The TPE Onsite Candidate To-Do List

  • Author
    Berenice Sanchez
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Preparing to be at TPE Onsite in 5 weeks can be very overwhelming. I remember preparing for TPE Onsite 2012 and stressing about looking through as many job postings as I could, contacting employers and applying to positions, and starting to think about having in-person interviews. All this had to be done while I was working, going to school, and trying to have a life.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone! Being on the job market can be very time-consuming and overwhelming, but I hope that the tips and advice below will help you manage it all successfully.

As student affairs professionals, we all know a little something about having to multi-task. Personally, I do my best multi-tasking when I can associate To-Do lists to major tasks. The following are to-do lists that can help you break down some of the major things you need to prepare for as you get ready to be at TPE Onsite.


  1. Make sure you have your transportation plans confirmed.
    • Have you booked your flight?
    • Do you have a ride to/from the airport?
    • If you are driving, are you driving your own car, carpooling, or renting a car?
    • Where are you parking your car while onsite? (Tip: Sometimes local parking lots are cheaper than the parking lot at the hotel.)
  2. Make sure you have your hotel reservation confirmed.
    • If the hotel is not one of the TPE Onsite hotels, do you know how you will commute each day to interviews at the Convention Center? Will there be an additional cost you need to account for?
    • Is there a refrigerator in your room so that you can keep snacks?
    • Do they have Wi-Fi, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, etc.?


  1. Have you begun corresponding with TPE Onsite employers?
  2. Make sure you manage your onsite schedule!
    • If you need breaks at certain times, block those times out. Also, assure that you are leaving time to eat and rest.
  3. Research
    • Once you schedule an interview, make sure you do thorough research on the position, the unit/dept., and the institution. Employers can tell if you are speaking only about the information in the job description versus if you’ve been on their website and done the work.
  4. Organization
    • Create a system which will keep all of your interviews and corresponding research organized. The last thing you want is to study the wrong information for an interview or talk about institution A when you are interviewing with institution B.
  5. Questions
    • Make sure that you're creating individualized questions to ask at the end of your interview. The questions you ask at the end is a great way to impress employers.
  6. Practice
    • Find typical interview questions and practice answering them! You should come to TPE Onsite with a memory bank of examples that you can instantly talk about if asked in an interview.


  1. Professional business attire
    • Make sure you check the weather so that you won’t be too hot or too cold.
    • Try your outfits on before you pack them. If you're uncomfortable in the outfit, don’t take it!
  2. Comfortable shoes
    • You're going to do a lot of walking!!! Make sure to wear comfortable shoes that you can walk in all day (or bring an extra pair of shoes with you onsite).
    • Remember that there are no lockers onsite or places for you to store your things while you interview, so, if you bring extra shoes, you'll have to carry them with you everywhere.
  3. Toiletries & Medications
    • You'll most likely be at the Convention Center interviewing all day, so, if you need certain medications or want to have things like lotion, band-aids, or perfume with you, purchase a travel size item so that you can throw it in a bag or suit jacket.
  4. Padfolio/Notepad
    • You're going to want to take notes during your interview!


  1. Check the schedule of Candidate Orientations and plan to attend one
  2. Check the schedule of Onsite Roundtable Sessions
  3. Plan to take advantage of Onsite Candidate Coaching
  4. Come say hi to the Candidate Development Team!! We'll be there throughout TPE Onsite to help you with anything you may need!
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