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Admissions Counselor Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 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 30
What unique qualities can you bring to our school?
View Answers
How to Answer
The interviewer is asking what makes you stand out from the crowd! This 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.
30 Admissions Counselor Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. What unique qualities can you bring to our school?
  2. Walk me through your approach with students who are undecided on their major.
  3. In your opinion, what are the top 3 functions of an admissions counselor?
  4. Why do you want to work as an admissions counselor?
  5. How familiar are you with the undergrad and graduate programs at our school?
  6. As an admissions counselor, understanding sources of inspiration is important. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
  7. What do you know about the culture at our school?
  8. Tell me about your leadership qualities and how those help you with leading your students.
  9. What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job?
  10. As an admissions counselor you will often be privy to sensitive situations. Do you think honesty is always the best policy?
  11. 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?
  12. How often do you take work home with you?
  13. Tell me about yourself.
  14. When have you worked among a diverse group of people?
  15. Do you consider yourself a team player? Why?
  16. Presenting accurate reports and documentation is an important part of being an admissions counselor. How would you describe your written communication skills?
  17. How would you describe your work ethic?
  18. 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?
  19. What is your current salary?
  20. How do you handle stress on the job?
  21. If asked, how do you believe your coworkers would describe you?
  22. 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?
  23. What questions do you have for me?
  24. How often do you monitor the progress of the students on your academic roster?
  25. What do you find most rewarding about being an admissions counselor?
  26. What would you do if a student on your academic roster was failing a course?
  27. What did you think of your admissions counselor when you were an undergraduate student?
  28. When given your student roster, how much of each student's background do you like to learn?
  29. Under what circumstance would you suggest a student change majors?
  30. What are your favorite resources for helping students discover potential career choices?
15 Admissions Counselor Answer Examples with User Answers
1.
What unique qualities can you bring to our school?
The interviewer is asking what makes you stand out from the crowd! This 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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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 admissions counselor, the more your students will benefit from having me here."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Some unique qualities could be that you are:

- A Continuous Learner
- An Imaginative Thinker
- An Engaging Speaker
- A Strong Motivator
- Bilingual"
Anonymous Answer
"I’m bilingual; I can read, write and speak in English and Spanish. I can target and recruit the Hispanic Community. I recall my experience during the recruitment process with your school; there was open communication between my family and the Spanish speaking Admissions Counselor. My father was able to fully understand the requirements, expectations and what the school offered. Thanks to the excellent customer service my family and I received from the Admissions Counselor, we were able to make the smartest decision and accepted the offer and chose your school. I want to be able to provide that same customer service; I understand the importance of Higher Education and understand how important it is for the entire family to be involved in the recruitment process. I also have two years of recruitment experience, during my college career here, I worked as an office assistant for your Admissions Office. I had the opportunity to work closely with undergrad, transfer and graduate Admission Counselors. I also assisted in the organization and implementation of recruitment events at our school and away from school. I have good interpersonal skills; I’ve worked in the government public sector for four years, and I am positive that my skills fit well with this position."
Rachelle's Answer
You have a lot of unique qualities! Your personal story is a nice touch, however, it may be better suited for a question such as 'Why do you want this job?' Be aware of length and try to shorten up your response just a touch.
"One unique quality is that I am fluently bilingual in English and Spanish, allowing me to recruit the Hispanic Community effectively. I have two years of recruitment experience during my college career at OLLU; working in the admissions office. Here, I worked closely with undergrad, transfer, and graduate admission counselors. I also participated in some of the schools' recruitment efforts. I have worked in the government public sector for the past four years, allowing me to grow my interpersonal skills further."
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Anonymous Answer
"One unique quality is that I am an imaginative thinker, allowing me to come up with creative ways to recruit prospective students. I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology that has given me skills in how to analyze situations and use critical thinking skills to find a way to navigate a task successfully."
Rachelle's Answer
Excellent! This answer is a sure-fire way to make yourself a stand out candidate. If you already have some creative ways to recruit prospective students, you could hint at an idea to draw the interviewer in even more.
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2.
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!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"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."
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Anonymous Answer
"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!
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3.
In your opinion, what are the top 3 functions of an admissions counselor?
The interviewer wants to know 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 where expectations are outlined. 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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that the three primary functions of an admissions counselor 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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Here are some qualities an admissions counselor 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"
Anonymous Answer
"The admissions counselor is responsible for recruiting qualified students, advertising and promoting what the university offers, and providing admissions counseling."
Rachelle's Answer
Short and sweet - good answer!
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Anonymous Answer
"I believe the three primary functions of an admissions counselor is to help students recognize what they want to achieve, make their transition to a new place as comfortable as possible, and make them feel confident in the college they have chosen."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer!
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4.
Why do you want to work as an admissions counselor?
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 admissions counselor

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am impressed by your mission, and I love how much of an impact you make in 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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"I think the students must have people that are supportive and have interests in their success. It is a job that can positively impact people, and I have the skills to assist students with their education and career paths successfully."
Rachelle's Answer
This is a confident answer that is also genuine and compelling. Nicely done!
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Anonymous Answer
"I want to work as an admissions counselor because I understand the importance for students to have a mentor who supports their ideas and values and, most importantly, to be able to show that interest from the beginning of the recruitment process. I received excellent customer service when I showed an interest in your school. For that, I am grateful and want to provide that same customer service experience I had. I want to be an admissions counselor because as an alum, I can speak to prospective students from personal experience and share all the great things the school has to offer. I want to be part of a place I know truly cares about students and their families."
Rachelle's Answer
Perfect! Your response is heartfelt and well researched.
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5.
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 about 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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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 robust options for Business students as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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?"
Anonymous Answer
"I know that the school has 30 undergraduate majors and minors, 15 master's programs, and three doctoral programs. I also know that the school offers classes during the daytime, evenings, weekends, and online."
Rachelle's Answer
You have done your research! Nice work. If you want that extra-special touch, you could mention a program that OLLU recently introduced, or the specific programs which you know to be the most popular.
"I know that OLLU offers 30 undergraduate majors and minors; 15 master programs and three doctoral programs. I see that you recently added the Nurse Practitioner program which is an exciting addition. I also appreciate that you offer classes into the evenings and weekends, with online options for working and mature students."
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Anonymous Answer
"I am very familiar with the undergrad and graduate programs at Capital. As a previous student, I benefited from the flexibility of adding minors because I had the chance to expand my knowledge in different areas. If a student is undecided, I will encourage them to do the same."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer!
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6.
As an admissions counselor, 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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. One person who has inspired me significantly has been my grandfather. He always respected everyone and made them feel like they mattered. He always supported me every step of the way and taught me valuable life lessons."
Rachelle's Answer
This is very inspiring! Try going a bit deeper and mentioning a lesson or two that your grandfather taught you.
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Anonymous Answer
"My Spanish teacher in high school was who inspired me in life. Her professionalism and dedication to teaching our native language (Spanish) really inspired me and made me want to focus more on the language throughout my college career. I knew I wanted to use my native language in my career so I obtained a double major in Spanish and Public Relations."
Rachelle's Answer
Wonderful response! Great job.
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7.
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 into how the workplace culture will work for you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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!"
Anonymous Answer
"I have had the privilege to experience the culture at this school. For example, I completed two internships while staying on campus and formed a new organization. The culture of Capital University is being involved and making connections while being involved."
Alexandra's Answer
This is a good answer. I reocommend expanding slightly to show how your experience prepares you for this position. See example revised answer below.
"I had had the privilege to experience the culture here firsthand when I was a student. While I was on campus, I completed two internships and formed a new organization ____. I found the culture at Capital University to be all about getting involved and making connections through your various involvements. Experiencing the culture firsthand has prepared me for this position because I will be able to relate to the student experiences."
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8.
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?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"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.
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Anonymous Answer
"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."
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9.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"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 :)
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Anonymous Answer
"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.
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10.
As an admissions counselor 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 morality when it comes to your roster of students.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I do feel that honesty is the best policy so long as the honest comment does not come with the intention of being hurtful."
Anonymous Answer
"I believe that honesty is the best policy as long as the conversation remains respectful."
Rachelle's Answer
Good point here! Nice response.
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Anonymous Answer
"I believe it is always to be honest with the student. They are investing their money and future in us, so it is important to build a trustworthy relationship with the student. Often, it is how the message is delivered and communicated and taking each sensitive situation as its own."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer!
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11.
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!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"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.
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12.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"I prefer to get my work done at work, but if there are things that need to be done, I will find a way to get the task done, even from home."
Rachelle's Answer
Nice! You are showing the interviewer that you are diligent while still expressing a desire for balance.
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Anonymous Answer
"I try not to take work home with me so I can spend time with my friends and family. However, if something does need to be completed, I will work on it at home."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer! This shows your desire for work/life balance, but also a commitment to the job.
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13.
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.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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. "
Anonymous Answer
"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.
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Anonymous Answer
"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).
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14.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"I worked with a diverse group of people during my role in Student Government. When working with these individuals, I was able to hear the opinions that were different than mine. Together we were able to work effectively."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer!
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15.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I truly believe that I am a team player because I cannot accept success without knowing that my team has 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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Some qualities that make you an active team player:

- Having the ability to empathize
- Humility
- Willingness to highlight the wins of others
- Strong listening skills
- The ability to encourage others
- Desire 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"
Anonymous Answer
"I believe I am a team player because I enjoy it when I'm part of a team that comes together to achieve a common goal. Working as a team is engaging, and it is helpful for growth on a personal level just as much as it is for the group as a whole."
Rachelle's Answer
You do a great job showcasing your love for teamwork! If possible, draw in an example or two of times when you have achieved a goal in a team environment.
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Anonymous Answer
"I consider myself a team player because I like bouncing off ideas with other members of my team. I have worked in a group almost every semester. Without all of us working together, we would not have been successful. By being in a team, I learn so much more, and I can accept feedback."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer!
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