Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 39

The Questions We Ask

However, while there is significant universal research
on employment interviews, there is limited research on
the questions used during the RA selection process.
Personal
Questions that did not fit any of the Job Expectations or RA Competency themes fell under
three codes within the Personal theme. The
breakdown of the number of questions in
this theme was: Personality/About You (n = 33);
Interest in the Position (n = 14); and Knowledge of Position (n = 11). The Personal theme
accounted for 29% of the total questions reviewed (n = 58). Each participating institution
asked one or more questions in this theme.
	
The most frequent question type throughout the study was in the area of Personality/
About You, which accounted for 16.5% (n = 33)
of the total questions reviewed. Some of the
questions are broad, such as, " Tell us a little
bit about yourself. " Other questions are more
specific to types of situations or relationships
with others, such as, " If we were to talk to
a previous boss, how would they describe
you? " Chronicled under this code were questions about where the candidate viewed their
weaknesses or areas needing improvement.
This code had a broad spectrum of questions
designed to get to know the candidate better
but were not specifically tied to either a Job
Expectation or RA Competency.
	
The other two codes in the Personal
theme, Interest in the Position and Knowledge
of the Position, were more straightforward. An
example of an Interest in the Position question
is, " Please explain what interests you about
the position. " While not all the questions are
as straightforward as this, they all appeared
to be designed to understand the candidate's
interest in applying for the position. The

36

The Journal of College and University Student Housing

Knowledge of the Position questions appeared
to be designed to assess candidates' awareness of what the position entails, for example: " How would you describe the RA position to someone who does not know what it
is? " Again, the question is not looking for a
specific expectation or competency but were
perceived to be looking to get a broader sense
of how the candidate understands the components of the position.

LIMITATIONS
Several limitations existed within this study.
The first limitation was using a preexisting
collection of documents without any institutions' demographic information. The researchers were not provided any additional
information around the schools' intentions
regarding question rationalization or desired
outcomes. The lack of context left the interview questions up to interpretation by the
researchers.
	
The demographics of this study were
also a limitation. The RA interview questions
were obtained from universities in the Southwest Region in the United States who voluntarily participated. The Southwest Region is
one of nine housing regions; therefore, there
is no way to know that this regional study is
transferable to other regions in the United
States. Although the questions received were
from both private and public institutions, the
researchers did not include the institution
type in the findings of this research. Due to
the nature of this study, the results are not
generalizable to all universities or campuses.



Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3

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