Paper Clips 1101 interview questions for college unions and student activities

The following list has been compiled by higher education professionals who, through their experience, have identified successful questions to ask during the interview process.

  1. What is the greatest constructive criticism you have ever received from a supervisor?
  2. From your observations of the college union, what changes do you think could be made to make it a better or more effective place for its customers?
  3. Give an example of how you have been rewarded with more responsibility in a previous job.
  4. Tell me about one thing that is unique or remarkable about you.  
  5. Why should we select you over someone else? 
  6. You have 30 seconds to sell yourself. Go.
  7. What are your career goals? 
  8. Which one accomplishment are you the most proud of? Why?
  9. How would you describe this institution to someone who is visiting for the first time?  
  10. Using only two words, describe yourself.
  11. What are the top three things that are most important to you when looking for a job?
  12. When you leave here today, what are the most important things you want us to remember about you?
  13. What were you prepared to tell us that we didn't ask?
  14. If we asked your past two supervisors to evaluate your performance, what would they say?
  15. In what type of environment are you most productive? 
  16. What traits or characteristics does a person need to be successful in this position? Rate yourself on those traits.
  17. If I ask someone who knows you why I should NOT hire you, what would they say?
  18. Tell me what you are not. 
  19. Tell me about a risk you took and what you learned about yourself?
  20. What’s your favorite color M&M? 
  21. What cereal best describes you as a person? 
  22. What was the last book you read, and what impact did it have on you?
  23. Please describe your sense of humor.
  24. If you could be a superhero and have any power, what power would you have, and why?
  25. If you were given a “free pass” to spend your extra work energies in an area of your choosing, what would you choose and what benefit would it bring to the campus?
  26. What is our school mascot?
  27. How do you stay engaged and passionate about your work responsibilities?
  28. What three main attributes or skills do you think are most important for this position?
  29. At this point in the process, how are you feeling about our institution?
  30. If you were offered this position, when would you be able to start?
  31. What expectations do you have of those with which you work? How do they know this?
  32. How do you work to influence student decisions in developmentally appropriate ways, without overriding their valuable input?
  33. womanshake1Please describe your ideal workplace situation.
  34. How do you plan on integrating student development theories into your job duties and performance?
  35. Give me an example of how you have shown initiative in a situation and what resulted?
  36. How long do you anticipate staying in this position if offered a job?
  37. Your supervisor comes to you and expresses that they feel you need to provide more output. You’re already over-taxed. How do you respond?
  38. Can you tell us about any of the nationwide trends in student affairs, higher education, or event planning?
  39. Do you have any questions that you would like to ask of us?
  40. Have you ever had an injury at an event with a student, guest, or a fellow staff person? What happened and how did you handle the situation?
  41. What kind of things do you do to motivate the people that you work with?
  42. What kind of hobbies and activities to you enjoy in your spare time?
  43. What have you learned about our institution while investigating this employment opportunity?
  44. What suggestions do you have for improving the overall student experience within student activities at our institution?
  45. What additional information or comments would you like to share?
  46. Describe a satisfying or meaningful experience during your time in student affairs?
  47. Describe a supervisory relationship that has been unsuccessful and why.
  48. How do the needs of graduate students differ from undergrads?
  49. Do you believe leadership can be taught?
  50. What does it mean to be a mentor?
  51. Describe the difference between advising and supervision.
  52. What strategies do you have for maintaining contact with students?
  53. How do you recruit diverse leaders to organizations?
  54. How do you help others solve problems?
  55. Talk about your facilitation style.
  56. Give an example of a training program you have done. What would you change?
  57. Talk about a time it was difficult for you to remain open-minded.
  58. What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
  59. What have you learned from your participation in extra-curricular activities?
  60. Why are you seeking a position with our institution?
  61. In what type of position are you most interested?
  62. What qualifications do you have that make you feel that you will be successful in your field?
  63. Do you prefer any specific geographic location? Why?
  64. Define cooperation.
  65. What are your own special abilities?
  66. Give me an example of a work situation in which you were not proud of your performance?
  67. What do you do after a stressful day?
  68. How do you feel you will benefit from this position?
  69. What are those things in past jobs or responsibilities that you are intrinsically motivated to do?
  70. What are those things in past jobs or responsibilities that you needed an extrinsic reward to get you motivated?
  71. What work-related values are strongest in this type of work?
  72. What kinds of decisions do you make?
  73. How did you get into this field? What jobs and experiences led you to this job?
  74. Why did you choose this organization to work for?
  75. What do you like most about this organization?
  76. Is there a basic philosophy of the organization? If so, what is it?
  77. What can you tell me about the campus culture?
  78. If your job progresses as you like, what would be the next step in your career?
  79. What are the opportunities for advancement, promotion, or mobility?
  80. What changes do you see occurring in this field during the next few years?
  81. Is this field expanding? Taking any new directions?
  82. How is the economy affecting the field?
  83. What are the major qualifications for success in this profession?
  84. What suggestions do you have for an individual wishing to enter this field?
  85. What training would you recommend for someone who wanted to enter this field?
  86. What characteristics are most important in a good supervisor?
  87. What courses have proved to be the most valuable to you in your work?
  88. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing college students today?
  89. How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?
  90. Give a specific example of a policy you conformed to with which you did not agree.
  91. Describe an instance where you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.
  92. How do you determine or evaluate success?
  93. What is your vision of diversity on a campus such as this one?
  94. As a higher education professional, have you done any work in the area of diversity in the community?
  95. What is your impression of our institutional mission and values?
  96. How do you plan to stay current in the student activities field?
  97. If you were planning a meeting, how would you arrange the chairs?
  98. What do you think are the key components of building community on campus?
  99. What challenges have you faced when advising students? How did you handle them?
  100. Who has served as your role model throughout your graduate experience?
  101. Tell me about a meeting you have led, and how you organized/conducted it.


Updated Feb. 18, 2013