Feedback is an important part of an internship, and it should always be constructive – everything is a learning opportunity. Remember that interns have not had a lot of experience in professional roles and they will not be familiar with receiving feedback. Don’t forget to ask for feedback from your intern, too. The following are some key points to consider when offering feedback to your interns.
Open communication is important! Make time and be available for your intern discuss solutions with you in a friendly, supportive and constructive manner. If an intern feels they can’t ask questions, they may lose confidence in their ability to do the job and the quality of their performance may decrease.
Regular check-ins are important. Scheduling a weekly or fortnightly meeting with your intern will give them a chance to discuss how things are going and ask questions. This is an opportunity to discuss how they’re feeling, where their worries may be, and where they would like more help.
Remember that feedback doesn’t always need to be given in a formal meeting. Using an instant messenger such as ‘Slack’ can be a positive way to check in with your intern and to ask if they need help with anything without the intern feeling like they are interrupting your work.
Constructive feedback should be carefully phrased and balanced with positive so that the intern feels nurtured and supported rather than criticised. Give tangible examples of things to improve, and ask coaching questions to prompt open discussions.
This resource was designed and compiled by interns sourced through Summer of Tech 2017.