from the desk of... candidate 1

First Phone Interview

This past week I had my first phone interview which officially kicks off the “job getting” process. I must say it was great. The school is in the Northeast and has about 10,000 students. This is one of the many Residence Director positions to which I have applied. The Residence Life department is up-and-coming and very dynamic. It seems like it could be a very exciting place to work.

They called on time and we chatted for about 45 minutes. The interviewers seemed fully present and interested in what I had to say. They explained their career paths and shared details about the department. After which they got right into questions for me.

I could not have asked for better questions. They asked me philosophical questions about the role of residence life, my thoughts on discipline, and how to supervise students. I even had the chance to talk about a new initiative that I created in my current job. Thankfully, I was also able to make a personal connection having traveled to a country in which one of the interviewers is from.

Minutes before the interview I did have some nervous energy in my stomach. I mean, I haven’t interviewed since December 2008, but it went away as soon as I introduced myself and got into the groove. I prepared by typing answers to typical questions, printing their mission statement, and practicing some stories in the mirror. It seemed goofy at the time, but I think it helped out.

This particular school has structured their interview process differently as a response to budget cuts. They have decided to complete screening interviews over the phone before TPE, so that they can interview fewer candidates at the conference. I imagine other schools may be doing this as well.

Needless to say the interview got me jazzed, and I am more excited to start this process. I feel like interviewing for student affairs jobs give me the opportunity to talk about myself, my values, and the things I believe in a lot. It’s a fit, and makes me feel comfortable. Stay tuned for more developments on this.

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