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Residential Advisors Interview
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31 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 30th, 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     Business    
Question 1 of 31
When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?
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How to Answer
Being able to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to changing situations is a very valuable skill set. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create a variety of potential scenarios.
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1.
When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?
Being able to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to changing situations is a very valuable skill set. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create a variety of potential scenarios.

Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that it is very important to create alternative scenarios in all situations. One cannot guess what will happen in the end so it is great to be prepared for all possible outcomes."
2.
Who would you say inspires you?
Show that you are prepared for the interview by having an immediate answer. The only wrong answer here is simply, "I don't know." In most interviews, you will get one or two personal questions to see how you present yourself. You want to be able to articulate yourself well, responding politely and even passionately when appropriate. A good way to respond to this question is by sharing about a person who has been a positive influence on you and your career. If your dad motivated you to push through to finish your education, talk about how that impacted you. Who showed you that it was possible to overcome even the greatest obstacles? Who taught you the skills that brought you where you are today?
Rachelle's Answer
"I don't know."
3.
What does diversity mean to you?
As an RA it is very important that you embrace diversity. Talk to the interviewer about what this means to you.

Rachelle's Answer
"To me, diversity means acknowledging and accepting a full range of genders, sexual preferences, cultures, and races. Embracing diversity is incredibly important and would certainly be a focus of mine should I be the successful candidate."
4.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What are your plans after University? Talk to the interviewer about the goals that you have set for yourself over the next 5 years.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have one year left to complete my Bachelor's Degree and then I plan to move into my Master's Degree. Once that is complete, I would love to target a communications or journalism job in New York. That has always been my dream."
5.
If you could change or improve anything about your college, what would it be?
No establishment is perfect and there is always room for improvement. Discuss with the interviewer any ideas that you have had when it comes to improving campus life. Be sure to avoid complaining. Make this discussion a constructive one.

Rachelle's Answer
"One area of improvement that I would love to focus on, should I be chosen as an RA, would be the amount of community related volunteer work our students do. Although there has been significant improvement over the past 3 years, I still see opportunities for us to be better."
6.
Are you a patient person?
As an RA you will need to exercise a great amount of patience from time to time. Assure the interviewer that you are a patient individual.

Rachelle's Answer
"I do consider myself a patient person but certainly not a pushover. I have a clear idea of when additional patience is required of me."
7.
What were your reasons for selecting our college or university?
As an RA you will need to have a lot of spirit and passion for this establishment. Discuss with the interviewer some of the reasons why you chose this particular establishment for your post-secondary education. Show them that you are passionate for their school!

Rachelle's Answer
"I chose this university for my post-secondary education because this school runs deep in our family. I am the 4th generation to attend school here and couldn't be prouder. I have a lot of passion for this school which is another reason why I would make a fantastic RA."
8.
How was your college experience?
Highlight some of your great experiences during college and be sure to include how your RA was an influence to you during your time in residence.

Rachelle's Answer
"I had a very positive college experience and I attribute that to the fact that I was very involved in the college community. Personally, I had an excellent RA who ensured that everyone felt included."
9.
Tell me how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work.
As an RA, you will be required to plan activities on a regular basis while keeping in mind an appropriate and manageable balance for the residents. Discuss with the interviewer how you plan to do this.

Rachelle's Answer
"When I organize and plan my work, I first look at the big picture and the schedule of others involved. I will map out a plan, and create a schedule for myself to follow. I have always been very good with keeping to a schedule so this method is very effective for me."
10.
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
We all have weaknesses of some sort and that is absolutely okay to admit. Talk to the interviewer about what you feel your greatest weakness is and be sure to discuss what you are currently doing, or willing to do, to improve. Be sure to avoid an answer that would be crucial to your success in this role (IE: I want to be an RA but I have a fear of people).

Rachelle's Answer
"I feel that my greatest weakness is that sometimes I can be a bit too blunt when it comes to truth-telling. Many of my peers appreciate it but some do not. I am working on my ability to add sensitivity to my delivery when I speak and so far, so good!"
11.
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 need to leave out the 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. We recommend keeping it under a minute. Focus on your interest or passion for the field, your education and accomplishments. Keep it relevant! 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. It's okay to be a little mysterious. Leave the interviewer wanting more!
12.
After receiving information from your supervisor, how do you ensure you properly communicate this information to your team?
It is immensely important to accurately communicate information in the workplace. Discuss with the interviewer how you go about doing so.

Rachelle's Answer
"When I receive new information from my supervisor I will run my understanding of it by the supervisor to ensure that my interpretation is correct. After that, I will relay the information formally (in writing) to my team. This eliminates word of mouth and misinterpretation surrounding the issue."
13.
Provide an example when your ethics were tested.
Your ethics may be tested from time to time. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of resisting the temptation to act unethically. How will you set an example to the residents?

Rachelle's Answer
"Last year during finals it was brought to my attention that the answers to one of my final exams had been leaked. Someone on campus was selling it to students and a friend of mine purchased the answer key. He offered to give it to me for free and I declined. It was a tough choice because this was a class that I was struggling in a little bit. I studied extra hard instead and am happy that I did not give in to temptation."
14.
Describe for me a time when you failed at something and how you responded.
Everyone has had a failure at one point in their career. Do not hesitate to describe a failure. The key to a great answer, is how you learned from that failure and were able to improve yourself because of it. Try to keep the failure to one instance and stay away from financial mistakes you made at your previous employer. Example, do not tell the interviewer you forgot to order new inventory and which costs your company fifteen thousand in lost sales. Instead, try to keep it career related. Example, I was offered a position at XYZ that would have gained me management experience in my career, but I turned down the offer in fear I was not yet ready for the position. In hindsight, I believe I was more than capable to run XYZ's department, and regret not accepting.
15.
What activities would you create for your residents?
As an RA you will need to exercise some creativity when it comes to activities for your residents. Assure the interviewer that you have some great ideas and that you will keep them coming!

Rachelle's Answer
"I have a lot of great ideas and resources to draw on for activities. I would love to plan a games night, co-ed baseball tournament, and a flag football game. I think it would be wonderful to start a volunteer initiative as well for those students who are interested in giving back to their community."
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31 Residential Advisors Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?
  2. Who would you say inspires you?
  3. What does diversity mean to you?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  5. If you could change or improve anything about your college, what would it be?
  6. Are you a patient person?
  7. What were your reasons for selecting our college or university?
  8. How was your college experience?
  9. Tell me how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work.
  10. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
  11. Tell me about yourself.
  12. After receiving information from your supervisor, how do you ensure you properly communicate this information to your team?
  13. Provide an example when your ethics were tested.
  14. Describe for me a time when you failed at something and how you responded.
  15. What activities would you create for your residents?
  16. Provide an experience in which your observation of a student helped you to identify unusual behavior.
  17. How would you handle a fight amongst your residents?
  18. Why do you want to be an RA?
  19. Do others respect and listen to you?
  20. What are your salary expectations?
  21. Tell me about an organization or group outside of work that you contributed to.
  22. What work situations excite and motivate you?
  23. Would you consider yourself a creative person?
  24. In five minutes or less, pick a topic you are passionate about, but isn't something I should know of, and explain it to me.
  25. Why are you the best person for this position?
  26. Share an effective method you have used to enforce rules and regulations.
  27. What is your greatest strength?
  28. Do you work well in high stress and pressure situations?
  29. Tell me about a major problem you recently handled. Were you successful in resolving it?
  30. What is leadership to you?
  31. If you notice your residents are not participating in your activities, what would you do?
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