We are a local gov't organization, who gets batches of Interns to help with specific help desk. These Interns are college students from local university who are required to do internship. If they have extra time, they can choose to help us with tasks for extra work experience and enrichment.
In the past, we had batches of Interns who either
Did the help desk job well
Did the help desk job well and were motivated to help us with our tasks (one guy was so enthusiastic, I swear, he must have done back flips and hang springs on his way to work).
For some reason, we recently stumbled upon a dry season
Interns don't do help desk job well, even after my supervisor and their supervisor (who reports to my supervisor) has given them a talking-to about tardiness, excessive absences, etc, etc
one Intern who expressed interest in shadowing us backed out as soon as they saw how cumbersome the work was (even though we gave hint "powershell scripting" and "stackexchange.com").
This intern is even blaming our other teams for making his particular task so hard, is hinting how we are not like grand organizations such as Google.com, and is passively aggressively refusing to do the extra work, but at the same time, is not doing the job he was hired to do. Cannot make this stuff up!
Now, I have been asked to do an "interview" of the remaining Interns who are on help desk duty and performing poorly (basically all of them), to see what interest and motivates them.
The thinking is, if they have something to look forward to after performing their help desk duty, (i.e. if their interest is SQL programming), they will be better at help desk, and extra duties of helping us.
One cannot ask point blank, "ok, what are you interested in?", so what is the best way to get this information? And I searched Google for interview questions, but somehow it doesn't seem to fit with this crowd.
Also, we strategically set the times to be 30 minutes after they are scheduled to come in. If they are 15 minutes late to this meeting, we won't reschedule.
Supervisor is dealing with writing Interns up, etc, etc, but this is a last ditch effort to make the best of who we have.
This is paid internship. Interns get experience of helping users with basic IT queries, i.e. password resets, etc. If Intern finishes their tickets for the day, they can choose to work on other IT projects that gives them on-the-job training.
These are really great and insightful responses, please keep them coming!
One of the takeways I am getting from your comments is to allow Interns free reign on whatever IT project they wish to do .... 10% of time is good number .... hope Management agrees :-)