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.
Admissions Counselor Interview Questions
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.
"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."
"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 admissions counselor. Compensation is not my primary driver."
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: "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."
"Yes, I am happy to comply with any background checks required. My record is clean."
"I am willing to take any background check that you require. Rest assured, these checks will all come back clean."
"I am happy to comply with any background checks required."Rachelle's Answer
Short and sweet - well done!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I understand and willing to take any background check that is required."Alexandra's Answer
Good answer.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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 items you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their website!
"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 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 of working here?
- What is the primary goal of 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?"
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.
"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 admissions-based role. I am an energetic and positive person, ready to make a difference in a growing organization."
"I am a seasoned admissions counselor 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. "
"I graduated from Augustana College with a Bachelors's degree in Sociology. Since then, I have been actively searching for a job in admissions. I am a person who stays positive and able to work through stress. I think those qualities will help me when helping students with their issues."Rachelle's Answer
This is a nice recap, and it's wonderful that you took the opportunity to showcase how your personal qualities with help you to be successful in this role.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I graduated with a Bachelors's degree from Ohio State University in 2019. I majored in Business Management with minors in Public Relations and Political Science. Since graduating, I have wanted to come back to OSU because it has been a home to me. I want to grow and make a difference in this position."Alexandra's Answer
Good start with your answer! I encourage you to expand more on yourself. This is your chance to give details about your experience and background that can be relevant to this position. A few things I recommend including: How did you decide to attend Capital University? Why did you choose your major/minor? What were you involved in on campus? It's also always nice to include a hobby or fun fact about yourself in this question because it will allow the interviewer to get to know you as a person (further than just your resume).Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Walk me through your approach with students who are undecided on their major.
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."
"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."
"I would schedule as many meetings as possible to get to know the student better. My interest would be to learn more about the student’s qualities, interests, and strengths. I would show the student that his/her decision is important to our team and that they are not alone in making an important decision. I would explain to the student the importance of making a smart decision, to save money and time during their college career. I would provide different career options and the career plan for each degree. I would ensure the student feels comfortable with the courses offered and would remain supportive at all times."Rachelle's Answer
Very well thought out response! Try compacting it further to help the interviewer follow along.
"If a student were undecided on their major, I would do three things. First, I would get to know their qualities, interests, and strengths. Next, I would make sure they felt supported by the admissions team while reflecting on their important decision. Then, I would provide the student with data regarding career options and paths for each degree they were contemplating. It's important that I would remain supportive and helpful through all stages of the decision-making process."Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"If I were to come across a student who was undecided on their major, I would have a discussion with them to get to know what their interests and strengths are and get an idea of majors they are considering. I would supply them with data for the majors being considered and show them potential paths they could take to pursue them. I would make sure that they feel like they have my support in their decisions."Rachelle's Answer
You are taking a multi-faceted approach here that includes data and the emotional side of decision making. Well balanced - great work!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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?"
"I would sit down with the student and discuss what is going on in their life to try and figure out why they are failing their course. I try to get the student to open up without prying too much, and by being respectful. I would provide them with relevant information and suggest they set up a meeting with their professor to discuss potential options or put them in touch with the writing center or tutoring center. I would follow up and stay connected to keep encouraging and finding a solution."Rachelle's Answer
The steps you mention here are significant and come from a place of respecting boundaries, which is very important. You sound highly prepared - well done!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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?
"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."
"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 an example to follow and help guide others to bettering themselves and their careers."
"To me a leader is an excellent communicator, attentive and dedicated. I believe these three things are important qualities for someone in a leadership role and fit perfectly for the position of admissions counselor. I will always be available to help get the right answers to each and every questions and I have the enthusiasm to see others grow and success."Rachelle's Answer
Your answer is very genuine and thoughtful, which any interviewer should appreciate. Well done.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"During my time at OSU, I have been able to work on and improve my leadership qualities. For instance, I have participated in two leadership conferences and elected to executive committees. My leadership qualities can be described as determined, communicative, and organized. I can use my skills to help students by guiding them to better themselves and increase their performance."Alexandra's Answer
Good answer! I would be more specific with how specifically you will apply the qualities you mentioned (see example below).
"During my time at OSU, I developed and improved my leadership qualities. I participated in two leadership conferences, and I was elected to executive committees for ____. My leadership qualities can be described as determined, communicative, and organized. My determination will help ensure that I do everything I can to help each student. My communication skills will allow me to form relationships with students and tell them what their options are. My organizational skills will lead me to prepare the relevant information for each student in a clear, organized manner. I can use these skills to help students better themselves, make their educational/career decisions, and increase their performance."Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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 control pressure in the workplace.
"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."
"I am accustomed to high-stress levels 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."
"I am used to handling stress from college studies, and I am well prepared to manage stress in the workplace. When I am at my most stressed, I find a way to plan out my time so that I get my work done before the deadline and still have time to get the proper amount of rest."Rachelle's Answer
A very good approach to stress management. Well said.Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (1)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"As a recent graduate, I am accustomed to high-stress levels from my studies and prepared to handle stress in the workplace as well. I have learned to take a step back, a small break to refuel and "start over."Alexandra's Answer
Good answer!Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (1)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Under what circumstance would you suggest a student change majors?
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 apparent on the alternate major they would like to take."
"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."
"Only under severe circumstances would I likely suggest a major change. If I see the student is truly unhappy and on the verge of dropping out I may suggest a change. I think the biggest thing is that I would sit down with them and go over the pros and cons of each decision and support them on whatever decision they choose to go with."Rachelle's Answer
It's good that you would take this situation seriously while taking the time to break down the needs of the student. Bravo!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What did you think of your admissions counselor when you were an undergraduate student?
The interviewer is wondering if perhaps you were influenced to the career path of admissions 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 admissions counselor 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."
"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."
"I had a great relationship with my admissions counselors and found them to be very encouraging and helpful. It took me almost two full school years to declare a major, and my advisors helped me with making my final decision with confidence."Rachelle's Answer
It's wonderful that you had a rewarding experience! Be sure to tie in a bit about how this positive experience will impact how you plan to perform as an Admissions Counselor.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I had an excellent relationship with my academic advisor! She always wrote me handwritten notes and always helped me when I had questions. We had a great relationship, which is one of the reasons why I chose this university. Even though I did not know what I wanted to do, she laid out options for me and helped start my career path."Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! I recommend finishing your answer with how you will use that experience to guide you in your career as an admissions counselor or how it inspires you.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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."
"I believe in regularly monitoring all students. It is important to me that they know I care about their progress and achievements."Rachelle's Answer
You show a good amount of care for students. Nicely said.Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"Some great words to use:
"I know that my coworkers have seen and respect my work ethic. I think they would describe me as positive, reliable, and helpful."Rachelle's Answer
These are excellent descriptors, and your answer sounds confident. Good work.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I believe that my co-workers would describe me as hardworking, dedicated, and reliable. In the past, I have offered to stay over to complete work that needed to be finished and has always shown up on time for my shift."Alexandra's Answer
Great answer!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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.
"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."
"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."
"That depends on how big the problem is. If it is something that can be handled with little impact on the students or the business, I will likely jump into solving it; if it is something more serious, I will take the time to analyze the situation and work out an appropriate solution."Rachelle's Answer
Great way to approach this question! You show an excellent analytical mindset in your response.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"This would depend on the situation and the seriousness of the problem. If it were a simple technology problem or a question a student asked (that I did not know the answer too), I would do a bit of research online or direct the student to someone else who could better answer the problem. However, if the problem were more serious, I would not make a rash decision, especially if it has a major impact on the university."Alexandra's Answer
Good answer! I like that you give different examples.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job?
Everyone will have their 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.
"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."
"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."
"I feel dissatisfied with the job when my hard work goes underappreciated, and there is a lack of mutual respect. I think the acknowledgment of a job well done is extremely motivating."Rachelle's Answer
This is great! You give the interviewer a solid understanding of how to keep you motivated and happy on the job :)Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I feel dissatisfied at a job when I work hard, but continuously hit roadblocks, especially when I know I can do better. I do not like disappointing people, but failure continues to make me better in the future, even though it can be frustrating."Alexandra's Answer
Good answer! This shows your desire to succeed and grow. If I were the interviewer, I may follow up by asking for an example of a roadblock or failure that you've experienced.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
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!
"Although I have five years' experience vs. 8 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."
"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."
"While I may not have the desired years of experience, I am confident that I have the skills and work ethic to do this job very well."Rachelle's Answer
This is a great start! Try diving in further into exactly how your skills and work ethic aligns with the needs and desires of the company.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What do you know about the culture at our school?
Presenting accurate reports and documentation is an important part of being an admissions counselor. How would you describe your written communication skills?
In your opinion, what are the top 3 functions of an admissions counselor?
What unique qualities can you bring to our school?
Why do you want to work as an admissions counselor?
How familiar are you with the undergrad and graduate programs at our school?
How would you describe your work ethic?
Do you consider yourself a team player? Why?
When have you worked among a diverse group of people?
How often do you take work home with you?
As an admissions counselor you will often be privy to sensitive situations. Do you think honesty is always the best policy?
As an admissions counselor, understanding sources of inspiration is important. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
What do you find most rewarding about being an admissions counselor?
When given your student roster, how much of each student's background do you like to learn?
What are your favorite resources for helping students discover potential career choices?