Student affairs is a huge responsibility, which is the sole reason that employees are hired after a solid interview process.
It is important to prepare for the interview if you want to ace it.
Since the process will involve questions to determine your knowledge of planning and developing goals and objectives for student services, it is important to show that you are well-versed in these areas.
Moreover, you must highlight the fact that you have the capability of counseling and administering student support programs.
During the interview process for a student affairs position, you will be judged on your communication and interpersonal skills primarily.
You will also be asked how much you know about initiating and developing strong relations with program coordinators.
Some other questions that you may be asked during an interview for a student affairs position are provided here for reference purposes:
Student Affairs Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
It has been 7 years since I began working in student affairs. Since then, I have come a long way in understanding the basic and complex work processes involved in this work. My interest in student affairs stems from a lack of support when I was in college. I feel that I can make a huge difference by working in this role.
2. What have your duties been specifically in a student affairs role?
While working in student affairs, I have been handling a wide variety of duties, including supervising academic professionals, as their work relates to student affairs, and planning and organizing processes and operations related to assigned responsibility areas.
Also, I have been busy planning and developing objectives and goals, and providing required counseling. My work also involves directing students to appropriate advisors and assisting with applications.
3. What do you like most about this work?
I love the fact that I can direct students in the right direction, and help them in achieving their goals and objectives.
4. What do you dislike about this work?
I do not dislike much about this work. It is highly challenging, which is just the way I want to work.
5. What is your communication strategy where students are concerned?
I am an excellent communicator, with competitive interpersonal skills. Where students are concerned, my strategy is quite simple – reach out to them even if they don’t need it, and provide as much help and presence as possible. This works every single time.
6. How do you cope with busy, stressful periods?
As an organized individual, it is not difficult for me to cope with stress. I make sure that I organize my day, week, and month in a manner that stress does not rule any work processes that I perform.
7. What skills do you possess which make you an excellent individual to work in student affairs?
Apart from being highly organized, I am well-versed in communicating well with people from different walks of life. In addition, I am proficient in leading and representing the departments in daily operations. Also, I am competent in providing leadership, analysis, and advice in relation to policies and procedures regarding students and services.
8. What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my ability to reach out to people, and communicate effectively.
9. What is your greatest weakness?
My greatest weakness is working too hard. I sometimes tend to overdo it, leaving no space or opportunity to rest and unwind.
10. Tell me how you deal with authority?
I deal with authority by employing integrity, politeness, and professionalism.
11. Tell me of a time that you achieved something big.
Just a few months ago, I managed to meet all 59 students’ specific personal and educational goals within one week. The advice I offered, along with the help that I meted out made this possible.
12. Explain how you have acquired new skills in the past.
I am constantly on the lookout for employee development packages and training. During several of these, I was trained in communications and outreach, counseling, and crisis intervention.
13. Are you good at solving problems? Explain how.
I am a great problem-solver. Therefore, I make sure that I reach the depth of each problem presented to me, and find out the root causes. I then create possible ways in which I can resolve issues, ensuring the available resources are used.
14. Why do you want to leave your current job?
I would not have thought of leaving if I didn’t feel stagnated. I need to move and grow with an organization that provides more opportunity to perform demanding and challenging work.
15. Explain what your communication skills are like.
I am an expert communicator. I can communicate exceptionally through different channels, including telephones, emails, and face to face.
16. How would you deal with a situation where a student you were dealing with turned out to be depressed, or highly stressed?
I would make sure that I reach out to them, and if I feel that the depression is too deep, I would refer them to the correct services immediately.
17. How do you maintain professional boundaries with students?
I am a highly professional individual. While I am friendly and approachable, I make it a point to stay emotionally disconnected with my students. I ensure that I maintain all possible professional boundaries in my manner.
18. Have you ever been with a student with whom you refused to work?
Till now, I have not refused to work with any student. Even though each student body has difficult students, I believe in giving everyone a chance and helping as much as possible.
19. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I want to eventually work as a director of student affairs, where I have a team of specialists and workers under my guidance.
20. If we decide to hire you, when can you join us?
I can join you within 3 weeks of handing in my resignation letter.
21. Do you have any questions for me?
Yes, I would like to know the strength of your student body and the current support system that you have.