Updated on July 27th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 32
Walk me through your approach with students who are undecided on their major.
How to Answer
Entry Level Example
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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!
"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."
"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."
What are your favorite resources for helping students discover potential career choices?
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Entry Level Example
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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.
"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?"
"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?"
Under what circumstance would you suggest a student change majors?
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Entry Level Example
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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.
"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."
"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."
When given your advisory roster, how much of each student's background do you like to learn?
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Entry Level Example
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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!
"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."
"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."
What did you think of your academic advisor when you were an undergraduate student?
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Entry Level Example
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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.
"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."
"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!"
6. What would you do if a student on your academic roster was failing a course? The interviewer would like further insight into your style when it comes to giving advice and helping any failing students on your academic roster. Give a brief overview of what you would do to help a student who was struggling. Here is an answer example: "I believe that when a student is failing, there are usually some underlying issues that need to be dealt with. I will collaborate with that student and the professor of the course to create an action plan for success. I will also openly ask the student what they need from me to feel supported." Here is an entry level answer example: "If I were to have a student who was failing a course, I would want to take a more personal approach by sitting down with the student to find out what the source of their struggle is. I am always eager to learn. What is your most preferred method when helping a struggling student?" Here is an experienced answer example: "I certainly would want all of my students to succeed so if they were failing a course, I would meet with them and ask 'What can I do to make this easier for you?'. It's amazing how well a student will open up when they know they are being listened to."7. What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job? Everyone will have their own particular triggers that cause them to feel dissatisfaction on the job. Talk to the interviewer about any factors that may deflate or discourage you in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "I can feel dissatisfaction on the job when I am not feeling heard or when there is not mutual respect among the team members. I work best in more harmonious situations where there is little drama or gossip." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have felt dissatisfied on the job when I feel underpaid and overworked. This has been primarily with my pre-university days. I don't mind working hard at all, but I don't like to feel as though I'm being taken advantage of, either." Here is an experienced answer example: "I feel dissatisfied when I work hard but constantly hit roadblocks. Obstacles happen, but when you can't get anywhere because there are so many of them, it is frustrating."8. What is your current salary? A potential employer will often base their offer on your current salary. You should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests. Here is an answer example: "I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000 plus full health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position." Here is an entry level answer example: "As I am a recent graduate, I would like to be offered a fair salary that reflects my recent education. I am most concerned with joining an organization that will help me to grow my career as an academic advisor. Compensation is not my primary driver." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am currently making $89,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."9. As an academic advisor you will often be privy to sensitive situations. Do you think honesty is always the best policy? Is honesty always the best policy? Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on honesty when it comes to your roster of students. Here is an answer example: "Sometimes full disclosure can damage someone's self-esteem, and reality isn't always best expressed in full and can be self-indulgent based on the person's intention. In those instances, honesty isn't always the best policy." Here is an entry level answer example: "I do feel that honesty is the best policy so long as the honest comment does not come with the intention of being hurtful." Here is an experienced answer example: "Honesty is always the best policy. Often, it is just a matter of how you communicate and deliver your message so managing this with each situation is critical to building honest and trustworthy relationships."10. We are asking for 8 years of experience in an academic environment and you have just 5. Why do you think you are qualified for this position? To many employers, the number of years' experience is flexible - so long as you have the results to show for the years that you do have. Talk to the interviewer about your major career successes. This is the time to sell yourself. Make no apologies for your lack of years! Here is an answer example: "Although I have five years' experience vs. eight years' experience I can do this job well. In my previous role, I was outperforming colleagues who had 12 years of experience. To me, it's all about drive and ability to be a quick study. I have all of these qualities and more." Here is an entry level answer example: "I may not have the desired years' experience; however, my experience does match all of your must-have's for this role. In addition to this, I have an elevated degree which accounts for a lot. I am confident in my ability to do this job very well." Here is an experienced answer example: "Along with my five years working in this industry, I have worked in related industries my entire career. Also, I hope that my masters' degree gives me a little boost in experience over the required undergraduate degree."11. How often do you take work home with you? The majority of the world's workforce will work overtime hours or take work home with them on occasion. Talk to the interviewer about how frequently you take your work home. Here is an answer example: "I make sure to utilize my work hours very efficiently, so the only time that I take my work home is when there is an extremely stringent deadline. I would say that, overall, I take my work home maybe twice per month. It's all about being diligent with your time in the office!" Here is an entry level answer example: "I try not to take my work home with me. Everyone needs downtime. However, if something needs to get done, I will get it done, even from home." Here is an experienced answer example: "I take my work home with me whenever it is necessary. Some positions I have held, I work from home nearly every day. Other roles, such as my current position, I work from home just a couple of times per month."12. Tell me about yourself. Open-ended questions are some of the hardest to answer in an interview. It's important to train yourself how to talk about yourself. It may sound a little silly because you've been talking about yourself for years!
In an interview, you should leave out the highly personal stuff. No need to talk about your new puppy or your favorite foods. Keep it professional and concise. Interviews typically last for about thirty minutes to an hour, so keep that in mind as you prepare. Sometimes practicing with a friend or timing your response can help.
Focus on your interest or passion for the field, your education, and accomplishments. Keep it relevant to the job at hand! Also, consider the fact that there is plenty of time for you to talk about your skills and strengths during the interview, so you don't have to say it all in one gulp. Here is an answer example: Here is an entry level answer example: "I graduated with a Bachelors of Education with a minor in Psychology from UBC in 2009. Since then, I have been actively making my way to an advisor based role. I am an energetic and positive person, ready to make a difference in a growing organization." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am a seasoned academic advisor with ten years of experience. I got my Bachelors degree in Education, then eventually went back for a master's degree. I have worked my way up in my field, and plan to continue my progression."13. When have you worked among a diverse group of people? As an academic advisor, you are likely accustomed to working with a very large or diverse student body. Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity. Here is an answer example: "In my current role, I work alongside a huge group of individuals who represent much diversity. Together, we manage our business and effectiveness very well." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have worked with diverse groups of people during my time in University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity." Here is an experienced answer example: "I would say that pretty much every educational facility I have worked for has valued diversity. Working with people from all walks of life help shed different perspectives and identify potential problems faster."14. Do you consider yourself a team player? Why? Working well on a team requires you to have solid interpersonal skills and self-awareness. Assure the interviewer that you have strong team-player skills. Briefly tell the interviewer why you see yourself as a team player. Here is an answer example: "I truly believe that I am a team player because I cannot accept success without knowing that my team has also been acknowledged for their efforts. Everything that I have achieved in my current role is not only due to my hard work but is also due to the great collaboration of my uber-talented team." Here is an entry level answer example: "Some qualities that make you a strong team player:
- Having the ability to empathize
- Willingness to highlight the wins of others
- Strong listening skills
- The ability to encourage others
- Willingness to go beyond your job description
- Participating in extra-curricular activities
- Showing respect to everyone in the workplace
- Being proactive on projects
- Offering creative solutions
- Contributing when it is not expected of you
- Displaying self-awareness
- Accepting feedback on your performance" Here is an experienced answer example: "I see great value in being a team player because you learn so much more vs. working alone. I prefer working as part of a team. It's diverse and engaging."15. Presenting accurate reports and documentation is an important part of being an academic advisor. How would you describe your written communication skills? Being a clear communicator, in written form, is an essential skill to master. Have you taken any courses in communication and writing? Are you confident in your written communication skills? Talk to the interviewer about your written communication abilities and support your answer with a brief example or story. Here is an answer example: "I would describe my written communication skills as above average and would rate myself as a 9/10. I have always had a penchant for writing and have taken university courses related to communication, writing, and journalism. I fully understand the importance of accurate reporting and clear documentation." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have strong written communication skills. I spent a lot of time writing papers during my time in post-secondary, and am confident in my ability to communicate my thoughts clearly, on paper." Here is an experienced answer example: "My written communication skills are solid. I often utilize written communications as a follow up to verbal communications. They provide a great resource for my students to go back to, and reference, plus they might answer any questions that come up along the way."16. How would you describe your work ethic? When the interviewer asks about your work ethic, they are looking for specific examples or keywords they can relate to. When you read the job posting or job description, do they refer to particular ethics or values? Talk about their values and how those align well with your work values. Here is an answer example: "I am a very dedicated and loyal employee. I saw on your website that you describe your school's culture as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your students. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my students every day." Here is an entry level answer example: "Some characteristics you may want to use are:
- Dependable" Here is an experienced answer example: "My work ethic has been well honed over the seven years that I have worked as an academic advisor. If I had to describe my work ethic in just a few words, I would say that I am transparent, always a few steps ahead of expectations, and accountable for my work."17. What do you know about the culture at our school? Workplace culture and fit is a significant factor when considering a career move. Assure the interviewer that you have put thought, research, and consideration of how the workplace culture will work for you. Here is an answer example: "I have researched your school through your social media channels and on glassdoor.com. Your employees have great things to say, and overall it seems that you have fun while you work. I am looking forward to joining an organization, like yours, that is upbeat and thoughtful with an eye on helping the community at the same time." Here is an entry level answer example: "I read many positive reviews online about your organization and this school's culture. You offer great incentives to keep people motivated, and it seems to be the type of fast-paced environment that values innovation and performance. My type of place!" Here is an experienced answer example: "Through my years as an academic advisor, I have met a few teachers, faculty, and students from your school. Everyone has had great things to say about your culture. I have heard it is encouraging and supportive, and very diverse. I look forward to learning more about your workplace culture as the interview process continues!"18. How do you explain complicated concepts to those who may not understand? The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of explaining complex ideas without being condescending to your co-workers or talking over their heads. Give the interviewer an example of how you break down information to make it more easily digestible for the average person.
Think of a presentation about a complex topic, as a proposal to solve a challenging problem. The solution may seem obvious to you, but everyone else in the room is scratching their heads trying to figure out what you're talking about. When you can define key terms and phrases to make them more relevant to your audience, you have skill! Not everyone can do this.
Prepare an example that demonstrates your communication skills and your ability to convey complex information in easy to understand terms. Here is an answer example: "I find that when there is a complicated concept to teach, visual aids are always the way to go. Did you know that 65% of people are visual learners and that presentations with visual components are 43% more persuasive? I took a course on creating effective info-graphics and will often implement those in my presentations." Here is an entry level answer example: "I try to use written and verbal examples. If possible, I like to have hands-on examples, but that is not always feasible. Communicating in more than one way helps those with different learning styles." Here is an experienced answer example: "I find the best way to explain a topic is a multifaceted approach. If possible, I like to send a quick email memo summarizing or teasing what we'll be talking about, so my student comes in with the right mindset. Then, a quick overview in person, check for understanding or questions. Then, I wrap up by clarifying any outstanding issues."19. How do you like to encourage ideas in others? Encouragement to others is a great skill to possess. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to encourage creative ideas in your team members or students. Here is an answer example: "I like to encourage other people to be creative in their thinking and present ideas to the organization or faculty, no matter how off the wall they may seem. Some of our most successful students are ones who are confident in their ability to bring forward their unique ideas. I encourage participation through an open door policy and strong praise for those who show initiative." Here is an entry level answer example: "Here are some ways that you can encourage ideas in others:
- Get to know them and what they like to work on
- Send an encouraging email letting them know you like their plan or ideas
- Publicly praise their efforts
- If they are doing a great job, offer them more related opportunities
- If you are a leader, then tell them that you like their ideas
- Say things like 'Well done' or 'Nice work' on a regular basis
- Show that you believe in their quality of work before they even deliver it" Here is an experienced answer example: "I encourage my students to tap into the best parts of themselves. It helps to ask probing questions to get them to generate ideas on their own. I have found that by painting a long-term vision for their future, my students will often jump in with creative solutions to get us there."20. Tell me about your leadership qualities and how those help you with leading your students. The interviewer would like to know what you consider to be strong leadership qualities. When describing leadership qualities, try to avoid general terms and give some unique ideas.
A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership of their mistakes and will always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance of motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements. Which of these qualities do you most identify with? Here is an answer example: "I have taken many workshops and courses to improve my leadership skills over the years. My leadership qualities are best summed as dedicated, attentive, and motivating. I like to recognize my students' small wins because that motivates them to continue achieving." Here is an entry level answer example: "To me, a leader is someone who is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, adaptable, and open. A leader wants to nurture others to their fullest potential, and it is something I have enjoyed since childhood. I love to be seen as an example to follow and help guide others to bettering themselves and their careers." Here is an experienced answer example: "My leadership qualities are communication, drive and mentoring others. I seek out the best in people, which helps them increase their performance."21. As an academic advisor, understanding sources of inspiration is important. Who has inspired you in your life and why? The interviewer would like to know who in your life inspires you. Your life's inspiration can come from a book, a mentor, your family, a celebrity, author - literally anyone! Talk to the interviewer about who has inspired your life and why. Here is an answer example: "I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. I would have to say that the person who has most greatly inspired me has been my grandmother. She always had a smile on her face no matter how hard she worked and she loved everyone. She was well respected and always gave more than she received. I try to live like her as much as I can." Here is an entry level answer example: "My previous sociology professor was a huge inspiration to me. Her passion for education was motivating and put the fire in me to graduate with top marks." Here is an experienced answer example: "My students inspire me! Who better to inspire me to do the best work possible, than the exact individuals that I am trying to help?"22. When faced with a problem, are you more likely to jump into solving it, or are you the type to carefully assess the issue first? The interviewer would like to know more about your problem-solving skills, and your personality. Discuss how you tackle problems when they arise, and keep your answer work-related if you can. Whether you are the type to jump right into solving a problem or you are more methodical in your approach, highlight to the interviewer that you are capable of handling issues professionally while using sound judgment. Here is an answer example: "When faced with a problem, I am more likely to jump right into solving it. I believe that you cannot leave a problem to fester or it will become bigger than it already is. You have to take ownership of the issue, and involve yourself in the resolution right away. With that said, I am responsible for my decision making and certainly don't jump in blind. If I am unsure of what action to take, I will ask my leader for advice." Here is an entry level answer example: "That depends on the situation and seriousness of the problem. I will not jump in with rash decisions on a problem that has a major impact on our students or the business." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have been with my current educational facility for many years, so the majority of problem-solving comes second nature to me at this point. However, when I first started this job, I would have to spend more time in careful consideration before jumping in. I would say that when I have a problem, I have a healthy balance of the two."23. Why do you want to work as an academic advisor? This question can be difficult because it requires you to know enough about the educational facility to be impressed by what they do, and what they have to offer you, regarding growing your abilities as an academic advisor.
Prepare for this question through due diligence! Review the academic facility's website first. You can read reviews of former students and find out about their reputation in the educational space. Sometimes you can even find articles or press releases to give you a brief on their latest accomplishments, innovations or school culture. Pinpoint the highlights.
Know the facility's vision so that you can quickly tell them that your values align. Sharing your knowledge on the latest education-related news is a great indicator that you have a vested interest in them and the educational industry. Here is an answer example: "I am impressed by your mission, and I love how much of an impact you make on the local community. Winning the community Humanitarian Award in 2016 was a remarkable achievement that stands out to me. In addition to all of this, I want to work here because you offer the growth, development, and continued education opportunities for your employees. I see a long-term fit here, with consistent growth, which is important to me." Here is an entry level answer example: "Working with your facility will be the best way for me to kick off my career. I met with a few individuals in this industry while attending university and everyone had the best things to say about your organization. I am thrilled to be here to interview today and hope that we can create a long-term working relationship." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have had my eye on your facility for many years now. Because you are a leader in the educational industry, I see that you have minimal turnover and few career openings come up. I am enthusiastic for the opportunity to be here today and hope that you can see a strong fit with my experience."24. How do you handle stress on the job? Are you someone who can handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to contain pressure in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress." Here is an entry level answer example: "I am accustomed to high-stress level from my post-secondary studies and am well prepared to handle stress in the workplace as well. At times of peak stress, I ensure that I am eating well, and getting enough rest. It's simple but makes all the difference." Here is an experienced answer example: "Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."25. If asked, how do you believe your coworkers would describe you? The interviewer wants to know that you can honestly say your co-workers enjoy collaborating with you. Select a few positive and unique keywords that genuinely define your work ethic. Here is an answer example: "I know that my coworkers respect my work ethic. If I had to guess how they perceive me, I think they would say that I am a reliable person, an encouraging teammate, and a strong mentor." Here is an entry level answer example: "Some great words to use:
- Reliable" Here is an experienced answer example: "My coworkers would describe me as a natural leader with an immense amount of knowledge when it comes to the academic industry. I am seasoned and always willing to pass my knowledge along to others."26. All of our candidates must pass a criminal record check and education verification. Is there any reason why you would not be comfortable with this? If you can successfully pass a criminal record check and education verification: 'Yes, I am happy to comply with any background checks required. My record is clean.'
If you are not able to successfully pass a criminal record check and education verification, you want to be very upfront about that. Here is an answer example: "You are welcome to conduct a background check on me. I will disclose upfront that I have a DUI on my record from 2009. This does not affect my ability to travel for work, and I no longer have any restrictions on my drivers' license." Here is an entry level answer example: "I am willing to take any background check that you require. Rest assured, they will all come back clean." Here is an experienced answer example: "I understand fully why you would need to do a full background check. I have taken the liberty of bringing you a copy of my police check. I'm happy to fill out any other paperwork that you require in addition to this."27. What questions do you have for me? It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the school's website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their website! Here is an answer example: "Yes, I do have a couple of questions. First, could you tell me a little bit about your growth plan for this upcoming school year? Second, what is your timeline for making this hiring decision?" Here is an entry level answer example: "Here are some sample questions:
- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
- What is the primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the most significant change in the education industry over the past three years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?" Here is an experienced answer example: "Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"28. How often do you monitor the progress of the students on your academic roster? The interviewer wants to better understand your level of engagement with the students on your academic roster. Are you more hands off...waiting for the student to come to you? Or, do you take a proactive approach and make a note to connect with your students on a regular basis? Discuss the ways that you ensure your level of engagement with your students is high. Here is an answer example: "I understand that most educational facilities recommend that a student connects with their academic advisor at least three times per semester. That's great for the students who are excelling; however, I prefer to have a better pulse on the students who are struggling a bit. This year I started using engagement software with the students on my roster. This software, called 15Five, elevates the engagement of my students by asking questions and starting the right conversations on a bi-weekly basis. The student logs on, they rate how they feel from 1 to 5 and then answer a brief question that I have pre-loaded into the form. If a student is feeling a 2 out of 5, this is an indicator that I need to check in more frequently." Here is an entry level answer example: "I believe in very regular progress monitoring with all students. It's important to me that they know I care about their progress and achievements." Here is an experienced answer example: "All the time! Maybe they get tired of me always checking in on them, but so far, my active involvement in their lives has shown positive results."29. What do you find most rewarding about being an academic advisor? By understanding why you find this career path rewarding, the interviewer will also be able to know how to keep you motivated on the job. Give a few examples of what you find most rewarding. Try to give unique answers vs. merely saying 'I like talking to people,' for instance. Here is an answer example: "There are many rewarding aspects to being an academic advisor. If I have to choose the biggest stand-outs for myself, I would say that I love the fact that every person I meet has a different story to tell. Students these days are so diverse and forward thinking that it keeps me on my toes. Another rewarding aspect for me is all of the continual research and education that I can do. I feel as though I, myself, am constantly learning." Here is an entry level answer example: "I believe that the most rewarding aspect of being an academic advisor will be getting the chance to help people carve their career path." Here is an experienced answer example: "For me, being a positive influence on my students is the greatest reward. I love to check in with my students, even years down the road, to see what they have been able to accomplish as a result of their well-planned educational path."30. How familiar are you with the undergrad and graduate programs at our school? Interviewers and hiring managers often receive hundreds of applications per job. If you are lucky enough to land an interview, you must make some effort to research the opportunity. You don't need to be an expert, but you do need to be knowledgeable on the school before your interview.
Start by searching the school's website and take particular note of any new programs they have implemented. Identify their most popular programs if you can, and look at their competitors to see where this school may stand out. Here is an answer example: "I conducted a great deal of research on your programs before coming here today. I was very excited to see that you recently added a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts. I am thrilled to see that you have solid options for Business students as well." Here is an entry level answer example: "At this point, I have studied your program offerings for a few hours, so I do feel that my knowledge base is strong. Your offerings have an incredible range. Which of your programs is the most popular?" Here is an experienced answer example: "I have been familiar with your school, and it's program for quite some time. In addition to already being very familiar with your educational institution, I have already advised on many similar programs from my six years working at a competitive university. If hired, the time to train me would be minimal."31. In your opinion, what are the top 3 functions of an academic advisor? The interviewer wants to be assured that you fully understand the scope of this position. If you are not sure of the essential functions of this role, go back to the job posting or job description. These will be clearly outlined in those documents. What do they continually mention in the job posting? Is there a standard theme? Talk about those and be sure to tie in the fact that you are experienced and talented in those exact areas. Here is an answer example: "I believe that the three primary functions of an academic advisor are to help students recognize what they need to achieve, give them the tools they need to reach those goals, and help them to look at their post-secondary educational path critically. I see in your job posting that you greatly value those skills as well. I am highly competent in these functions and feel that my Master's Degree in Educational Counseling makes me the best fit for your needs." Here is an entry level answer example: "Here are some qualities an academic advisor should possess:
- Concern for student success
- Coursework and post-secondary knowledge
- Ability to retain information
- Strong memory
- Counseling skills
- Ability to build strong rapport, very quickly
- Flexible availability
- Ability to maintain confidentiality / discreet" Here is an experienced answer example: "From my experience, I believe that an academic advisor needs to be a strong source of guidance, be able to offer well-researched advice, and be a strong accountability partner. Are these the qualities you are looking for, from your next academic advisor?"32. What unique qualities can you bring to our school? The interviewer is asking what makes you stand out from the crowd! This question is not the time to say that you are organized, and reliable. Boring! You need to dig deep and think of the unique skills that make you an obvious stand-out from other potential applicants Here is an answer example: "What makes me unique from your other candidates is that I am a continuous learner, always working to improve my skills. This year alone I have completed four professional development courses, and I plan to attend four more. The more knowledgeable I am in my role as an academic advisor, the more your students will benefit from having me here." Here is an entry level answer example: "Some unique qualities could be that you are:
- A Continuous Learner
- An Imaginative Thinker
- An Engaging Speaker
- A Strong Motivator
- Bilingual" Here is an experienced answer example: "What makes me unique is the amount of years' experience I have working in both public and private institutions. I am passionate about professional development as well, having taken two industry-related workshops per year for the past eight years. That additional coursework is outlined in my resume."
Writers for Academic Advisor Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
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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