Advice for Employers and Recruiters

Internship tips from a recruiting expert

William Frierson AvatarWilliam Frierson
February 4, 2016

Internships are great opportunities for job seekers to learn about specific career fields and gain work experience. College students and recent graduates searching for internships must possess certain qualifications employers require. Dennis Theodorou, Executive Search Expert and Vice President of Operations at JMJ Phillip Executive Search, shares what his company wants in interns and gives advice to internship candidates to improve their chances of landing internships.

Photo of Dennis Theodorou

Dennis Theodorou, Executive Search Expert and Vice President of Operations at JMJ Phillip Executive Search

“Every summer, our companies seek and hire interns to assist us in our research departments for several of our companies. Many interns seem to think that internships are just handed to them and that they just have to show up, work, and go back to school. Although that may be the case for some companies, most companies conduct formal interviews. Our company puts interns through nearly 50% of our normal interviewing process for internships which covers behavioral economics, knowledge, quantitative skills and qualitative skills. Since the summer is a shorter season, and the semester duration isn’t seemingly enough, interns must be trained appropriately. We also look for the following traits when filling internships: self-starting and ambitious, free-thinking, one who takes direction well, can operate autonomously – if needed, gets along well with others, possesses high energy, remains motivated and sharp skills that are consistent with his/her character.

Our goal when filling internships is to select interns we would consider hiring when they graduate. So much of the interview process is truly taken seriously. If the intern wants to increase his/her chances of getting a good internship, our advice is, ‘it really comes down to showing that you’re determined and that you’re going to enter the workforce and PUT IN WORK!’ We don’t know many companies that want to hire sluggish interns that don’t want to raise their hand to take on another task, and it’s unfortunately often that we see interns make this mistake over and over again.”

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Mr. Dennis Theodorou has more than 15 years of operational excellence and executive experience across multiple industries including: Executive Search, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Retail and Hospitality. Mr. Theodorou graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from the leading supply chain management college in the world, Michigan State University. He has continued his education through graduate-level course work at Harvard University. As a development agent for Subway, he managed and led an entire region of store locations including the management of self-owned stores, franchise development, real estate, and area management. As a national expert in hiring, he has hired more than 700 employees over his entire career span and works hand-in-hand with companies to help on board top talent. Currently as Vice President of JMJ Phillip, he manages a portfolio of executive recruiting and employment service brands, spanning multiple locations and across nearly all verticals.

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