Here at Roundpeg, we’ve been interviewing candidates for our PR intern position  (and we are still looking!). As someone who sat in that interview chair less than a year ago, I find being the interviewer a difficult and somewhat surreal experience.

For anyone else who struggles with the hiring process, or for anyone out there searching, I wanted to share what’s going through my mind as I chat with a candidate.

  1. Show, don’t tell: Many people like to say that they’re great writers, or that they’re social media addicts. That’s all well and good, but prove it. It’s impressive when a candidate comes prepared with writing samples or a portfolio to showcase their work. If you’re a social media person, bring a sheet of your latest tweets, or offer to log into your account and show me what you’ve been doing. This helps us evaluate your skill level determine you can contribute to our team.
  2. You have to impress us all: In many offices, but in Roundpeg in particular, we work very, very closely. Usually, I can’t finish a project without some piece of help from someone else in the office. So even if I like a particular candidate, you have to impress Lorraine, of course, but also  my partners in crime Jay and Taylor. And never, ever underestimate the secretary: Rebecca has an eye for people, and her opinion is valued very highly. You get bonus points if the dog and the cat like you.
  3. Love what you do: What impresses me most about a candidate is usually not their resume, or their references. It’s how they speak about what they do. It sounds corny, but being passionate about your field will cover a lot of sins. We can teach you how to do social media, or how to be a better writer. But I can’t teach the excitement that makes you want to get out of bed each morning, or that keeps you up late at night reading articles about your field.

We haven’t made any decisions yet about who our next intern will be, but even as I struggle with the interview process, I’m learning more and more everyday, and hope that I make the right choice in selecting a great new successor to our long line of awesome interns.