What’s great about a career in college unions is being involved in multiple parts of the student experience. One moment you’re collaborating with departments, the next you’re coordinating events with student groups. You get to watch students define themselves and their spaces, so from the first campus visit to visiting alumni, the college union is their living room.
Phillip BookerAssistant Director, Hill Student Center, University of Alabama–Birmingham
When starting at a new institution, one of the biggest challenges professionals face is getting to know the campus culture. Here are some questions to ask co-workers and think about during an interview:
What do the students here do for fun?
How do they find out about programs?
Are they heavily involved or intellectually focused?
What programs work/don't work?
What are the expectations from the institution for faculty and staff?
What is the support network like?
What are the internal policies and procedures that are unique to this institution and that impact day-to-day operations of a staff member?
How is the mission of the institution reflected in the daily programs and services of the campus?
Video interviews are becoming popular alternatives to phone interviews. These tips will help set you up for success:
Check your technology in advance. A desktop with a wired connection is best, and you'll want to be proactive in setting a backup plan. For instance, "Should we get disconnected, I can be reached at the following number...."
Consider your environment. You will want a quiet space with a plain background so the attention is on you. Additionally, you may consider putting a lamp in front of you, just out of the webcam's range to be sure everyone can see your expressions.
Be the best version of yourself. Dress as though you're meeting on campus, and minimize potential distractions by closing other programs on your computer. You might also put any notes where you can view them without looking down.
You're on! Smile and win them over with your professionalism and tech savvy.
When interviews include a meal, order an item that will be easy to eat and will require minimal handling. Avoid foods such as spaghetti, pizza, or anything you must eat with your hands. Also, be wary of ordering an alcoholic beverage even if everyone else does.