Top Resident Assistant Interview Questions with Example Answers [2022]

Prepare for your Resident Assistant interview by going through these most asked Resident Assistant interview questions. Additionally, get access to sample answers and interviewer's expectations.

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  • Question: What would you do if there is a crisis?
  • Question Overview: RAs are often the first people students turn to when they need help. This question reveals how a candidate would react in a crisis situation.

    Sample Answer: I would assess the situation and determine the best course of action. I would then contact my supervisor and follow his or her instructions. If the situation was serious enough, I would call 911.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to remain calm in a crisis
    • - Ability to remain calm in a crisis
    • - Ability to remain calm in a crisis

  • Question: How do you avoid favoritism if a friend of yours is one of your residents?
  • Question Overview: Favoritism is a serious issue for RAs. This question reveals a candidate’s ability to set aside personal relationships and treat everyone fairly.

    Sample Answer: I would make sure that I was aware of my friend’s behavior and enforce the rules fairly. I would also make sure that my friend knew that I was not going to treat him differently than any other resident.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to remain professional
    • - Ability to remain professional
    • - Ability to remain professional

  • Question: What is your proudest achievement?
  • Question Overview: This question reveals a candidate’s character and passion. It also gives you an opportunity to learn more about the candidate’s personal life.

    Sample Answer: My proudest achievement is my involvement in the Special Olympics. I’ve been volunteering with the organization for five years and have been a coach for the past three. I love working with the athletes and helping them achieve their goals.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Passion for a particular cause
    • - Ability to overcome obstacles
    • - Commitment to a goal

  • Question: Why do you think you are a good fit for this position?
  • Question Overview: This question is a great way to learn about a candidate’s self-awareness and self-confidence. It also helps you gauge their enthusiasm for the position.

    Sample Answer: I’m a great fit for this position because I’m outgoing and love interacting with people. I’m also very organized and have a knack for problem-solving. I’m very excited to be an RA because it will give me the opportunity to help residents and build community.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Confidence
    • - Desire to be an RA
    • - Motivation

  • Question: What are your strengths that make you a good fit for this position?
  • Question Overview: This question is designed to help you learn more about the candidate’s personality and work style. It also gives you the opportunity to assess whether or not they have the skills and experience you’re looking for.

    Sample Answer: I’m a great communicator and I’m always willing to help out my friends. I’m also very organized and I’m able to stay on top of my workload. I’m a hard worker and I’m always willing to go above and beyond for my friends.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to work well with others
    • - Ability to work well with others
    • - Ability to work well with others

  • Question: What makes a great RA?
  • Question Overview: This question reveals a candidate’s understanding of the role of an RA and their ability to effectively communicate their strengths and weaknesses.

    Sample Answer: A great RA is someone who is a leader, has strong communication skills and is able to work with a variety of people. I think I have all of these qualities. I’m a leader because I’m always willing to help out my friends and I’m always looking for ways to improve my community. I have strong communication skills because I’m always willing to talk with my residents and listen to their concerns. I’m also able to work with a variety of people because I’m open-minded and friendly.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Leadership skills
    • - Ability to work with a variety of people
    • - Communication skills

  • Question: Tell me of a time when you had to deal with something unexpected and how did you handle it?
  • Question Overview: Residence life is full of surprises, and this question helps you find out how a candidate will react to the unexpected.

    Sample Answer: I was working at a summer camp for children with special needs when one of the counselors quit unexpectedly. I had to quickly take over her duties and organize a new staff schedule. I was able to handle the situation by staying calm and thinking through my options.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to handle unexpected situations
    • - Ability to remain calm under pressure
    • - Ability to improvise

  • Question: Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
  • Question Overview: RAs are constantly making tough choices, from enforcing the rules to dealing with conflicts between residents. This question reveals how a candidate will handle these situations.

    Sample Answer: I had to decide whether or not to report a student for smoking marijuana in his room. I knew that if I reported him, he would be kicked out of the dorm, but I also knew that he was a great resident who had never caused any problems before. Ultimately, I decided not to report him because he was a good guy who made a mistake.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to make tough decisions
    • - Ability to make tough decisions
    • - Ability to make tough decisions

  • Question: Why do you want to be an RA?
  • Question Overview: This is a great opportunity to get a sense of a candidate’s motivations and interests. It’s also an opportunity to learn about their understanding of the role and their expectations for the position.

    Sample Answer: I want to be an RA because I want to make a difference in the lives of students. I’m passionate about helping people, and I think this position would allow me to do that on a daily basis. I’m also interested in becoming an RA because it would give me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and learn how to manage a team.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Desire to help others
    • - Desire to help others
    • - Desire to help others

  • Question: What is your idea of a perfect program and how can you use your creativity to advertise these programs to the residents?
  • Question Overview: A program is a great way to get residents involved in the hall and build community. This question reveals a candidate’s ability to think creatively and develop an effective marketing plan.

    Sample Answer: I would create a program that would encourage residents to get to know each other on a deeper level. I would plan a weekly trivia night, where residents could win prizes for their floor. I would also create a Facebook page for my hall and use it as a platform to advertise programs and events.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Creativity
    • - Ability to think outside the box
    • - Ability to think outside the box

  • Question: How do you handle deadlines?
  • Question Overview: This question reveals how a candidate prioritizes and manages time.

    Sample Answer: I’m a very organized person, so I like to set deadlines for myself and stick to them. I’m also very good at managing my time, so I can get a lot done in a short amount of time. I’m also very good at managing my time, so I can get a lot done in a short amount of time.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to prioritize
    • - Ability to manage time effectively
    • - Ability to manage time effectively

  • Question: What is your weakness?
  • Question Overview: This is a classic interview question, but it’s still worth asking in an RA interview. Candidates should be prepared to discuss a weakness that isn’t relevant to the job.

    Sample Answer: I’m a perfectionist, so I often take on too much and end up getting overwhelmed. I’m working on being more realistic about my workload and delegating tasks to other people.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Self-awareness
    • - Ability to admit fault
    • - Humility

  • Question: If you could write a program, what would it be?
  • Question Overview: This question reveals a candidate’s creativity and desire to get involved in the residence hall community.

    Sample Answer: I’d write a program that would bring together students from different majors and backgrounds to discuss how they can make a difference in the world. I’d also like to start a program that encourages students to donate their unused textbooks to students who can’t afford them.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Creativity
    • - Desire to get involved
    • - Ability to write a program

  • Question: If you had unlimited money, what event would you host?
  • Question Overview: This question reveals a candidate’s creativity and passion for the position. It also helps you gauge their ability to think outside the box and plan innovative activities that will benefit the residents.

    Sample Answer: I would host a huge carnival on campus with free food, games and prizes. I’d also organize a talent show with prizes for the best acts.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Creativity
    • - Passion
    • - Ability to think outside the box

  • Question: What steps have you taken to ensure that you will be at work on time?
  • Question Overview: This question reveals a candidate’s ability to manage their time and prioritize their responsibilities.

    Sample Answer: I’ve learned that being on time is an important part of being an RA. I’ve been late to work a few times in the past, but now I always leave early and allow myself plenty of time to get to my destination.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to manage time
    • - Ability to manage time
    • - Ability to manage time

  • Question: How would you deal with an emotionally unstable resident?
  • Question Overview: Dealing with residents who are going through a difficult time is one of the most challenging parts of the job. This question reveals a candidate’s ability to handle a difficult situation and come up with a solution that works for everyone.

    Sample Answer: I would first try to get to know the resident and figure out what’s going on in their life. I would then talk to them about my concerns and offer my support. If the situation escalated, I would contact their parents or another trusted adult.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to remain calm under pressure
    • - Ability to remain calm under pressure
    • - Ability to remain calm under pressure

  • Question: How do you handle adversity?
  • Question Overview: Resilience is a key trait of an effective RA. This question reveals how a candidate will respond to challenges and difficult situations.

    Sample Answer: I’ve learned that it’s important to take a step back and evaluate the situation before reacting. I’ve also learned that it’s important to ask for help when you need it.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to bounce back from adversity
    • - Ability to bounce back from adversity
    • - Ability to bounce back from adversity

  • Question: What resource would you recommend to a student struggling in classes?
  • Question Overview: This question reveals a candidate’s understanding of the challenges students face and their ability to provide helpful resources.

    Sample Answer: I would recommend that student reach out to their academic advisor. I would also encourage them to utilize the writing center and attend tutoring sessions.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Desire to help students
    • - Knowledge of campus resources
    • - Ability to prioritize

  • Question: How much experience do you have as a caregiver?
  • Question Overview: RAs are responsible for providing assistance to students in need, so it’s important to find out if a candidate has experience in this area.

    Sample Answer: I have experience working as a camp counselor for children with special needs. I was responsible for helping them with their daily activities, like dressing and eating. I also helped them with their social skills by organizing games and activities for them to play with their peers.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Experience with caregiving
    • - Ability to be compassionate and empathetic
    • - Ability to be compassionate and empathetic
    • - Ability to be compassionate and empathetic

  • Question: What is your availability?
  • Question Overview: This question is designed to find out if a candidate is available to work the hours required of an RA.

    Sample Answer: I’m available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Availability
    • - Availability
    • - Availability