Preparing for Your OA Interview
- Treat the interview as you would a job, internship, or graduate school interview
- Arrive 10 minutes early to the interview
- Dress appropriately (see below for tips on what to wear)
- Bring a copy of your resume and co-curricular transcript with you
- Prepare for a variety of possible interview questions (see possible questions & answers below)
- Visit the Center for Career and Professional Development and its website to help prepare you for your interview
- Participate in one of the Center for Career and Professional Development’s mock interview programs or interviewing workshops
- Follow up with a thank you to your interviewers
When it comes to dressing for your Orientation Advisor interview, you want to make a good impression. Below are ideas on what to wear to your interview:
- Dress professionally (think black pants/skirt with a button down shirt or nice blouse)
- Dress business casual (think khaki pants)
As part of the individual interview process, you will be asked to give a five minute creative presentation. The presentation should focus on something interesting or different about yourself that wouldn’t traditionally be discussed in an interview. Think of it as sharing an artistic representation of you.
Previous presentations have included videos, interpretative dance, teaching specific
Be creative and more importantly, be yourself.
When preparing for the group interview:
- Be authentic, this is a chance to see who you are
- Don’t focus on how much you talk, focus more on what you say
Below is a list of questions you may encounter during your OA interview. There are no right or wrong answers as these are specific to your own personal thoughts and experiences. Instead, below are tips on things to consider while answering the question.
Click on the question and you will be provided tips on how to answer that particular question.
- What do you feel the role of an Orientation Advisor is?
- Tell us about any situations that you have been involved in where there were individuals who shared differing opinions from you.
- What is a situation or time that you felt yourself grow as a person?
- What is the most important part of Orientation in your eyes?
- Define teamwork.
- What goals do you want to achieve as an Orientation Advisor?
- Define conflict. Is conflict always a bad thing?
- Tell us what your strengths are. Explain how they would fit into a team of individuals.
- What are some qualities that an individual possess that makes it difficult to work with them?
Before answering this question, you need to truly understand the position of an Orientation Advisor. Not only is this one of the top leadership roles on campus, but it is a mentoring role as well. You might want to review the job description on the orientation website, found at http://orientation.binghamton.edu.
When answering this question, be as honest as you can. Avoid cliché answers of “I want to help people”. Let the interviewers know exactly why you want this position.
In this answer, the interviewers are trying to determine how you handle conflicts. As an Orientation Advisor you will be working long hours and it can be stressful at times. Conflict is bound to arise and the interviewers want an honest assessment of how you handle these situations.
Even if the example you give does not have a perfect ending or may make you look bad, you can use this example to show how you have changed since then and the changes you will make in the future.
Think about class projects or teams that you have been a part of, roommate conflicts, problems at work, or conflicts that have arisen with customers that you have worked with in the past. These are only a few examples that you can provide. Remember to be honest.
The interviewers with this question are looking to see how reflective you are as a person. Have you taken note of how you have grown academically, socially, or maturity wise? Have you had any life changing experiences or an experience that truly changed who you are as a person? Is there a person that you felt helped contribute to this growth and what qualities or characteristics did they have that helped you in this process?
The interviewers want to know what you are passionate about and what you view as most important to an incoming student.
Think back to your own orientation, what parts of those few days stick out in your mind? Is there something you think should have been changed or had more focus put on it? Again, choose something that you are passionate about.
The interviewers are not looking for a textbook definition of teamwork. Give a definition that comes from personal experience or how you truly view the meaning of teamwork. This doesn’t have to be something that you are actually doing, but if there is a type of teamwork that you have witnessed from another group or organization that you strive to achieve.
The second part of the question addresses how you see yourself in a group – do you need time to process or do you speak without thinking? Are you a natural leader of the group or do you prefer to follow by example.
It is important that you be honest in answering this question and not assume the interviewers want a specific answer. The interviewers are looking to put together a team of all types of people and if you know your strengths in regards to teamwork, you are much more apt to excel in that environment.
The interviewers are looking to see what you want to get out of the summer as an Orientation Advisor. Whether it be more comfortable speaking in front of a large audience or learning more about Binghamton University, everyone will have different goals in becoming an Orientation Advisor. Let your personality show through and give an honest answer. The interviewers will get more of that answer that a clichéd response of what you think they want to hear.
The interviewers are not looking for a textbook definition of conflict. Give a definition that comes from personal experience or how you truly view the meaning of conflict. Everyone’s definition of conflict is different and that’s ok.
In the second part of the question, is conflict always a bad thing, addresses honesty and critical thinking on your part. Whether you think it is a good or bad thing, be prepared to state why you think it is. How do you handle conflict? Does it stress you out or distract you from handling your responsibilities? It is ok to use examples in which you did not handle conflict well but you have grown and learned from it.
The interviewers want you to provide a snapshot of who you are. Don’t give them “strengths” you think they want to hear about. All types of strengths are needed in a position such as Orientation Advisor. Are you good at public speaking or mentoring other students? Provide examples of how you use these strengths every day.
In the second part of the question, state how these strengths would benefit others in a group. Think about how your strengths can bring out the best in others. Again, you can use personal experiences in answering this question. Think of your strengths in relation to the position of an Orientation Advisor. How will your strengths help students and other staff you will be working with.
The interviewers want to know what qualities in a person or situations that you have had that make it difficult to work with someone. Is it something that you can address with the person and work on? For example is it difficult for you to work with someone who always thinks they are right? How would you handle this person if you were forced to work alongside them?