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Dave Olson, Published April 03 2013

Fargo ad firm mixes speed dating with intern search

FARGO – H2M, a Fargo-based advertising and marketing agency, has created a daunting interview process for selecting summer interns.

Make that a Dante interview process.

H2M is calling its new hiring approach the “Intern-o Inferno,” and it goes something like this:

The company will limit its search to 64 applicants, each of whom will be interviewed by every one of H2M’s dozen or so employees, a process akin to speed dating, according to Meghan Finch, H2M director of client services.

Through a bracket-type competition structure, two people will wind up being picked for paid internships in the company’s account management department.

At the end of the summer, one of the interns will be tapped for a full-time account assistant position.

“Hopefully, it will not be an intimidating experience for the candidates,” Finch said.

“We’ve had internships in the past,” she added, “but we’ve never tried this sort of fun, mass-speed-dating approach. We’ve never had the whole agency involved in that process, either.”

For the initial interviews, H2M employees will spend about two minutes with each prospect, asking a series of three or so quick questions.

Applicants with lower scores will be weeded out and the agency as a group will discuss those who remain.

Finch said the company is looking for recent college graduates from around the region who have a four-year degree in advertising, communications, marketing, public relations or a related field.

Hopefuls can apply for an internship and read about what to expect by going to the company’s website at www.h2m.biz/internoinfer

no. H2M advises individuals interested in applying to RSVP with a resume at the company’s website by this Friday.

Finch said H2M has had good luck with interns in the past and two of its full-time employees are former interns.

“That’s really why we wanted to try this competition,” Finch said. “We have a need for a full-time person this fall, and it seems like a good way to find good candidates, put them in the job itself and then get a good sense of how they’re going to work out.

“We hope to make it really fun,” she added. “Our internships are not just grunt work. We give our interns a lot of responsibilities.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555