Share your experience with interns

Having an intern seems like a no-brainer, yet it doesn't seem very popular among indies.

For those who have had interns:

  • How'd it go?
  • Where did you find them?
  • Tips on doing it well?

For those who thought about it but decided not to: why not?

  1. 2

    Some key points you should remember while hiring for the intern-

    1. Hire passionate people over Degree.
    2. Check proof of work like a project, work sample before hiring.
    3. Assume you have to spend the time to get the work out of the intern especially initial days.
    4. Have a clear to-do list for interns.
    5. More focus on the quality of intern, should be self-starter, good communication skills. Because technical skills like coding, SEO and other stuff interns will learn but not these skills.
    6. Have a final call with them before hiring, ask the main reason why they are joining. You should be okay with that reason.

    All the very best

    1. 2

      Good tips, thank you!

  2. 2

    On work to be assigned:

    • give low-value, time-consuming tasks that can be defined and measured. idea is to offload work that is beneficial to both sides. understand from the perspective of an intern. they are very new to the industry, don't expect them to take up the project end-to-end and execute it. you'll end up wasting your time.
    • Initial days are important. I've seen encouragement in the initial days to build up confidence goes long way. set aside 7-14 days for them to settle in and understand things. create dummy tasks that introduces them to the product.

    On hiring:

    • before hiring, see any good side-projects/portfolio they worked solo. this tells they are motivated enough. honestly, that's the only criteria serving as a first-level filter.
    • always give a small assignment before hiring. you can pay them for their time if you want.
    • beware if someone is exaggerating a lot on their work/experience.

    Where to look for:

    • there are specialised websites just for internships.
    • if accessible, connect directly with college. Interns joining through this route, usually performs well.
    • there are bootcamps/online which can be good source for interns.
    1. 2

      Hadn't thought about bootcamps, thanks!

  3. 2

    I am trying to hire an intern for looking after the marketing bit. I will be guiding them on the distribution strategy, but challenge is to find them.

    As my product is not famous they are also not willing to work on it. And if there is no marketing the product will not become famous. So in a catch 22 situation.

    I will wait for a week or so and then will work on the marketing on my own like we indie hackers do.

    1. 1

      I hear ya. Best of luck with the search!

  4. 2

    I’ve had 4 remote interns in the past few months, they were part of a program from a local startup incubator/community. It didn’t go as well as I hoped, they were all final year developers, with most of their knowledge around NodeJS and were actually going after internships as part of course requirements running for 12 weeks.

    The idea of the interning being part of a course requirement is a bit weird but it’s a good idea given the context. However, like most graduates lately; they were pretty useless and ended up sucking away a lot of my time, so after about a week I let my non-technical cofounder manage their tasks and things so I could focus more on development.

    I recommend seriously evaluating interns for their skills and what they are confident doing, you’ll be surprised how limited their skill sets will be, so don’t expect to have any free labour or increased productivity.

    I don’t mean to sound too negative but make sure you know what you’re getting into 😂, maybe you’ll find some good interns out there.

    1. 1

      I've had a back-of-mind worry about this scenario. Feels like you're rolling the dice a bit. If you get lucky, you get a skilled and self-directed person. If not, you might lose a lot of time. Thanks for sharing.

  5. 2

    Most of time intern apply for job so that they can get basic experience certificate which will help them to apply and get better paying job or job in bigger MNC.

    The best you can do is be open with them and ask what their plan is? Are they applying for just experience certificate or really interested in product and willing to focus on it for long term.

    1. 1

      Good advice, thank you

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