For the past two months, I have been involved with a search committee for my school’s vacant Dean of Student Affairs position. I was selected to this search committee by the Director of Campus Life at Lehman College because he believed that I could be a good addition to the team and I would be able to offer student’s perspective on the skills that the new Dean must have to be successful on our campus. Needless to say, this has been an amazing learning experience for me as I’ve been able to learn how to conduct myself during an interview for a mid-to-senior level position.
We began by speaking with the outgoing Dean about the difficulties of his position. We also asked about the qualities the incoming Dean should demonstrate so we knew what to look for on resumes and during subsequent interviews. We received over 120 resumes to review, and in the span of about a week and a half we each looked at the resumes and picked our top ten. After we compared our lists, we then proceeded to pick the ones that more than one member picked in their top 10 and those were then interviewed.
There are some things that I learned during this process that will come in handy once I go for an interview.
First and foremost is knowing what the position you’re applying to is, what the job description says, and having an understanding of what the job entails. You also want to be prepared to answer questions directly and not be shy about a lack of expertise in one or more areas of the job.
When asked, you must be clear and although interviews can make many nervous, you should try to prepare yourself as much as possible so that your nerves do not cost you the job.
Lastly, be prepared for a question that is intended to give the interviewer an idea of why you want the job, the most obvious answer is monetary gains, however to the interviewer, they want to see if you will be committed to your new job. Also, be prepared to answer the question of “why should we hire you?” what sets you apart from all other applicants.
This experience has been beneficial to me and my future career goals as I prepare myself to graduate in June. It is experiences like this one that teach you valuable lessons that can’t really be taught in the confines of a classroom. I guess there is a flare of being part of the process and asking questions and listening to the various answers given by the interviewees.