Working an intern? Skill level?


I had this CEO today interviewing me for an internship. A prerequisite was being able to work with react api. I clearly explained to him that I had no experience but I am willing to learn. Afterwards, I spoke with the CTO who was also the senior front end developer. It was a non-paid internship and the CTO expected me to have his level of skill and pretty much take up his entire workload because he had a full time job. Back at the coding bootcamp I attended, my instructor who is also a lead developer and hiring manager at her company explained to me that she never expects juniors to know everything (since they are still juniors they’re learning). This supposed CTO goes on to explain how he learned react on his own in under 100 hours and said that even if I learned react, I may still be of no value. He came across as arrogant as he rubbed this in throughout his email. That said, a question comes to mind. What are the standards for a junior? I thought that the purpose of an intern was to give them real world experience while training them at the same time(and maybe take them on as an employee if they displayed talent). I am aware that some of them do not pay, and if that is the case, the demand for the level of skill should not be kept so high at all. Moving on, I thought that the supposed CEO and CTO were the only people that made up the company. That isn’t what bothered me at all. What bothered me the most was the blatant arrogance and the fact that they avoided talking about the compensation package. Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic. My idea of what a good intern may be wrong and if so I’d like to know about it, as well as what I should expect. To me, an internship that has no priority to teach or pay the intern is a waste. What kind of internship requires a developer to be able to work at a senior level?

Just for kicks, I replied to the CTO’s arrogant message. I told him that they have completely avoided the topic of compensation and for that reason I have lost all interest (which was not much to begin with).


The Intern is supposed to be the one benefitting from the relationship… not the other way around.

I think they’re just looking for free slave labor.


I thought so myself. The supposed CTO was very full of himself. A trait that’s common among those who want to exploit other people.


The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:

The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;

The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;

The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;

The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and

The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.


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