Many thanks to Mark Correia ’14, ’15G, Erinn Miles ’16, and Melissa Sheil ’16 for their suggestions and personal experiences!
It is that time of the semester where there is excitement in the air and I’m not talking about our basketball team. Students are starting the interviewing process for various clubs and positions on campus. So whether you want to be an Orientation Leader, a Writing Tutor or an RA, please remember the following advice….
Social Media Image
This one can be tricky, but be aware of what your Twitter/Instagram says about you (even if it is blocked). Tweeting about how wasted you got on a snow day is not a good look – for any position on-campus. In a few years, you will graduate and look for a job so start thinking about your brand now. If you put up goofy videos on YouTube, take them down. That meme about Trump that you think is funny (but also somewhat racist), take it down. Tweeting about your annoying professor may be hilarious to your friends, but how does it look to an administrator looking to fill a position?
Group Interviews – With Friends or Strangers?
For group interviews, there are 5-6 other students all vying for the same spot and then there are a few current members asking questions and writing down your responses – it can be super intimidating. Most students claim that it is better to interview with people they don’t know (as opposed to fighting over a spot with their friends) but the choice is yours. Would you feel more or less comfortable highlighting your accomplishments (or failures) with your friends? Also, some students claim that it’s best to sign up for the last group interview time so you can make a final impression right before decisions are made. I don’t know how much truth there is to that, but I’ll pass that tip along.
While other students are talking, be careful to listen and not mentally zone out. Pay attention to other students responses and look happy to be interviewing for the position- it says a lot about how you work in a team and how engaged you will be in the position. And if another student answers a question poorly, try not to make a face or roll your eyes.
While this may seem obvious, be sure to really prepare. You will be asked tough questions (How do you respond to a resident that has been drinking?) so the more you think about your responses, the more calm and prepared you will be. Write down your thoughts on your leadership style, what strengths you bring to an organization, etc. Also, do a quick google search for Student Leadership Interview Questions to start thinking of how you would answer those questions.
Often times, with group interviews you get to select a time. When you sign up for that time, be sure to write it down in your planner/phone so you don’t forget it. Missing your interview is a big no-no, but I’ve seen it happen.
Do not be afraid to showcase your achievements. The key is to do so without sounding overconfident (this is where it is important to do the prep work). Most of the positions you will be interviewing are positions of leadership, and so you need to show that during your interview. While it’s normal to get nervous, be sure to speak up!
What are your best strategies for a successful group interview?