Tips for Internship Applicants: Q&A with Dean Huumala

Applying for a college internship is a bit of an art form. Only the best applicants get interviews — and only the best interviewees get internships.

In our previous post, we spoke with Dean Huumala about the engineering internship at Wurth Electronics Midcom. As the Hiring Manager of our internship program, he has valuable insight into the internship application process — and in this post, he’s happy to share it with you.

Read on to learn useful tips from Dean on applying and interviewing for a college internship!

Psst! Are you interested in applying for an internship at Wurth Electronics Midcom? Please reach out to us at careers@we-online.com or (605) 886-4385!

What are some of the main skills and qualities you look for an intern?

Attitude and aptitude. I usually require a minimum GPA of 3.2. I feel that’s kind of a mark that anyone can get.

The three main qualities of my most outstanding interns are a good attitude, a good work ethic, and an open mind. Everything else can be learned.

Are extracurricular activities important?

They are for many interviewers, but frankly, I don’t care what kind of hobbies people have. I’m more interested in their overall work and project experience. That holds a lot more weight to me.

What should an applicant do if they don't have any experience in the field yet?

Internships are great because typically no experience is required. However, school or personal projects in their field can be used as comparable experience. The personal ones in particular show good initiative.

For our engineering internship at Wurth Electronics Midcom, we’re not looking for people with actual engineering experience — you won’t find it at that stage. Job and work experience is important, though. I look for people who have good work ethic. Do they at least work at a nursery or Pizza Ranch? Or do they just sit around and play PlayStation all day?

How much do you know about an applicant going into an interview?

I review their resume, cover letter, and transcript, and I make sure they have references. (I only call their references if they make it to the final consideration.)

Personally, I don’t go to their social media accounts or anything, though I know interviewers who do. I get to know the person through the interview process. Whichever intern we hire, we’re taking a chance — but we eliminate that risk factor with our full-time hires by hiring out of our intern pool.

What should an applicant be conscious of when prepping for an interview?

The best preparation is practice. If you’re serious about one or two jobs, I’d advise you to do as many interviews as possible first — if not with real interviews other companies, then at least practice interviews with friends or family.

Candidates should know that there are no trick questions or right answers in an interview. We want you to be at ease; we want you to be yourself. In the end, we are just trying to get to know you (and give you an opportunity to get to know us). That’s it!

What makes someone stand out during the interview process?

Someone with poise. Someone who is not nervous.

Invariably, almost all of them are very nervous, which I can understand. But those who are able to look me in the eye, talk to both interviewers, engage both of us — those are the ones who really stand out.

What is one thing missing from candidates that you wish you saw more of?

A genuine smile and an ability to engage with all people in the room. Be open. Share a bit more about yourself.

Again, practice makes perfect!

Are you interested in applying for one of our internships at Wurth Electronics Midcom?

Please contact us at careers@we-online.com or (605) 886-4385 for more information about our internship program.

Even if we don't have any available positions at the moment, we may still be able to find a fit for you. We love students who are passionate about our company, and we have been known to accept unsolicited applications!

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