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Academic Advisor Interview Questions

32 Academic Advisor Interview Questions
Question 1 of 32
Walk me through your approach with students who are undecided on their major.
How to Answer
This behavioral style question will help the interviewer to understand your coaching and counseling style better. Take the interviewer through your process for assisting students who need clear direction. Use a real-life example if you have one!

Answer Example
"I refer to my undecided students as 'open to exploring' so that they do not feel the guilt associated with being in a rut, or being undecided. I will take these open students through a cycle of exercises including a written exercise that walks them through their interests, life expectations, and how they view themselves. I will also set up opportunities for them to job shadow in a variety of careers that interest them."
Entry Level Example
"If I were to come across a student who was undecided on their major I would start by figuring out what they do not like, and also administer a personality test if that was a resource available to me. From there, I would encourage a student to job shadow a few family members or friends with interesting careers. There are many ways to help spark a new interest in an undecided student."
Experienced Example
"A large part of what I do with my undecided students is to encourage them to approach their network and tap into those supports and resources. I believe that a heavily encouraged and well-supported individual will feel much more comfortable making a decision related to their educational path."
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Question 2 of 32
What are your favorite resources for helping students discover potential career choices?
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know what types of resources you prefer to utilize when advising your students on their potential career choices. Give two strong examples if you can. This will show that you are well-rounded and able to offer variety to your students. At the end of your answer, be sure to ask the interviewer if they have any recommendations or favorites as well. This can strike up a friendly and informative conversation.

Answer Example
"I like to take a well-rounded and modern approach when it comes to the resources I offer my students. These days, if it isn't online or available on a device, they simply don't follow through on the resource. For this reason, my top 2 resources are Gladeox.org where students can take an online career quiz as well as utilize other resources for career discovery. The second resource I frequently use is 16personalities.com. It's a fun, interactive, and incredibly focused personality quiz which gives career suggestions based on your core characteristics. Do you have other resources that you prefer to use?"
Entry Level Example
"While completing my masters' degree, I learned of a few fantastic resources for helping students discover new career choices. A few of the most memorable ones were an exploratory quiz as well as an academic success plan template. Which are the favorite resources used at your educational facility?"
Experienced Example
"Over the years, I have leaned on two primary resources for helping my students to discover potential career choices. First, predictivesuccess.com which helps me to predict a student's behavior and then create an action plan. Second, my employer's internal program that offers a variety of career discovery resources. Could you share with me the resources that you use here?"
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Question 3 of 32
Under what circumstance would you suggest a student change majors?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to know that you fully understand the gravity of a decision like changing majors. They want to see that you can guide their students wisely. If you can, give an example of a time when you suggested a student change majors.

Answer Example
"Changing majors can be serious business, especially if the student is at risk of losing out financially due to the decision. I would suggest a student change majors once they have found themselves completely disengaged and uninterested in the program. I would also only suggest a change once the student is very clear on the alternate major they would like to take."
Entry Level Example
"The situation would have to be very severe before I would recommend changing majors. That isn't a small decision. It can be costly and time-consuming. I would only recommend changing majors if the student was highly unhappy and on the verge of dropping out altogether."
Experienced Example
"As an experienced academic advisor, I do not feel that it is my place to discourage heavily if a student is truly unhappy with their originally chosen major. It is their life and their future career path. I will provide them with a lot of well-researched information, supporting either decision. A pros and cons list so to speak. My primary focus would be to support the decision that they make in the end seamlessly."
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Question 4 of 32
When given your advisory roster, how much of each student's background do you like to learn?
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How to Answer
The correct answer to this question will always be 'as much as possible!'. The interviewer wants to see that you are engaged with your students and that you have the natural desire to get to know them better. The more you know, the better you can assist!

Answer Example
"The more I know about each student on my roster, the more targeted I can be with my coaching and recommendations. I truly do take the time to get to know each student on my roster. I want to know as much as I can!"
Entry Level Example
"I will be eager to get to know as much about my students as possible. I feel that this will only make my job easier, and make their experience much better as well."
Experienced Example
"I feel that, as an academic advisor, it's my job to get to know the student body in its entirety. For that reason, I do get to know as much as I can about my students before the school year begins, and as it progresses."
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Question 5 of 32
What did you think of your academic advisor when you were an undergraduate student?
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How to Answer
The interviewer is wondering if perhaps you were influenced by the career path of academic advisor by a positive, or even negative, experience of your own. Hopefully positive! This question is not an invitation to complain about your experience or speak negatively about anyone. Keep your answer brief and positive.

Answer Example
"When I was an undergraduate student, my academic advisor was well received and quite helpful. The resources she offered were strong. I knew my direction right from the start which meant that I didn't need to rely too heavily on her but, overall, I had a great example."
Entry Level Example
"Great question! I had an awesome relationship with my academic advisor, and she helped me immensely. Her influence is a big part of why I am pursuing a career as an academic advisor, today."
Experienced Example
"It's tough to remember that far back! Just kidding, of course. I recall a being a bit lost during my undergrad, to be honest. My academic advisor took the time to walk me through many different options, preferences, and even set me up with some opportunities to job shadow a few professionals. In the end, I found his job to be the most interesting of all!"
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Writers for Academic Advisor Answers and Questions

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 12/29/2016
Last modified on: 07/27/2018

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About Academic Advisor

September 16th, 2018

An Academic Advisor has a crucial role in the development of college students. Many college students will switch majors multiple times throughout their college careers. An academic advisor helps focus a college student's academic choice into one target. Potentially, saving them many semesters or quarters.

Academic advisors need to have a strong passion for education and helping students succeed. College is a very overwhelming experience for most students. An advisor can play a tremendous part in settling the nerves of a college student by having them focus and give them confidence on their major. They will have to work together and understand each student well to give them valuable advice on which major to pursue. If the student's major is known, then it is up to the advisor to make sure the student is taking the necessary classes to complete their major within the standard four years.

The interview process for an academic advisor will be challenging. You will have to describe your passion for helping students. You will also need to have a strong educational background and a good understanding of the university. Be able to recite a few examples of when you helped a student before. If you have never had student interaction, then become a tutor! Do anything where you can be involved with helping a student in a leadership or advisory role. Get some experience before your interview.