Intern & Applicant Resources

Interview Resources


BEFORE THE INTERVIEW

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself.

    • Always answer this question starting with a little about your past, a little about what you’re currently doing and a little about what you want to do.

  2. What is your greatest strength?

    • Your response should relate to the position you are interviewing for.

  3. What is your greatest weakness?

    • Make sure to include how you work on your weaknesses. How you've overcome them or how you have improved in those areas.

    • Try to turn your weakness into a positive. For example, you may be someone who is quiet and does not speak up all the time, but during that time you're using your observation and listening skills to better understand a situation.

  4. Why are you interested in the opportunity?

    • Tie to the position and future career or personal growth.

  5. Tell us about a situation where there was conflict and how you handled it.

    • Always keep it positive and share what you learned from the conflict.

  6. What do you hope to contribute and learn?

    • What are some unique traits or skills that you bring that will benefit your team?

    • What are some specific skills or abilities you want to gain through this job?

  7. Look up other questions and prepare answers.

    • Literally thousands of questions available online to practice with. Research some questions specific to the industry you are applying to.

  8. Interview Preparation Sheet

Plan your interview outfit.

  • Even if it’s an informal interview, ALWAYS come dressed professionally. If you are not sure what professional looks like, check with the Malheur Works team. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed. Do not wear any cologne or perfume. Do not wear excessive makeup or excessive jewelry.

  • Dress to Impress Flyer

Know your resume. Brainstorm examples/stories of your past experience ahead of time.

  • Write them down on a piece of paper and then read them before the interview so they are fresh in your mind.

Anticipate the questions you’ll be asked and be prepared how to best answer them.

When an interviewer asks you to give them an example about a time when….Always use the S.T.A.R. format

  • S.T.A.R. (first explain the Situation, then define the Task, describe your Action, and what the Result was).

  • Stories about when something went wrong and you learned something from the experience are always helpful in an interview!

Practice interviewing.

  • Have somebody ask you some of the questions above and practice your responses, practice in the mirror, or record yourself and play it back.

Ask about Covid19 restrictions.

  • Will it be an in person or virtual interview? Does the site require masks, distancing, or area dividers if in person? Will you be allowed to distribute resume copies or other materials?

Visit your interview location ahead of time so you don’t get lost the day of your interview and show up late.

Arrive 15 minutes early for your interview.

Virtual Interviews.

  • Select a quiet location with a strong internet connection.

  • Consider your background.

  • Still dress as though you were going in person.

  • Check audio and video devices beforehand to work our any bugs.

Research the company and the leadership team of the company BEFORE the interview.

  • “80% of the work is done before you ever set foot in the interview room.”

Bring 3-5 extra copies of your resume and a list of references.

It is fine to bring in a pad of paper with notes and to take notes.

  • Quick notes can be referenced to help refresh your mind when you get stumped.

  • Taking note during the interview conveys to the team that you are intently listening and care about what they have to say.

Come with at least three meaningful questions for the interviewer(s).

DURING THE INTERVIEW

Greet everyone you meet politely, pleasantly, and enthusiastically.

  • Be prepared to follow COVID safety protocols. Some employers may ask that you avoid shaking hands, while others may offer a handshake. If you shake hands, give a firm grip and make eye contact.

Virtual Interview.

  • If your interview is virtual, make sure you look at each person, make eye contact, and verbally acknowledge them. Be sure your screen name appears correctly.

Maintain proper posture.

  • Sit up straight and keep your elbows off the table.

  • Good posture and table manners can make a big difference in an interview.

    • A slouched, folded over posture with your head down and little eye contact tells the interviewers that you are not confident in yourself or your abilities. Gives the appearance of someone who is defeated before they even began

  • Be conscious of any nervous movements or ticks during the interview.

    • Any unnecessary or repeated motions can be distracting, and tells the team that you are nervous and unsure

    • Fidgeting, playing with your pen, wringing your hands etc

    • If you cannot keep your hands still, use your pen to take notes but do not doodle

Use proper vocabulary and speech.

  • Do not use slang terms or any derogatory phrases

    • No swearing or slurs of any kind

  • Use proper terms, names, and descriptions

  • Know what you are talking about, don't try to 'fake it till you make it'

    • If you don't know something, or only know a little about it, don't lie and overstate your abilities or qualifications

    • Admitting you don't know or made a mistake is much better than being called out on a lie

  • Be aware of how many times you say “um,” “like,” “so,” etc.

  • Brief, silent pauses are OKAY! It shows you are thinking about your response and how you want to answer.

  • You may ask the interview team to repeat the question or restate if you do not understand it.

Use your resume and references as tools.

  • Try to relate your responses to the information available on your resume.

    • For example: If asked about a time when you met or exceeded expectations, point to an experience or job on your resume and build from that.

    • If the experience or education is important enough to be on your resume, then it should be a tool available for your interview success.

  • Use your references in answers when applicable.

    • For Example: If asked about previous conflict management, talk about a time that involves one of your references. When the interviewer calls to verify the reference, they can validate the story and use it as an additional positive for your interview.

Always state things in a positive way.

  • Never say anything bad about past teammates, bosses, teachers, leaders, etc.

  • Try to turn any negative situation or statement into a positive, turning a loss into a win.

Interviewing is a two-way process.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you have your questions prepared ahead of time.

  • Use your notebook to remember your questions. Some of your questions may be answered during the interview without having to ask them. If they are, then let it be known that you had a question about a specific item but it was already covered.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW

After the interview.

  • Shake everyone’s hands, make eye contact, and thank them.

  • If it is virtual, use the same approach as you did in your introduction.

Follow-up with a thank you.

  • A note or an email reiterating your interest in the position and thanking them for their time and consideration can speak volumes.

  • Restate why you want the internship, what your qualifications are, and how you might make significant contributions.

  • If necessary, use this as an opportunity to discuss anything you may have forgotten to mention in the interview.

If you have not heard anything after 2 weeks, it is appropriate to check back in.

  • If you are not awarded the position, be sure to thank them again for considering you and for the interview.

  • Just because you did not get this job, does not mean you won't be back in contact with the employer down the road.

  • Leaving a lasting, positive impression with the leadership team can open doors and opportunities at later dates.



Tips to Create Your Resume and Letter of Interest

Resumes and Cover Letters or Letters of Interest MUST be typed…

Every resume and cover letter or letter of interest you create, whether for a scholarship, for a job, or even for volunteering, should always be typed. No application packet should ever be handwritten. If you do not have a computer at home, work with your school, a friend, or the library. If you are in a bind, the Malheur Works team would be happy to assist you.


  • A letter of interest is your initial point of contact, such as this internship program, where there are numerous opportunities available. A letter of interest is a broad statement indicating that you’re interested in a company/career field. Your letter of interest is your initial point of contact from which future opportunities might arise.


  • A cover letter is a letter sent in direct response to a specific job opening. You will note the exact title that you’re applying for and include your resume along with any other requested documentation, such as a portfolio. Write a cover letter when you apply for a specific job with a specific company that is posted/advertised.


Haven’t had a job yet? Think of your volunteer and leadership experiences as jobs…

What have you done? How have you grown? What skills have you developed as a result of participation in these volunteer and leadership experiences? How have you personally changed as a result of your experiences?


Newest to oldest…

Organize all your activities and projects in chronological order from most recent to oldest. Dates are important! You do not need to include an exact date, use the month and year, for example June 2020 – March 2021.


Edit, edit, edit…

Every document of yours should have ZERO spelling and grammar errors. Use spell and grammar check. Always have two people proofread your documents. When we look at our own creations over and over again, we often overlook minor mistakes.


References:

Consider these people when making your reference list:

  • Recent boss or supervisor: Current or previous employers speak best about your work ethic

  • The person you babysat for or whose lawn you mowed every summer: Think about the odd jobs you had while in high school. A reference you’ve known for years lets employers know the consistency of your work ethic.

  • High school teacher or coach: Teachers and coaches often act as mentors throughout high school and into your early adult life.

  • Any place you’ve volunteered: People you volunteer for are likely willing to be your reference. Plus, volunteering impresses hiring managers. It demonstrates your willingness to go beyond what is expected of you. Additionally, volunteering increases your chance of being hired by 27 percent, according to the Corporation of National and Community Service’s June 2013 Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment Report.

Note: Don’t list family members as references.


Before listing references on your resume…

It’s important you ask your contacts to be a reference before you provide their names. Not only is this a common courtesy, but it also gives them time to prepare for a phone call or email. Giving your references plenty of notice also ensures they have time to recall specific examples that highlight why you’re the best candidate for the role. Whether you call, email or ask your prospective reference in person, be sure it’s something they’re comfortable doing. Your best references will be people who enjoyed working with you and are excited to discuss your talents.


Format…

Your resume needs to be organized and easy to read and understand. Choose an appropriate font and font size (11-12 pt.). Use the same font throughout your documents. Both your resume and cover letter/letter of interest should look balanced on the page.

Any description should begin with an action word such as developed, led, accomplished, secured, designed, or created. This should be short and concise and to the point. Your resume should be no more than one or two pages long. *When applying for a professional job, the general rule of thumb is to have a one page resume unless you have ten or more years of experience.

Resume Outline

RESUME OUTLINE.pdf

Letter of Interest Outline

COVER LETTER OUTLINE.docx

Letter of Interest Sample

SAMPLE LETTER OF INTEREST.pdf

Application Resources

The application process can seem overwhelming, but it is great practice of a skill that we guarantee you’ll use in the future!

Please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. The Malheur Works team is more than willing to help!

Be sure to save your documents in the proper format.

  • Resume with references Save format: Last Name_First Name_Resume (ex: Doe_Jane_Resume.pdf)

  • Letter of Interest Save format: Last Name_First Name_Letter (ex: Doe_Jane_Letter.pdf)