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Becoming Interview
STARs
Developing Workplace Competencies
Engineering 3000
Why be an interviewing STAR?

Good interviews get you the job offer!
Application
A good resume and cover letter
Initial Interview
A good interview
Second Interview
and/or Trip
A good match
Job Offer
I need a volunteer from
the audience!
TTYP – Turn to Your Partner
Which interview style elicited more useful
information? Why?




Think about your response.
Share your response with your partner.
Come to agreement between the two of
you.
Be prepared to share your answers.
What you saw was BBI

BBI = Behavioral-based Interviewing

Past behavior is the best predictor of future
performance.

Focuses on demonstration of competencies.

Provides standard and objective assessment
criteria.

Over 80% of companies interviewing for
engineers at USF use BBI.
BBI vs. Traditional Interviewing
Traditional
BBI
Personal Traits
Competencies
Personal History
Situation
Accomplishments
Action
Interviewer
Confirmation
Validation
A reminder: USF Competencies
Engineering
Knowledge
General
Knowledge
Continuous
Learning
Quality
Orientation
Initiative
Innovation
Teamwork
Cultural
Adaptability
Analysis &
Judgment
Professional
Impact
Planning
Customer Focus
Communication
Safety
Awareness
Integrity
STARs and BBI

Career specialists suggest applicants
answer BBI-type questions using a STAR:



Situation or Task
Action
Result

You should go into interviews with your
“A” game, confident and well-prepared.

STARs help you prepare for BBI
interviewing.
An Example STAR

The Question:


“Tell about a time when you showed initiative.”
Situation or Task

“I was a member of the student organization,
XYZ. We planned to have a float for EXPO. Our
president stopped attending meetings or
communicating with the other officers. Attendance
dropped and nothing happened at meetings. Our
organization had been on campus for a long time
and had a great reputation.”
An Example STAR

Action


“Although I was not an elected leader, I asked two officers to
meet me at the union to talk about the float.“
Result

“At the meeting, I mentioned that XYZ had a great reputation
and my Dad talked about XYZ when he was a student. The
vice president agreed to meet with the president to clarify his
role. We learned the president was having problems and was
relieved that the vice president was willing to assume
leadership. The three of us looked at the requirements in the
by-laws and took the necessary steps to change the
leadership to the vice president. I contacted the members
who stopped attending. We got a late start, but we pulled
together and had the float in the parade.”
Initiative Competency

Definition

Taking prompt action to accomplish objectives;
taking action to achieve goals beyond what is
required; being proactive.
Key Action
Takes independent action
Goes above and beyond.
Responds quickly.
In the
STAR?


?*
* Interviewer may ask a follow-up question.
TTYP – Turn to Your Partner
Question 1: Describe a situation where others you
were working with on a project disagreed with
your ideas. What did you do? (Teamwork)
Question 2: Tell about a time when you had too
many things to do and you were required to
prioritize your tasks. (Planning)
 Each of you take a question.
 Think about your response – jot down some
notes in the form of a STAR.
 Share your STAR with your partner.
 Be prepared to share your STARs.
Create a Library of STARs

You should have at least one STAR for
each of the 15 competencies.


Focus on the Key Actions.
This collection of STARs is a useful
library.


It should change over time.
Use it for preparing for interviews.
On Your Own

Create a STAR for three of the seven
“core” competencies:



Engineering Knowledge, General Knowledge,
Analysis and Judgment, Communication,
Continuous Learning, Initiative, and Teamwork.
Focus on the Key Actions.
Use these headings for each STAR:



– Situation/Task
– Action
– Result(s)
REMINDER: CAREER FAIR
• You are required to attend for EGN 3000
• Wednesday, 9/20, ANY TIME BETWEEN 10 AM-3 PM, Expected Time
commitment: 15-20 minutes in the Marshall Student Center (MSC)
• Check-in will be in the lobby of the MSC
• Don’t need your resume unless you plan to apply for
jobs/internships! Just OBSERVE and LEARN 
• Remember professional attire is required!
• Suit-A-Bull – SVC 2060 – free service, you can borrow business attire as
needed!
Engineering Resume
These guidelines are based on what engineering
employers tells us they would like to see.
These are recommended guidelines when applying for an
engineering internship or full-time position.
For this class, you are being asked to follow the example
given and the guidelines.
Resume
Samples of the ONE/TWO acceptable format to use are
on the Canvas website. No other style will be accepted.
**After this class you may use any style/design that
you would like.
Due to the amount we have to grade we have chosen one
specific format. If you know how to use MS Word well,
adapting to the styles will not be a problem. Thank you for
understanding!
College of Engineering
Objective
All Bachelor of Science engineering
graduates will have
at least three months of professional work
experience before graduation
Types of Work Experience
Cooperative Education – Alternating periods of work
and on-campus study. Three work semesters (e.g., two
semesters plus one summer).
Engineering Internship – One work period of a regular
semester or a semester plus a summer.
Summer Employment – One work period of at least
three months.
Purpose of the Resume
– to get an interview
What do you want & what are your
qualifications?
What qualifications do you have for a
specific position in my company?
Match=interview
Suggestions for Content
(How does it look?)
Name
• name centered or to the left
• larger font; 16-18
• upper case for short name; mixed case if longer
• Times New Roman or Arial
Nancy Student
Robert E. Student
KATHY STUDENT
Contact information






Use local or permanent address
Center underneath name
Include professional or USF e-mail address
Be consistent with capitalization & spacing
Font size may be smaller (8-10pt)
Maintain accurate contact information
0000 Eaton Tilden Rd., Tampa, FL 33312
Phone: 847.111.2222 Email: kstudent@mail.usf.edu
ROCKY B. ROAD
1111 BULL DRIVE, APT. 1114 • TAMPA, FL 336203
PHONE 111 – 2 2 2 – 3 3 3 3 • E – MAIL ROCKYB@MAIL.USF.EDU
In class assignment -Take
out a piece a paper and
write at the top:
OBJECTIVE
• position desired; (i.e, co-op, summer with date)
• phrases rather than complete sentences
• do not use pronouns
• short, concise; avoid general statements like
“challenging job,” “progressive company”
To obtain an internship in the field of Mechanical Engineering
To obtain an internship in Chemical Engineering
ROCKY B. ROAD
1111 BULL DRIVE, APT. 1114 • TAMPA, FL 336203
PHONE 111 – 2 2 2 – 3 3 3 3 • E – MAIL ROCKYB@MAIL.USF.EDU
OBJECTIVE
To obtain an internship in chemical engineering
Do NOT use general statements
like these:

My main objective, right now, is to find a steady job so I can
have something to build off for the future. I can provide
potential employers with an employee who isn’t afraid to back
down from a challenge and who is capable of completing their
job in a prompt and satisfactory manner.

Responsible student with great work ethic seeking….

A logical problem solver. Intelligent with an ambition to workhard. Loyal and motivated. A highly experienced site evaluator,
with a very strong math background. Also a strong knowledge
of construction and general labor.
What NOT to say


???
To begin my career as a Mechanical Engineer
An entry-level internship to gain experience in
Engineering. My goal is to seek practical experience to
support my education towards a Civil and Environmental
Engineering degree. I am a hard working student who is
willing to go above and beyond what is required of me.
Companies want no more then
one line as the objective
Other things you want to tell them can be left for the
cover letter or the actual interview
Do not use “summary”
statements
1.Companies see that as fluff!
2. And taking up space on the resume that would be
better spent indicating your level work experience
Non-engineering majors may use it. Most likely you will be
told incorrectly how to write your resume in your
Communication for Engineers course or by so called
“professional resume sites”
Keep objective short and succinct!
OBJECTIVE
To obtain a civil engineering internship
List Your Education from USF FIRST
• use reverse chronology; (Means most RECENT FIRST)
• include city & state
• degree sought, major and minor(s); graduation year; GPA
• may include Honors and/or Activities
University of South Florida
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
GPA: First Year Student
Crystal Lake South High School
GPA: 4.00/4.00
Tampa, FL
Expected Graduation: May 2XXX
Anytown, FL
June xxxx
If you are a First-Year Student, after this year, you will take off ALL High School
information.
OBJECTIVE
To obtain an internship in chemical engineering
EDUCATION
University of South Florida
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
USF GPA: First Year Student
Tampa, FL
Expected May 2022
EXPERIENCE
• use reverse chronology; most recent first
• include name of company, city & state
• dates of employment on right
• may not include all jobs
• use action verbs to describe accomplishment (see handout)
• if no work experience, caption “experience” use
volunteer activities
Sally Green, Any City, IL
Care giver/household help
• Organized household collections
• Repaired and painted three rooms
Independent Lawn Care, Anytown, Ohio
• Provided service for forty customers
• Maintained finances, equipment and scheduling
5/2013-8/2014
Summers 2011, 2012
EDUCATION
University of South Florida
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
USF GPA: First Year Student
Tampa, FL
Expected May 2022
EXPERIENCE
WX Fitness Club
Host/Intern
1. Name of Place
2. Position held
1. Location
2. Time Frame
West Tampa, FL
August 2016 – Present
• Conducted research on current members
• Brainstormed and planned Special Club events
• Updated biographical information on members through email and phone interviews
Mary Kay
Towers City, FL
Independent Consultant
October 2014 – July 2015
• Sold products totaling $1000 in a single event
• Advertised events through word of mouth to regularly receive 25 people at each event.
Murray’s Bar and Grill
Waitress
•Trained new employees to handle restaurant transactions
•Provided quality service to satisfy the needs of customers
Towers City, FL
June 2013 – August 2014
Cover Letters – only
there you can use the word “ ”
• Much of the “I am great” stuff i.e., hardworking, loyal, dedicated,
want a progressive, caring, loving company to work for can be put in
a cover letter which is not covered in this class. Leave it out of the
resume.
• NEVER USE “I” IN A RESUME
Never
use “I ”
• See the Career Services website for information regarding in a
Resume
cover letters
Transfer Students
• use reverse chronology; spell out USF
• include city & state
• degree sought, major and minor(s); graduation year; GPA
• may include Honors and/or Activities
University of South Florida
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
GPA: 0.00
Any College
GPA: 4.583/4.00
Tampa, FL
Expected Graduation: May 2XXX
Leave off after your first year here.
Replace
Anytown,
FL
June xxxx
with internship experience, club leadership
activities, etc.
Transfer students should have no HS info on resume, AND LEAVE
OFF All PRIOR Colleges attended after first year here.
DO NOT LIST COURSES
When applying for full-time, entry-level positions

Our Engineering degrees are ABET accredited so the employer
knows what classes you had to take. DO NOT LIST THOSE
CLASSES REQUIRED FOR YOUR MAJOR

Even when seeking an internship, only post the highest level
3-4 classes, do not list physics, calculus, etc. – They know
what classes are prerequisites!
ACTIVITIES/HONORS
• if list short, may combine Activities & Honors
• participation in activities more important than Honors
ACTIVITIES
Triangle Fraternity, Assistant Steward, Recycling Chairman
National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Paintball Club, Tournament Member
Orchestra – Principle Viola
Elementary Monday Night Orchestra
Brown College Chamber Ensemble
HONORS
Academic Recognition Scholarship
Brady Corporation Scholarship
National Science Merit Winner
ACTIVITIES
Engineers Without Borders
Certified Red Cross Volunteer
2016 – present
August 2014 – present
SKILLS
Languages: Proficient in C, MatLab, and Visual Basic
Design Software: Beginning knowledge of Solidworks
HONORS & AWARDS
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship
USF Directors Scholarship
Categories such as Activities, Skills,
Honors & Awards can be put in the
order of your strengths or what is
most important
SKILLS
• Do NOT write: “I am a great communicator”
• instead show your communication skills in the area under “Experience”
or mention it in your cover letter
• Do NOT write: “I work hard”
• Again, show your hard work with your GPA and work experience or
write about in your cover letter.
• Only skills listed should be relevant to the position you are
applying for.
Different Headings/Categories
Different categories based on what your strengths are –
Most Common Used
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
EXPERIENCE
EXPERIENCE
STUDY ABROAD SHOULD BE
INCLUDED IN THE SECTION EXPERIENCE
UNDER EDUCATION
AWARDS &
ACTIVITIES
EXPERIENCE
OTHER EXPERIENCE
LEADERSHIP
SKILLS
ACTIVITIES
LEADERSHIP
SKILLS
ACTIVITIES &
HONORS
HONORS &
AWARDS
HONORS
PROJECT(s)
EXPERIENCE
ACTIVITIES
EXPERIENCE
Volunteer
Experience
SKILLS
LEADERSHIP
LEADERSHIP
HONORS &
AWARDS
SKILLS
SKILLS
Different categories based on what your strengths are –
at this time most of you will have one of the following:
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
EXPERIENCE
EXPERIENCE
EXPERIENCE
Volunteer Experience
ACTIVITIES
ACTIVITIES
SKILLS
ACTIVITIES
SKILLS
References (NOT NEEDED
for this CLASS assignment)





list on a separate page (include your name)
ask references for permission to list them
provide a copy of resume for references
usually three references
use correct abbreviation (Mr., Ms., or Dr.)
Mr. Todd Smith
Physics Teacher
Lake City High School
124 Windsor Dr.
Lake City, IL 60000
847.333.4000
Final checklist
• present competencies/activities honestly
• one page resume – ONLY
• concise easy to scan with human eye
• create a word document; not a template
• check spelling and grammar
• use standard fonts
• use good quality paper & printer
• maintain accurate contact information
How does it look? Do you like it?
Preparing For the Practice
of Engineering at the
Professional Level
Developing Workplace Competencies
EGN 3000
Why engineering?
 Write
down 3-5 reasons why you have
decided to study engineering.
 Turn
to the person next to you. Share
your reasons and motivations for
studying engineering with each other!
What is Engineering?
is
Problem-Solving
Engineers are:
Turn to Your Partner
Question: What are three workplace skills or behaviors
you will need to develop to be successful as a
professional engineer?
 After you have developed 3 of your own, turn to
your partner and share your list.
 When you are done, have your partner share their
list with you.
 Be prepared as a team to share items from your
combined list with the class!
USF Competencies
 What
you discussed were
“competencies.”

Definition
A competency can best be thought of as a grouping
of similar knowledge, skills, behaviors, and
motivations. These can be thought as “something” a
person must demonstrate to be effective in
performing a given job or role.
USF Competencies

So what competencies do employers of USF
engineering graduates want?

We asked them!


A gathering of over 200 stakeholders told us
stories about the successful practice of
engineering.
With the help of employee development
specialists, we distilled their stories down to 15
USF Competencies.
USF Competencies
Engineering Knowledge
Innovation
Teamwork
General Knowledge
Cultural Adaptability
Integrity
Continuous Learning
Analysis & Judgment
Professional Impact
Quality Orientation
Planning
Customer Focus
Initiative
Communication
Safety Awareness


Each competency has a set of Key Actions
that can be observed and measured.
Competencies in red are a good focus for
your first semester at USF.
USF Competencies

Developing these 15 USF Competencies will
prepare you for the professional practice of
engineering.

Employers know you will be technically
competent with an USF engineering degree.

But, they will want to see demonstrations of the
Competencies.


This will show them that you are prepared to be an
engineer.
This will set you apart from your employment
competitors!
Communication

Clearly conveying information and ideas through a
variety of media to individuals or groups in a manner
that engages the audience and helps them
understand and retain the message.

Key Actions





Organizes the communication.
Maintains audience attention.
Adjusts to the audience.
Ensures understanding.
Comprehends communication from others.
Email Etiquette
Be sure to use and regularly check your
USF email  this is your primary mode of receiving
USF communication! DO NOT NAME YOUR EMAIL
“USF” WE WON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE


USF email and Canvas messages are
SEPARATE —– DIFFERENT

Organize your email if necessary by creating folders
– Events, Advising information, Specific student
organizations, Classes (consider folders for individual
classes, or by semester)
Email Etiquette





Greeting, body, closing
 Include name and U# in emails to faculty and
advisors!
Avoid overly casual greetings
 NO: Hey
 Acceptable: Hello, Hi, Dear ______,
Avoid slang language and abbreviations
 No “text speak” like “u” instead of “you”; “thx” instead
of “thanks”
Use proper grammar and punctuation, use polite
language (please, thank you)
Follow up protocol – allow at least ONE week!
Teamwork


Actively participating as a member of a team
to move the team toward the completion of
goals.
Key Actions




Facilitates goal accomplishment.
Involves others.
Informs others on the team.
Models commitment.
Planning


Effectively managing one’s time and
resources to ensure that work is completed
efficiently.
Key Actions





Prioritizes
Makes preparations
Schedules
Leverages resources
Stays focused
How well do you plan?

Weekly planner assignment

Plan out how you use your time in a set week.







Travel times to and from school/work, etc.
Classes
Study time – how much study time do you need?
Working – we recommend no more than 10-15 hours if
you are a full-time student.
Student organizations/sports/religious meetings/etc.
Family/friends time
Personal Care

Sleeping, Eating, Exercise, Showering, Laundry,
Household Chores, etc.
How well do you plan?

Semester planner





Note all big assignments and tests and their due
dates
Do you have any tests on the same day or …
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