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Blog from the Job Hakr: Student Affairs Job Search

Blog from the Job Hakr: Student Affairs Job Search

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Five things to bring to an On-Campus Student Affairs Interview

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Five things to bring to an On-Campus Student Affairs Interview

The on-campus interview for student affairs professionals can be a tough one.

The entire interview process is already long.  But now you’re tasked with making sure that you are the best candidate that sticks out from their list of on-campus finalists.

Much preparation goes into what you should do to prepare for the on-campus interview.  But, not many people talk about WHAT you should bring to your on-campus interview.

Check out my quick list below on what you should bring with you to campus:

1.      Your contact person’s information

Sure, many will remember the campus’s address, their wallet, and ID. But do you have the contact information for the person who setup the interview for you? Do you have their full name, email address, and phone number? If not, then make sure you have this saved into your phone before leaving your home.

Make sure that you also have specific information on where you should meet on campus. That means building name, floor, and office / suite number.

It doesn’t do you much good to “meet at the student union” if the building is 10 stories tall.

2.      Something to write on & something to write with

Sometimes candidates will bring a laptop or tablet for note-taking during the on-campus interview. My suggestion is to leave those items at home unless your contact instructed you specifically to bring them in. Instead, turn to the age-old technology of pen and paper.

For an added touch invest in a professional folio* which has room for a legal pad, pen, loose leaf papers, and business cards. 

Be sure to write down things in your interview that you find interesting, want to follow up with, or notes to address later.  Just don’t make it a habit of writing everything down.  You want to remain engaged and present with your interviewers.

3.      Copies of your resume

Most on-campus interviewers will already have a copy of your resume on hand.  But there are times when they may not. So, it’s a good idea to have at least 2 printed copies of your resume that you can hand out at will.

Copies of your resume fit best in the loose-leaf paper section of your professional folio!

4.      Professional (looking) bag

You’ll want to carry all of your belongings in some sort of professional bag* when you’re on campus. And while I know you want to use that trusty backpack that has never done you wrong: it’s often better to have a bag specifically for professional scenarios.

I recommend having a plain messenger bag or briefcase that can easily hold your resume, professional folio, and your portfolio with you.

Also, make sure that your bag is lightweight and holds just the essentials that you’ll need the day of. You don’t want it to be so large and cumbersome that you have to awkwardly find a place to put it during your interview.

5.      Your briefing book

If you’ve gotten to this stage in the student affairs job search, then you’ve already done your research on the institution and position.  That means that you’ve reviewed your colleagues, investigated the role, and came armed with questions.

So, the last thing you want to do during the on-campus interview is hesitate when the interviewer turns to you and asks “do you have any questions?” That’s when you should turn to your trusty briefing book where you’ll be able to dive into your litany of strategic questions.

The questions that you’ve written when putting together your briefing book help demonstrate that you are a serious candidate and are not merely just going through the motions.

Here’s an example of one of them: your research uncovered that the institution heavily references experiential learning in their mission statement. So you ask “I’ve noticed that experiential learning comes up often in the college’s mission statement. Can you tell me how the student affairs division uses that in practice?”


Good luck and happy interviewing,

Dave Eng, EdD
Provost, The Job Hakr
@davengdesign

*Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link. This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

References

Foss, J. (2019, March 08). Here's What You Should Bring to Your Next Job Interview. Retrieved April 1, 2019, from https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-to-bring-to-a-job-interview