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RA Frequently Asked Questions


1. May I have another job while I am an RA?

Yes, while being an RA does not prohibit you from holding another job, any additional employment must be approved by your Area Director and should be limited to approximately 10 hours per week. Also note that as an RA, you are not able to hold a Federal Work Study position. Your RA position is considered your primary non-academic commitment.

2. May I participate in other extra-curricular activities including athletics while I am an RA?
Yes, while being an RA does not prohibit you from participating in club sports, varsity athletics, or any extra-curricular activities, such activity should be limited so as to not interfere with your RA responsibilities. Such time commitments should be addressed during your individual interview. Your RA position is considered your primary non-academic commitment.

3. What does being “on duty” entail?
Specific on duty tasks and times vary by area. However, on average, RAs are on call one night per week with a fellow RA. While on duty, RAs are expected to remain in their area. When on duty, the RA will carry an on-duty cell phone, address all resident concerns from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., and aid fellow RAs, DSCs, and the Student Affairs Professional on duty as needed. Additionally, on-duty RAs walk throughout the building(s), address facility concerns or resident behavioral issues, and report incidents to their Student Affairs Associate and Area Director. Though duty carries these extra continual availability added responsibility, all RAs are expected to be available to residents and fellow staff members even when they are not on duty.

4. May I be an Orientation Coordinator and an RA?
While being an Orientation Coordinator (OC) does not preclude the opportunity to be an RA, much of the Orientation schedule overlaps with RA training. RAs (either returning or new) placed in first year buildings may not be OCs while returning RAs (but not new RAs) placed in upperclassmen areas may participate as OCs. Any student wishing to participate in both must meet with the Selection Coordinator to discuss the possibilities.

5. I want to be an RA next year RA but I am planning on studying abroad for one of the semesters. Can I do that?
No, the RA position is a 1 year commitment and RAs are expected to remain on staff for the duration of the academic year. It is important to have a consistent staff member living on the floor/wing for community building and staff dynamics.  We encourage our staff to study abroad the year before or the year after they've been an RA.

6. I am currently an RA but I am thinking about going abroad. Can I return to the RA position when I get back to Tulane? Do I need to reapply?
Yes, Housing and Residence Life supports Tulane’s emphasis on global learning through study abroad. Your desire to return as an RA should be addressed in the semester prior to your departure, and you are responsible for submitting the electronic application by the deadline. Upon your return to the University, you will be considered an RA alternate and placed according to the departmental needs as long as your previous performance deemed you rehireable. Placement upon return is not guaranteed.

7. I currently live off campus. Can I apply to be an RA?
Yes, however, you must have lived on a university campus for two semesters by the time employment begins in order to be considered.

8. If I’m offered placement as an RA in a certain residence hall and don’t accept it, am I eligible for RA positions in another residence hall on campus?
No, the initial placement offer is considered a final offer. If you do not accept the initial placement, you will no longer be an eligible candidate for other building placements and will no longer be considered an RA alternate.

9. If hired, may I pick my residence hall?
No, placements are offered based on the skills and strengths of each RA candidate and the needs of the Department of Housing and Residence Life.

10. If hired, may I pick my room?
No, RA rooms are pre-determined based on their location within the building and accessibility to residents. The placement of these rooms in not negotiable.

11. I will be out of the New Orleans area during the Spring of 2013, but I want to be a new RA for the 2013-2014 academic year. Can I apply?
No, our new RA application process is comprised of interactive group elements as well as ongoing RA classes, both of which require that you are present.

12. Are graduate students eligible to apply for RA positions?
Yes, graduate students are eligible to apply for the RA position provided they can participate in all aspects of selection and training.

13. Can I arrive late or leave early?
No, the dates of arrival, training, and closing are all set based upon the academic calendar and residence hall opening and closing dates. All applicants are expected to note these dates, so as to avoid scheduling conflicts should they be hired. Any questions should be directed toward your particular Area Director upon placement.

 

<< Back to Student Job FAQs

For specific questions, please contact the Student Staff Selection Coordinator, Fatou Mbye at fmbye@tulane.edu.



Interview Tips and Helpful Hints to Prepare You for the RA Selection Process

 
  • Know the Position

Research the position and even the Office of Residence Life. Talk to current RAs from different building to find out their opinions of the position. Gathering more than one opinion can help you see different sides of the job. Additionally, by talking to RAs from different buildings, you will gain knowledge of buildings other than the one(s) you may have lived in. It may be worthwhile to check out the Residence Life websites as well since that will be the university department for which you would be employed

  • Practice Your Answers

Practice your answers to a variety of questions. Begin by preparing your 60-second personal statement: Your answer to the "tell me about yourself" question. Write at least five success stories to answer behavioral interview questions. Typical behavior based questions focus on understanding a specific situation or challenge that you have faced that will demonstrate a particular quality or skill that is relevant to the position. To maximize the effectiveness of your answers, try using the STAR system.         

  • S-> Describe a Situation
  • T-> Talk about the Task
  • A-> Explain the Action you took
  • R-> Talk about the positive Results

 

When responding to questions, answer as directly and honestly as possible. Don't tell the interview what you think s/he wants to hear. Instead, think back to your preparation and use answers that sell your skills. The most important thing is to be yourself and focus on positive qualities. Never apologize for you lack of anything. Another important point is to be sure that for every answer you give, you back up everything you say with examples. 


If you talk quietly, count to 3 before answering questions right away. Take a couple seconds to think about what you are going to say so your response is accurate and appropriate. You don't want your answers to sound canned, instead you need to sound thoughtful.

 

  • Answering Frequently Asked Questions

While we won't provide you with specific questions that are asked during an interview, we will give you some characteristics that we look for in candidates:


  1. Communication Skills
  2. Honesty/Integrity
  3. Motivating/willing to take initiative
  4. Strong work ethic
  5. Interpersonal skills
  6. Analytical skills
  7. Flexibility/Adaptability
  8. Diversity/Awareness
  9. Self-Confidence
  10. Leadership Skills
  11. Organization Skills
  12. Detail Oriented
  13. Friendly
  14. Self-Awareness
  15. Creative
  16. Well-mannered/Polite
  17. Possessing a sense of humor

  • What to Wear

Since the interview is a formal interview, you should dress accordingly. While we don't expect that you wear a full suit, jeans, t-shirts, tight dresses, and pajamas are not going to impress us. Remember that what you are wearing helps to determine our first impression of you. Dress for success by spending time on your appearance.

 

  • Upon Arrival to the RA Interview
  • Arrive Early –enter the building 5 minutes before your appointment
  • Review your prepared stories and answers
  • Stand and greet your interviewer with a hearty (not bone crushing) handshake
  • Smile and look into the interviewer's eyes

 

  • During the RA Interview
  • Try to focus on the points you have prepared without sounding rehearsed or stiff. You may not have an opportunity to use some of your points, that's ok.
  • Make sure you answer the questions that are asked
  • Ask the questions that you have prepared and learn what you can about the job
  • At the conclusion, thank the interviewer and determine the next steps

 

  • Group Process

Group process is another formal part of the selection process and is mandatory for you to attend if you wish to be considered for the RA position.  Group process is a time where we are able to watch you interact with other candidates.  This portion of the process gives insight into teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking as current RAs and professional staff members observe the small groups.

 

Some hints for Group Process:

Dress is casual; jeans and t-shirts are acceptable

It is imperative that you arrive on time – we will start without you!

Bring a writing instrument and be prepared to interact with other candidates

 

 

  • RA Information Sessions

These are an informal part of the selection  process and not mandatory (though we HIGHLY suggest you attend one).  These events give you time to interact with RAs from different buildings and ask questions that may be still be lingering about the job or the process.

 

Some hints for Info Sessions:

Dress is casual; jeans and t-shirts are acceptable

These events do have some structure so please arrive on time.

Come prepared with questions that you may have for RAs and Area Directors

 

Housing and Residence Life, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 (504) 865-5724 housing@tulane.edu