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Old 03-13-2007, 11:17 AM   #1
robcarync
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Default CALL FROM BMW MANUFACTURING!

hey guys! as some of you may know im studying mechanical engineering at NC State. anyway, my goal for a while has been to get a co op with BMW manufacturing in SC and I have already had my resume sent in and such and today i got two calls from BMW....one from my school's co op/career center scheudling me for an on campus interview with BMW on March 21 and another from a guy in greenville SC wanting to have a phone interview with me after seeing my resume for a possible co op with the interior design department for BMW...where id be testing and designing (or helping real engineers do that) the interior of cars!

I am really excited about hearing back from them and I hope the interview goes alright, but the only problem is I haven't really ever had a real job interview before. as students, we dont really have much on our resumes other than engineering related hobbies and a GPA since we have no practical work experience, so i figure the interview is the best way to get myself known/remembered. so i was hoping some of you older people might have some helpful advice for how to prepare for the most important job interview in my near future. lol my pops told me to give em a 318ti.org calendar with my resume tucked inside by my car.

so yeah im looking for advice and just to tell people cause im excited!!!!

on a side note, i also have a job interview with Frito Lay on Wednesday....lol....far away from BMW but still will give me valuable experience with interviews before I talk to BMW the next week.
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:50 AM   #2
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congratulations man...



http://www.impactfactory.com/gate/ne...103-91240.html
http://www.ursinus.edu/resources/Int...killsGuide.pdf
http://www.hhh.umn.edu/img/assets/35...viewskills.pdf
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:19 PM   #3
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Cool. Good luck.
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Old 03-13-2007, 02:42 PM   #4
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Excellent news! Congrats and best of luck!

Cheers,
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Old 03-13-2007, 02:42 PM   #5
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There is nothing like doing something you enjoy, especially if it is for someone you admire. Good Luck and congrats!
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
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First, relax. They know you're a coop and expect that most of your experience will be from the classroom. If you're a junior, you may consider adding a course work completed section where you list the ME specific classes you took and indicate with a star or something whether a course included a lab portion.

What they are going to be looking for at the interview is to see how you think and approach problems, how well you'd fit in with them, and how excited you are about working for them.

I think you've got the excitement part wrapped up, but make sure they see it!

There are a couple interviewing styles and they might mix it up.

1) Straightforward question and answer about your skills - stuff like describe your experience with Solidworks. What have you done on a CNC mill? What machine shop tools are your familiar with?

2) Behavioral: Think of a situation where you were in charge of a group. How did you motivate them? How did you handle problems? Did you feel more comfortable leading a group or being a member?]

3) Combo of both or just them sitting you down, going over your resume, talking to you about your interests and what you'd want to accomplish with them.

Don't forget to do your research. Learn what they do, and if possible, read up on any technical topics related to their work. It's always an added plus when you use their jargon in conversation.

Good Luck, I'm sure you'd like it, after each of my coops, I had a harder and harder time wanting to go back to school LoL.
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:32 PM   #7
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Good advice zboot.

At the U. of Cincinnati we spent 3/5 years co-oping every other quarter. You are miles ahead of other students whether you get into BMW, Frito Lay, or anyone else on your list. Don't be afraid to look into consultancies as well because, typically, the smaller the org the more responsibility they throw at you and projects move faster (i.e. you have something to show at the end of your internship). No matter where you go ask if you can take a few pics from time to time and build a portfolio. Blows people away to see what you actually did (seems like proof in their minds). Of course pics only work if it's not top secret.

For the interview cover the basics- get a $100 suit that fits, shine your shoes, get a haircut the week before, practice smiling and remembering names. Like zboot said they know you are a student with little experience so what you bring to work is enthusiasm, responsibility for completing simple tasks and a cooperative attitude. I have been both an intern and in charge of them and sometimes it's more work than benefit for the employer. The ones that are worthwhile are either pretty talented or just helpful and enthusiastic. If you exhibit attitude you better have a Leonardo DaVinci portfolio to back it up.

Showing off your car will help you stand out and make an impression but also do some research on the X3, X4 and whatever else they make there. Can you take a tour beforehand? There were a couple interviews with Chris Bangle in the last few days- CNN I think, there are threads on bf.c- where they discuss the H7 hydrogen car. Are you good at modeling in CAD? Try modeling a shift lever or something. Express some interest in design because you will be working hand in hand with designers (like me) not just engineers. BMW American Design is part of DesignWorks USA in L.A.

http://www.businessweek.com/autos/co...005_473123.htm

I think you have a great chance based on enthusiasm but your coursework matters a lot too. Can't help you there- I dread my daughters future calculus.
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:33 PM   #8
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I do a lot of technical interviews for my work. The advice from zboot is dead on.

The other thing that I would add is don't lie. If they ask you a question and you don't know the answer, or you kind of know the answer but are not completely sure your answer is correct make sure that they know that. If they ask you a question and you answer with a completely wrong answer but act like it is the right answer that is a major no-no in my book. When I'm interviewing I don't expect the person I'm interviewing to be able to answer every single question I ask them. It is all about how they answer the questions they don't know.

I'd rather get a, "Well, I think it is this, but I'm not completely sure. So what I would do is use this resource or that resource to make sure that what I think it is is correct, and then I would do this..." Make sense? I think that is right in line with what zboot has said about the way that you think. Make sure that they understand that you have critical thinking skills, and that you have the capabilities and skills to figure things out on your own even if you don't know the right answer off the top of your head.

Confidence is also key, be friendly, shake hands, etc... I also always make sure to ask at the end of the interview if they have any additional questions or concerns about my experience or education that I could clear up before the end of the interview. You would be suprised at how honest interviewers will be with their impressions of you if you ask them.

If you are the kind of person that will get nervous make sure to avoid caffeine or any other type of energy drinks that could make you more nervous.

Also make sure to send a thank you note the next day.

Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:44 PM   #9
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All good advice,
I have to interview Co-op/Interns a lot, most of the time my main goal is to figure out if they will be reliable, and not annoy anybody

I want good technical skills (I'm an IT guy) and some evidence they want to learn. 80% of the stuff I'd grill on is to make sure you fit in our team.

Problem solving, and general behavioral interviewing are the focus. There are books on behavioral interviewing skills worth a read. One of my favorite questions is what do you like to do? and What do you not like as well, IE would you prefer programming all day or hardware repair?

Read your own resume and make sure you can think of a sentence about each section to expand on the information. Take a couple spare copies with you, printed on good bond paper, sometimes its bonus points if they team interview and you can provide a spare copy for someone or just a nice easy to read copy.

Have fun...

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Old 03-13-2007, 04:48 PM   #10
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Nice opportunity and good luck!!!
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Old 03-13-2007, 05:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxmotorhead View Post
I have to interview Co-op/Interns a lot, most of the time my main goal is to figure out if they will be reliable, and not annoy anybody
EXACTLY.
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:41 PM   #12
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good luck fella, im jelous already
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:41 PM   #13
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I'll add in to the already bountiful information:

Eye contact and a strong handshake are also important (especially with other guys). Don't be creepy with eye contact but just make sure they know they're getting your full attention. Match the strength of your handshake to theirs, but nothing below a solid grip.

I'm sure this is covered in the links provided, but know how/when to flip the question back to the interviewer. Don't avoid questions, but where you can use something from your research about the company or your interviewer in particular, ask something specific.

Also be prepared for certain questions: 3 best/worst qualities, what you think you can bring, and why you're right for the job. There are other standard questions people might be able to add.

As far as dress, wear a white or blue shirt. Blue suits work well up here, but it really depends on your area. Grey/brown might work better down in SC, but then again it's BMW. Last but not least, don't wear a loud tie.


Best of luck.
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:51 PM   #14
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alright thanks for the advice everyone....im sooo excited about this opporunity!
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Old 03-15-2007, 11:00 PM   #15
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alright i just got off the phone with Jeff Gaffney from greenvile SC...head of the interior and exterior analysis center. job description is pretty sweet....find problems in the cars....find out whats causing the problem....find out how to fix it (definition of engineering, really)

he asked if i knew anything about cars and BMW cars specifically and so i got to talk about my 318ti for a little bit and we discussed my resume...overall it went REALLY WELL!

at the end he told me 'i will go ahead and tell you that it is a definite possibility that you will be here working with me this summer'


hopefully that comment is good!!! man i am EXCITED! i have a real in person interview next wednesday!
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