5 Resident Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you are preparing to interview a candidate or applying for a job, review our list of top Resident Assistant interview questions and answers.

What inspired you to want to become a resident assistant?

This question lets you in on what life experience the prospective resident assistant has had. In a discreet manner, you'll discover whether they have the necessary leadership skills and empathy to succeed in this role. For example, you'll be able to gauge how they might respond to an emergency situation. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to clearly articulate rationale for application
  • Appropriate level of maturity
  • Evidence of passion and talents that your team needs

Example: "During my previous college studies, I had a resident assistant who helped me through a personal difficulty, and that same resident assistant was responsible for most of the good times we had as a group. When I saw the benefits that position could bring to everyone on campus, I was inspired to apply for this position."

Resident assistants have to face tough situations sometimes. How might you respond if you were made aware of a student who was in a mental health crisis?

Asking this will allow you to better understand whether the candidate has the appropriate knowledge of the steps to take in a crisis and who should be notified. You'll learn whether you could depend on them to solve a crisis at 3 a.m. and whether they're capable of handling things independently. What to look for in an answer:

  • Appropriate knowledge of steps to take in an emergency
  • Ability to build rapport/trust with students
  • Evidence of leadership skills

Example: "I'd talk with the student to ascertain the extent of the issue. I'd try to calm him or her, and I'd notify appropriate personnel according to campus policy. I would then stay with the student until help arrived."

What experience do you have with organizing social events for students?

Resident assistants are often asked to organize some social events for students throughout the year. These might include movie nights, game nights, or restaurant outings. This question helps you understand whether the types of events the applicant has planned in the past would be appropriate and exciting for the student body at your institution. What to look for in an answer:

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Evidence of dependability
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills

Example: "At my previous university, I organized an outdoor movie night at the campus courtyard. I've also organized bowling outings, restaurant outings, and ice cream socials."

How would you handle a conflict with another resident assistant or faculty member?

This question helps you ascertain whether the potential hire would be a team player within your university. You'll learn whether they interact well with others and are able to take criticism and suggestions from peers and teachers. You may also discover information about how they resolved previous conflicts. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of how to use effective conflict resolution tactics
  • Ability to show respect and understanding at all times
  • Familiarity with collaborating with others

Example: "I'd respectfully listen to my colleague's or teacher's views, and I'd aim to work with him or her to find an effective solution for all students."

What qualities would you especially value in a resident assistant?

This question enables you to find out what personal qualities the candidate believes are necessary to be a good resident assistant. From their answer, you'll then be able to determine whether the applicant possesses these qualities. It will also help you understand more about the potential hire's attitude and whether they have the appropriate mindset for this position. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of values that align with those of your university
  • Demonstrates tolerance
  • Ability to interact with a diverse student population

Example: "First and foremost, I value tolerance for all students. Willingness to learn, friendliness, and trustworthiness are also important characteristics for an ideal resident assistant. I grew up with people from many different cultures, so it's easy for me to interact with and respect people from different backgrounds."

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