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Study Abroad Advisor Interview
Questions

26 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     Education    
Question 1 of 26
Do you consider yourself a natural leader? Tell me about a time that you took on a leadership role without being asked.
View Answer
How to Answer
Be honest with the interviewer. Leadership may not be everyone's strength, but you can still describe an instance in which you showed initiative.

"I wouldn't say I'm a natural leader, but I do enjoy situations when I'm able to creatively execute my ideas. Once, when a group of Japanese students visited our school, I had the idea to serve sliders and fries in the form of a Japanese tea ceremony and I worked with a few colleagues to arrange the setup and room decoration. The visiting students really enjoyed it."
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1.
Do you consider yourself a natural leader? Tell me about a time that you took on a leadership role without being asked.
Be honest with the interviewer. Leadership may not be everyone's strength, but you can still describe an instance in which you showed initiative.

"I wouldn't say I'm a natural leader, but I do enjoy situations when I'm able to creatively execute my ideas. Once, when a group of Japanese students visited our school, I had the idea to serve sliders and fries in the form of a Japanese tea ceremony and I worked with a few colleagues to arrange the setup and room decoration. The visiting students really enjoyed it."
Rachelle's Answer
"I wouldn't say I'm a natural leader, but I do enjoy situations when I'm able to creatively execute my ideas. Once, when a group of Japanese students visited our school, I had the idea to serve sliders and fries in the form of a Japanese tea ceremony and I worked with a few colleagues to arrange the setup and room decoration. The visiting students really enjoyed it."
2.
Are you experienced in advising students in the area of travel necessities such as insurance and visas?
Tell the interviewer about your experience in this area, and if you don't have any, show them that you are willing to learn.

"I don't have much experience in consulting with students on travel insurance and visas, but I've travelled myself so I've had to look up information for several countries and am confident I'd be able to handle that on the job."
Rachelle's Answer
"I don't have much experience in consulting with students on travel insurance and visas, but I've travelled myself so I've had to look up information for several countries and am confident I'd be able to handle that on the job."
3.
Are you interested in furthering your education?
Speak honestly. If you are choosing to further your education, talk about what you want to study. If you aren't, talk about how you will continue to learn while being focused on your career.

"I think I'll go back to do a Masters of Education eventually, but for now I want to gain more work experience as an academic advisor so I'll better know what specific area of education I'd like to study. Most importantly, I want to work more with students from different cultural backgrounds to expand my work experience."
Rachelle's Answer
"I think I'll go back to do a Masters of Education eventually, but for now I want to gain more work experience as an academic advisor so I'll better know what specific area of education I'd like to study. Most importantly, I want to work more with students from different cultural backgrounds to expand my work experience."
4.
What do you think the most important thing is for a student to know before they participate in a study abroad program?
Think about your student training experience and the obstacles your students encountered or anything out of their expectations.

"The most important thing for students to remember is to always be flexible. Unpredictable things happen when traveling - luggages can get lost, roommates can get difficult, and the food might not be something they are familiar with. It's important to keep an open mind and accept all experiences without comparing them to their experiences back home. There isn't a right or wrong, or good or bad. It's all part of the experience."
Rachelle's Answer
"The most important thing for students to remember is to always be flexible. Unpredictable things happen when traveling - luggages can get lost, roommates can get difficult, and the food might not be something they are familiar with. It's important to keep an open mind and accept all experiences without comparing them to their experiences back home. There isn't a right or wrong, or good or bad. It's all part of the experience."
5.
What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
This is a good place to demonstrate that you are, at least somewhat, tech-savvy. Organization is a big part of the study abroad advisor position so it is important to have a few tools up your sleeve.

"I utilize Google Calendars heavily. I have several different calendars in different colors separating student applications from school events so I can readily access any student's application progress."
Rachelle's Answer
"I utilize Google Calendars heavily. I have several different calendars in different colors separating student applications from school events so I can readily access any student's application progress."
6.
What type of work environment do you thrive in?
Think about your personality and how adaptable you are to change. Whether you are flexible and creative or stable and prefer a more predictable environment, say so honestly, and craft your response to your benefit.

For instance, "I thrive well in a stable environment with set responsibilities as I'm able to hone my skills with lots of practice. This is particularly important as a study abroad advisor as there are many documents, deadlines, and forums in a year and it's important to stay organized and have a good SOP when deadlines approach."
Rachelle's Answer
"I thrive well in a stable environment with set responsibilities as I'm able to hone my skills with lots of practice. This is particularly important as a study abroad advisor as there are many documents, deadlines, and forums in a year and it's important to stay organized and have a good SOP when deadlines approach."
7.
Are you a strong writer and presenter?
Writing and presenting is a crucial part of being a study abroad advisor. Talk about your writing and presentation experience, alone or with others. If you have more experience in one area, highlight that as a strength.

"I have a lot of experience with presentation and enjoy writing in my spare time. During my last job, I was in charge of marketing events, Global Ambassador meetings, and facilitating public forums for students. I also published a few entries for a company blog."
Rachelle's Answer
"I have a lot of experience with presentation and enjoy writing in my spare time. During my last job, I was in charge of marketing events, Global Ambassador meetings, and facilitating public forums for students. I also published a few entries for a company blog."
8.
Describe your communication style.
Speak honestly and to your advantage. If you are direct, talk about how this facilitates efficient communication. If you are a bit more passive, talk about how this facilitates a more harmonious work environment.

"I prefer to communicate as directly a possible but also empathetically. I think it's important to be straightforward to avoid misunderstandings, but at the same time being too direct can hurt people, so over the years I've learned to listen thoroughly first and speak directly to my supervisor's, colleagues', or students' needs."
Rachelle's Answer
"I prefer to communicate as directly a possible but also empathetically. I think it's important to be straightforward to avoid misunderstandings, but at the same time being too direct can hurt people, so over the years I've learned to listen thoroughly first and speak directly to my supervisor's, colleagues', or students' needs."
9.
What major challenges did you face at your last position?
Describe your experience honestly without presenting yourself in a negative light. Discuss how you overcame a professional or interpersonal obstacle with finesse.

"My supervisor was tough in my last job. She was really demanding and gave me lot of cases to work on in a very short period of time, so time management was essential. Fortunately, another colleague agreed to cover some of my cases and we worked together to complete the applications before the deadline.
Rachelle's Answer
"
10.
How do you get a peer or colleague to accept one of your ideas?
The interviewer wants to know that you are both cooperative and assertive. Ideally, describe an experienced that required team work.

"I usually try to find the best of both worlds, or combine everyone's ideas so no one feels left out. Once, my colleague and I cohosted a forum promoting overseas learning. She wanted to adopt a more formal panel Q&A approach and I wanted to incorporate more informal discussion, games, and scenarios to get the students more engaged. We ended up making a two-part event that had both formal and entertainment aspects and it was well-received."
Rachelle's Answer
"I usually try to find the best of both worlds, or combine everyone's ideas so no one feels left out. Once, my colleague and I cohosted a forum promoting overseas learning. She wanted to adopt a more formal panel Q&A approach and I wanted to incorporate more informal discussion, games, and scenarios to get the students more engaged. We ended up making a two-part event that had both formal and entertainment aspects and it was well-received."
11.
How do you prioritize your work when you have multiple deadlines requiring your attention?
The interviewer wants to know that you are organized and can meet deadlines.

"I have a to-do list app which lists my students' applications by order of due date. I usually organize my day by type of task to accomplish, for instance: applications, essays, meetings, presentations. I try to get through all of them each day and rearrange the order as needed."
Rachelle's Answer
"I have a to-do list app which lists my students' applications by order of due date. I usually organize my day by type of task to accomplish, for instance: applications, essays, meetings, presentations. I try to get through all of them each day and rearrange the order as needed."
12.
Why do you want a career as a study abroad advisor?
Tell the interviewer about a personal experience or schooling that inspired you to become a study abroad advisor. A good answer would be your own study abroad experience.

"I did a semester abroad in Hong Kong during my study in university. I enjoyed learning with students from different cultures and parts of the world and was able to travel across Asia during that semester and grew personally and interpersonally. I want to help others be able to achieve that dream."
Rachelle's Answer
"I did a semester abroad in Hong Kong during my study in university. I enjoyed learning with students from different cultures and parts of the world and was able to travel across Asia during that semester and grew personally and interpersonally. I want to help others be able to achieve that dream."
13.
Name 3 top places you would recommend all students travel to.
Name your favorites, or places of historical or natural significance that you want to visit. This is a completely open-ended question that demonstrates your curiosity and passion for travel.

Some epic places to discuss:
- Iceland for the Northern Lights
- Turkey for the hot air balloons
- Philippines for the beaches
- New York for the glamor
14.
Have you ever provided student training on cultural adjustment?
If you have professional cultural training experience, describe the event or presentation. If not, talk about a time in which you have helped a student overcome a cultural barrier to adjust to a new country.

"I once worked with a student for 3 months when he first moved to the U.S. from China. We met once a week and he told me about how he couldn't adjust to the oily food, the huge portions, and the sarcastic American humor. He was also struggling with the language as he as in ESL at the time. Sometimes we shared tea or I brought some Chinese food that I made at home. After 3 months, his English improved significantly and he'd made a few friends whom he bonded with over basketball. I think it's really important for the adjusting student to know someone's there and understands what he's going through and to have some formal guidance and support."
Rachelle's Answer
"I once worked with a student for 3 months when he first moved to the U.S. from China. We met once a week and he told me about how he couldn't adjust to the oily food, the huge portions, and the sarcastic American humor. He was also struggling with the language as he as in ESL at the time. Sometimes we shared tea or I brought some Chinese food that I made at home. After 3 months, his English improved significantly and he'd made a few friends whom he bonded with over basketball. I think it's really important for the adjusting student to know someone's there and understands what he's going through and to have some formal guidance and support."
15.
As a study abroad advisor you will need to communicate between countries quite often. Do you speak other languages?
Tell the interviewer about any foreign languages you speak, and your experience with that culture. If you do not speak another language, talk about a language culture you would like to learn about more in the future.

"My parents are Cantonese, so I speak Cantonese and home, and visit my relatives in Hong Kong every few years. I am also fluent in Mandarin as I lived in Taiwan so I can communicate effectively with Chinese students."
Rachelle's Answer
"My parents are Cantonese, so I speak Cantonese and home, and visit my relatives in Hong Kong every few years. I am also fluent in Mandarin as I lived in Taiwan so I can communicate effectively with Chinese students."
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26 Study Abroad Advisor Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. Do you consider yourself a natural leader? Tell me about a time that you took on a leadership role without being asked.
  2. Are you experienced in advising students in the area of travel necessities such as insurance and visas?
  3. Are you interested in furthering your education?
  4. What do you think the most important thing is for a student to know before they participate in a study abroad program?
  5. What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
  6. What type of work environment do you thrive in?
  7. Are you a strong writer and presenter?
  8. Describe your communication style.
  9. What major challenges did you face at your last position?
  10. How do you get a peer or colleague to accept one of your ideas?
  11. How do you prioritize your work when you have multiple deadlines requiring your attention?
  12. Why do you want a career as a study abroad advisor?
  13. Name 3 top places you would recommend all students travel to.
  14. Have you ever provided student training on cultural adjustment?
  15. As a study abroad advisor you will need to communicate between countries quite often. Do you speak other languages?
  16. Do you have a full understanding of how credit transfers work?
  17. Would you consider yourself someone to look up to? Have you ever been a mentor?
  18. Study abroad advisors work in universities and private agencies. Which would you prefer, and why?
  19. Have you travelled a lot in your life?
  20. Tell me about your post-secondary education. What was your favorite course? Which was your most challenging?
  21. Of all the study advisor candidates, why are you the best one for us?
  22. Have you ever been on a study abroad trip?
  23. As a study abroad advisor, what do you believe is your best asset?
  24. What decisions are easiest for you to make? What are the most difficult?
  25. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization.
  26. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a study abroad advisor?
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