You have a list of potential interns for your software development shop... what do you ask to select the best ones?


SO you have a list of resumes for potential software development interns, what do you ask them to make sure you get the best one(s)?

Hiring Interns

asked Oct 15 '09 at 09:06
4,815 points

3 Answers


I heard this from someone and liked it: Get your dev candidates to come in and spend one day with you building something - ideally of the type that you would like them to do during their work with you and you would likely want to spend the time in choosing a good task and environment to test their skills on an even playing field.

I personally would test them on fixing a bug on a large project - maybe something open source and something that you already know how to fix.

You might want to do a variant of the above.

answered Oct 15 '09 at 09:25
1,080 points


I like the "get them to spend a day at your office and do some real work advice", but that may not always be practical. I think you can get some of the results by creating a small real-code task that you can have all candidates complete before coming to the interview. You can always find out if they did it (instead of somebody else) with a few questions on the interview.

Other than that, go with your gut feeling. Do you like the person you talk to? Do you like his/her attitude? Would you love to work with him/her? To me that is a lot more important than being skilled in the technology in fashion today.

answered Oct 15 '09 at 14:16
Hristo Deshev
141 points


I have hired many interns over the years. I learned a few things. For instance, resume is not a predictor of success.

I believe in doing. Put them in real-life situations. If I give you a keyboard and a Linux shell, I can tell pretty quickly whether you are a hacker or not.

What you don't want to rely on is the "behavioral interview" with questions such as "tell me a situation where you showed leadership".

Believe it or not, I actually wrote a guest article on the topic more than 10 years ago and it hasn't aged:

answered Oct 15 '09 at 12:14
Alain Raynaud
10,927 points

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