Frequently Asked Questions for the 2016-2017 RA Selection Process
Below are the answers to common questions asked by Resident Assistant applicants.
Q: What if I am planning on studying abroad at ANY point during my time here at Emerson?
A: You can still apply! We have a lot of students that serve as “half-year” Resident Assistants. So, for example, if you are going to LA in the fall and returning in the spring you could still potentially fill a position.
Q: If I am going to be at Emerson during the spring semester when is the application going to be available?
A: Applications will be available here on the website on December 1, 2015.
Q: When is the application due?
A: Applications are due on January 20, 2016 by 11:59PM EST.
Q: Do the answers to each question need to be separate, or is it one essay?
A: Please try to answer each question separately. We like to read through your answers to each question specifically.
Q: Can I get help with my resume?
A: Absolutely! We suggest that you visit Career Services. They can help you draft a resume from scratch or help you edit what you already have. They will be available at Info Sessions to answer any questions and give you some tips.
Q: Who should I ask to be my references?
A: You will need one reference from a teacher, professor, employer, coach, mentor, etc. (not a family member) and one from a Residence Life staff member. We suggest that you ask your current or past Resident Assistant and not Residence Director as they are already involved in the hiring process. When asking someone if they will write a reference for you, ask if they can write you a positive reference. Also make sure to do this in plenty of time before the reference is due! References often get many requests and you want to allow them plenty of time to write a well thought out reference for you!
Q: Can I be hired as a RA if I am an international student?
A: Yes, if you have been approved to work in the United States you can be hired as a RA. International students will need to complete some additional paperwork in the Payroll Office to make sure all your compensation is processed properly.
Q: What is Group Process?
A: Group Process is a part of the selection process in which student and professional staff has the opportunity to see how you interact within groups of your peers.
Q: Who gets invited to the Group Process?
A: All eligible applicants get the opportunity to participate in Group Process. You will sign up for a time when you submit your application.
Q: How long is the Group Process?
A: Group process will be about an hour long.
Q: What should I wear to Group Process?
A: Presentable yet comfortable! Some activities do require you to move around so it is best to keep that in mind.
Q: How do I best prepare for the Group Process?
A: We use the group process to see how individuals work in a team, so the best way to prepare is to be yourself. At the same time, we want to see you in action, so be sure to participate in the activities!
Q: Who gets invited to the individual interview?
A: After group process professional staff members gather to review each candidate’s application materials. The professional staff members then decide who moves onto the next portion of the interview process- the individual interview. While it generally depends on the number of applicants that we have, in past years we have generally invited approximately half of the applicants to the interview portion.
Q: How long is the interview?
A: The interview will be around 45 minutes long.
Q: What kind of questions will be asked?
A: We will ask you a range of questions about your experiences related to the Resident Assistant role.
Q: How do I best prepare for the interview?
A: Read the job description fully and imagine yourself in the Resident Assistant position. What kind of RA will you be? How will you respond to common situations? Career Services can assist with preparing for interviews. It is always helpful to speak with your current Resident Assistant about their experiences regarding the process.
Q: Who will be doing the interview?
A: You will be interviewed by one professional staff member and 1-2 Resident Assistants.
Q: When will I find out if I have been hired?
A: On March 3, 2016 emails will be sent out to all candidates.
Q: What is the difference between being hired and if you have been offered an alternate position?
A: If you have been offered a position and you accept this position you will be a RA for the following school year. If you have been offered a place in the alternate pool, we feel that you have the skills needed to be a RA but we do not have a position for you at this time. If a position opens up over the course of the year, we will review the candidates in the alternate pool and may reach out to you to see if you are interested.
Q: I’m on the alternate “waitlist”; where am I on the list?
A: The alternate pool is actually not a list, so we don’t hire people from it in any particular order. If a position opens up, we look at all of our alternates and select someone who would be the best fit for the position. We take into account the current dynamic of the staff, the location, and many other factors.
Q: How can I get feedback on my interview process?
A: Please contact Seth Grue set up a meeting. At that time, he will give you suggestions on how to improve your application and interview for the future! We highly recommend getting feedback, even if you were offered the position or placed in the alternate pool.
Q: How will being hired affect my financial aid?
A: All candidates should contact the Financial Aid office to discuss how becoming and RA may affect their aid package, if applicable.
Q: Are Information Sessions mandatory?
A: We highly recommend that you attend an Information Session if you can, as you will learn more about the position, the application process, and hear about the role from current RAs. It is also a great opportunity to ask questions. However attending an Information Session is not required to apply to be an RA.