evaluating the areas of your business that you could use help with. This could include planning social media posts or responding to inquiries from customers. Once you’ve established these areas where you could use some help, break them down further into specific tasks that you would feel comfortable handing over to someone else.

  • Who will supervise my intern(s)?

Ask yourself if you have the availability and comfortability to manage an intern. If not, consider asking a trusted employee to manage your intern.

  • How will my intern(s) contribute to my business goals?

Ask yourself what goals you could accomplish if you had additional help with your business, then determine if an intern will be able to help you accomplish these goals.

  • Do I have enough work to support an intern?

Before hiring anyone, you should make sure that there is enough work to be divided amongst yourself and the intern, ensuring that you both get the best possible work experience.

  • Will the intern(s) need any training before they start?

Evaluate the tasks you would like your intern to complete while working with you. Are the tasks straight-forward? Could they be done with simple instructions and common knowledge? If the answer to either of these questions was no, you will likely need to train your interns. Keep this in mind so you can allot some time at the beginning of the internship for training.

  • What is the duration of the internship?

Typically, internships take place over an undergraduate student’s summer break, which is usually three months long. However, you might consider a semester or year long internship program, in which case this should be clearly communicated to potential applicants.

Hiring the right intern

Hiring an intern requires similar steps as hiring a full-time employee.

  • Create a job description.

Start with creating a job title; this is the first thing potential applicants will see. Then, introduce your company. Under the job title, include a few sentences that give applicants a good idea of what your business does, and what type of interns you are looking for. Next, describe the specific role that your intern will have and outline their responsibilities. 

  • Draft interview questions.

Here are some sample interview questions:

  • Why did you choose to interview with our company for this position?
  • How do you plan to make an impact during your internship?
  • What do you expect to gain from this internship and what are your work expectations?
  • What skills do you have that will help you excel at this position? 
  • What recent industry trends do you think are important to address and why?

Qualities to look for in a remote intern.

It takes a special personality type to excel at a remote internship. Look for someone with a strong desire to learn and the ability to motivate themselves in a virtual setting. They must be able to manage their time and get tasks done without being given constant direction. Three major qualities to look for include:

  • Resourcefulness
  • Confidence
  • Self-motivation

In conclusion,choosing the right candidate is super important. 

When moving forward and hiring an intern, look for someone with initiative, a positive attitude, and professional communication skills. Look for initiative, even during the application process. When scheduling the interview, consider how responsive the applicants are. Additionally, it is important to look for someone with a positive attitude in order to ensure that they approach work in the best possible way. How they discuss previous work experiences and college coursework can be indicative of how their attitude has historically been involved in their work. Your intern should have good written and verbal skills. It is important that you can communicate about tasks and projects effectively. This is particularly significant in a virtual setting.

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