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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.
Job Interviews     Careers     Education    

Question 1 of 30

How do you handle stress on the job?

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1.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

Anonymous Answer

"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.

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Anonymous Answer

"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!

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2.

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!

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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?"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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?"

3.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

Anonymous Answer

"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.

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4.

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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5.

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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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.

How would you describe your work ethic?

When the interviewer asks about your work ethic, they are looking for specific examples or relatable keywords. 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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Some characteristics you may want to use are:

- Determined/Driven
- Accountable
- Humble
- Respectful
- Dependable"

Anonymous Answer

"I am a dependable employee, determined, and I take pride in my work."

Rachelle's Answer

These are all wonderful descriptors that any interviewer should appreciate :)

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Anonymous Answer

"I am a dedicated and disciplined employee. I am the type of person who is always on top of her work, meets deadlines, and can be held accountable."

Alexandra's Answer

Great answer!

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8.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Some great words to use:

- Encouraging
- Helpful
- Engaged
- Positive
- Hard-working
- Punctual
- Reliable"

Anonymous Answer

"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.

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Anonymous Answer

"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!

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9.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

Anonymous Answer

"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!

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10.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

Anonymous Answer

"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.

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Anonymous Answer

"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.

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11.

What do you find most rewarding about being an admissions counselor?

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"There are many rewarding aspects to being an admission counselor. 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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I believe that the most rewarding aspect of being an admissions counselor will be getting the chance to help people carve their career path."

Anonymous Answer

"I believe that the most rewarding aspect of being an admissions counselor will be helping people find their career path and being part of their journey and watching them succeed. I would enjoy the connection and the energy of the students and the opportunity to work on a top-notch team."

Rachelle's Answer

This sounds rewarding, indeed! It seems like you have a strong idea of what you will enjoy in this career path.

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Anonymous Answer

"I believe that the most rewarding aspect of being an admissions counselor will be getting the chance to help students transition into college. Also, educating prospective families about the University and being able to share my first-hand experience."

Alexandra's Answer

Great answer!

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12.

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."

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Yes, I am happy to comply with any background checks required. My record is clean."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am willing to take any background check that you require. Rest assured, these checks will all come back clean."

Anonymous Answer

"I am happy to comply with any background checks required."

Rachelle's Answer

Short and sweet - well done!

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Anonymous Answer

"I understand and willing to take any background check that is required."

Alexandra's Answer

Good answer.

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13.

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

14.

Presenting accurate reports and documentation is an important part of being an admissions counselor. How would you describe your written communication skills?

Being a bright 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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

Anonymous Answer

"I have strong written communication skills. I spent a significant amount of time writing papers while working towards my Philosophy degree. I believe it is essential that reports and documentation need to be accurate. I am confident that I can communicate my thoughts clearly and precisely."

Rachelle's Answer

Very good answer, with a supporting example. You sound highly confident!

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15.

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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30 Admissions Counselor Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

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