Tips for Interviewing Onsite

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    Interview Tips

Placement onsite interviewing is a unique aspect of the Student Affairs profession. If you've never experienced it before, it can be a little overwhelming. But it can also be the most rewarding experience of your job search. To make the most of it, follow these tips and suggestions.

Pre-Scheduling: Do Your Research

  • Know which institutions interest you the most so you can focus your time accordingly. 
  • If possible, contact employers at least several weeks in advance to schedule interviews. Many schools pre-schedule a significant portion of their onsite interviews, while many interviews are also scheduled once at the event venue.
  • Many employers preschedule via email. If you are not looking for a common position, it's likely that you could pre-schedule several interviews before arriving.
  • If contacted to interview, give thorough consideration before accepting the invitation. Before pre-scheduling, consider where the institution stands on your list of preferences. Don't waste their time or yours.
  • Be courteous. Always reply to a potential employer's call or email.
  • Be cautious before scheduling back-to-back interviews. Only do so if it absolutely cannot be avoided AND if the interview is VERY important to you.
  • Reserve time Saturday and Sunday for second-round interviews.
  • Create a master list of interviews. Include time, school name, position, position number, waiting area, and contact person.

Before the You Arrive Onsite

  • Research every school on your interview list.
  • Bring approximately 30 copies of your resume. Be sure to list your candidate number on top of each copy.
  • Prepare your "message to employer" sheets. These sheets can set you apart from other candidates — but error on the side of conservative.
  • Use the sheets to confirm existing interviews and to follow up with employers who have not responded to your inquiries.
  • Assemble and bring personal supplies. TPE has lots of regular office supplies on hand for you (staplers, pens, etc.), but don’t forget other necessities.
  • Plan and pack your wardrobe. Dress in placement business wear.
  • Conduct several mock interviews.
  • Prepare questions to ask employers during each interview. 

During the Onsite Event

  • Attend a Candidate Orientation session.
  • Check the Information Center regularly. New positions will be posted each day.
  • Be open to new institutions.
  • Check your mailbox regularly (but not every minute!)
  • Follow up with an employer each time you are contacted directly. Attend receptions to which you are specifically invited. Receptions provide an opportunity to meet even more people from the institution and for them to see you in a different setting.
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