Professional Skills Library

Through a ’Cuse Works experience, we strive for our students to gain one or more of the following professional skills and University Shared Competencies. Competencies are defined as skills, knowledge and behavioral characteristics that you develop through job experience.

Experiential Learning 

Employers are encouraged to connect students’ roles and responsibilities to build the following important workplace skills through experiential learning. Experiential learning helps build important job skills and develop key work competencies that can help throughout future career endeavors.

Building Your Professional Skills Library

Offering a deeper dive into professional development, employers and employees are invited to learn more below. Highlights include interview questions, resume builders, performance review resources and more.

Being accountable and passing on accountability for one’s own actions and those of colleagues and the organization.

  • Example: Student employee adheres to deadlines, shows up for work on time and takes responsibility for mistakes.
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • Can you provide an example of a problem you encountered in a job or on a class project where you took responsibility to ensure it was resolved? What did you do? How was it resolved?
    • Give an example of a time when you made a mistake/error. How did you handle the error and what was the outcome?
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities: Encourage student employees to make a plan and commit to it. Explain the consequences of both positive and negative behaviors on the student's job performance.

The ability to remain fully functional by adapting to changing circumstances (e.g. environment, procedures, people).

  • Examples: Student employee is able to change the way a task is done, based on operational needs. Can easily adapt when work environment changes (e.g. new supervisor, new employee, new process).
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • Give me an example of a class project or job situation when you had to change the way you were working? Why did you have to change? What happened?
    • Provide an example when a policy changed at work. How did you react?
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities: Provide the student employee with new opportunities and projects. Encourage the student employee to work with others who are effective at adapting to change.

The ability to work effectively with others in order to achieve a shared goal, even when the object at stake is of no direct personal interest.

  • Example: Student employee is able to effectively work with others in the department and is able to accomplish a task as a team.
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • Give me an example when you had to work with others on a project?  What was the outcome?
    • How have you improved in working with others on a team?
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities: Provide the student employee with opportunities to work on a project or task with others in the department. Assess the student employee’s ability to accept constructive feedback.

Effectively conveys information to an individual or group, either through speaking or in written form.

  • Examples: Student employee uses appropriate visual aids in presentations, checks for understanding and adapts communication as needed. Student employee uses appropriate language for audience (e.g. verbally, in writing).
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • Do you have a writing sample of which you are particularly proud of? Was it effective in getting your point across?  Why?
    • Give an example of a time you had to present in front of a group.
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities:  Provide the student employees with projects such as editing documents or writing something for your website. Allow the student employee to present information at a staff meeting.

The ability to handle conflicting interests diplomatically and to help solve them.

  • Examples: Able to assess the gravity of the conflict, is sensitive to tensions on a team and is able to address them through effective communication. Finds out root causes of the conflict and helps to develop tangible solutions.
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • If something unpleasant happens to you, how do you respond? How do the people around you respond? Could you give a recent example?
    • What style of behavior do you like best? What styles do you find difficult and what are the limits to what you can handle?
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities: Ask your student employee about a situation when they have encountered a conflict in the workplace or classroom.  Provide them with helpful feedback on how they handled the situation and its resolution. Encourage the student employee to practice listening skills.

The ability to recognize, create opportunities and to act accordingly. Rather starting something than waiting passively for it to happen.

  • Examples: Student employee completes tasks without asking, develops new ideas to improve work processes, observes opportunities for improvement and proactively works on solutions.
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • Provide examples of when you came up with an idea that was implemented at your last job?
    • From what you know about the department, what are some ways you can make positive impacts on our organization?
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities: Meet with the student employee and solicit feedback on opportunities for improving department processes. Discuss situations where your student employee may find it difficult to take initiative on their own.  Encourage them to find projects or tasks where they can work on their own.  Provide positive feedback when appropriate.

The ability to provide direction and guidance to a group of people and to encourage cooperation between team members in order to attain an objective.

  • Examples: Clearly communicates expectations to the group or team, understands and communicates the roles of each member of the team, provides behavioral-based, constructive feedback to members, ensures all members are contributing.
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • Give an example of when you had to lead a team or group?  What were the outcomes?
    • Provide an example of a time when a team member was not meeting your expectations?  How did you address the issue?  What was the outcome?
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities: Discuss the department’s goals with the student employee and ask how they would like to contribute. Observe the student employee when they are managing a project or team.  Provide feedback on their goal-setting and communication.

The ability to detect problems, recognize important information, link various data to trace potential causes and look for relevant details.

  • Examples: Student employee asks questions to get to root cause of an issue. They identify a task and break it down into manageable pieces.  Provides analysis and develops possible solutions to the problem.
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • Provide an example of when you were faced with a problem.  How did you address the issue and what steps did you take?
    • What steps do you take when analyzing a problem?
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities: Encourage the student employee to work on projects that require analysis. Provide the student employee with campus and other resources that will assist them in doing analysis.

Understands effects of their words, behaviors and actions on the organization. Selects the appropriate language and behavior to achieve desired result for the individual or group.

  • Examples: Understands how they are perceived by others. Has a good sense of self-awareness. The student employee uses good eye contact with others, and is proactive in approaching customers and co-workers.  Maintains good working relationships.
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • How would you describe your working relationship with your supervisor?  Your co-workers?
    • Give an example of when you provided outstanding customer service.
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities: Compliment the student employee when they have provided excellent service to a customer. Provide feedback on the student employee’s use of language, be it verbal or written, and its effects on people’s perceptions of the organization.

The ability to determine goals and priorities, in addition to assess the actions, time and resources needed to achieve those goals.

  • Examples: Student employee is able to accomplish multiple tasks within an allotted period of time. They create “to-do” lists or other systems for tracking and managing their work.  Student employee is able to successfully balance the job, their classwork and other activities with little disruption. Rarely call in because of outstanding schoolwork.
  • Possible Interview Questions
    • How do you stay organized?
    • How do you set goals and priorities? What goals did you have over the past year?  How did you accomplish them? Have you ever had to revise your plan?
  • Supervisor Coaching and Development Opportunities: Provide timelines and deadlines for tasks given. Coach student employee on prioritizing. Meet regularly to assess prioritization and ability to meet goals.

Some information has been adapted from the TMA Talent Management Competency  Library.