I sometimes hire interns many months in advance of starting a position (sometimes as far in advance as six months). I've heard Mark and Mike's advice to keep in contact with someone you've hired every 2-3 days until they start, and I understand the wisdom of that advice. But when someone is starting months from now, how do you advise I keep in touch with them, and should it be something like every week or two weeks until they're within a couple of weeks of their start date?

Nicholas Barry
Executive Director for Davis Dollars Community Currency
District Representative for Senator Darrell Steinberg

tlhausmann's picture

Hmmm. In your particular case every 2-3 days seems too much.  In my view, every 2 weeks or so would be fine (as you indicate in your post) and more frequently leading up to the start date to ensure a smooth on-boarding process.

Nice work on hiring interns...there is a real potential for big gains with little risk.

mattpalmer's picture

 I'd drip-feed them a set of articles that they might find interesting for their job.  A few Career Tools podcasts, blog posts from places that deal with "how to be a good intern" ( has some good ones), relevant news articles from the media when they're published (given you're in politics, I would assume there's a steady stream of those).  It only has to be prefaced with a quick sentence like, "Hey, I thought this article might be useful to you in preparing for your internship.  Looking forward to working with you!" and the URL to the relevant item.  Gets them educated and prepared for the job, as well as holding their interest and keeping in touch.

mmann's picture

Every two weeks as Tom suggests, drip-feed as Matt advises, and, if they're in the vicinity, meet them face-to-face every 6-8 weeks.  Make it something simple like 20 minutes over a cup of coffee.  Make sure you emphasize your excitement about them joining the team and compliment them on their integrity.


derosier's picture

 I agree with the above. One thing to remember, we're talking about interns. One of the purpose of interns is to learn new things, and one of the tradeoffs of hiring people with so little experience is that they don't know much yet and require a lot of hand-holding to use them effectively. Make sure you start that on day-one and use that extra several months as an opportunity to teach them their job. Here an opportunity to suggest a book or two to read and followup with them a few weeks later. Bonus points if you actually buy and give them the book.

- Steve