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Preparing for your Interview with Student Affairs

Thank you again for your interest in working with the Division of Student Affairs! We are excited to meet you at your interview.
Here are some of our tips to help you prepare for your interview with a Student Affairs department:
  1. Learn More About Student Affairs and read about the department you’re interviewing with.
  2. Scope out our Strategic Plan, which serves as the guiding document for our work with students, and provides strong direction for the Division.
  3. What to expect during your interview(s):
    1. Most hiring managers with Student Affairs will ask behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interviewing allows us to learn about when you may have used a particular skill in the past, with the idea that past behavior predicts future performance.
    2. It’s highly likely that you have already participated in behavioral interviews before! The questions are typically be structured like: “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me an example of when…”
    3. The behavioral questions that will be asked will be directly to the job description. We strongly encourage candidates to thoroughly read the job description of the role they are applying for to identify the key skills. Think about when you’ve utilized some of those skills and be prepared to tell us about those moments!

An effective way to answer behavioral interview questions is to use the STAR approach to structure your answers:

Interview Tips
SITUATION (15%) Describe the context of the situation. What background information is most relevant?
TASK (10%) Describe the task and your role in it. What goal were you working toward?
ACTION (50%) Describe the actions you took. How did you decide to address the challenge?
RESULT (25%) Describe the positive outcome of your actions or, if it was negative, what you learned

When answering behavioral questions, it is usually most effective to share your one best example per answer unless the interviewer(s) are explicitly seeking several examples. That way, you’re able to highlight a specific time in which you really shined, and for the interviewer(s) to gain a better understanding about when and how you successfully utilized a particular skill.

     4. Bring your questions!

Even our most thorough job advertisements won’t be able to cover absolutely everything you might want to know about a role or department, so our interviewers will give candidates the opportunity to ask questions at the end of each interview.

Candidates are encouraged to prepare a variety of questions, including:
Tip: Interview stages will likely include different panelists, so some questions might be better suited for certain rounds compared to others. Consider saving questions for the most appropriate panelists.