Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 40

	
Another limitation was researcher bias.
Any assumptions or conclusions drawn
throughout the research process were influenced by the five researchers' personal
histories and priorities in hiring candidates.
While analyzing the interview questions
and drawing conclusions, codes were made
based on the researchers' interpretations,
years of experience in the field, and knowledge of the RA role. While the researchers
assessed the interview questions and coding
in this research, conclusions or implications
may include bias.

DISCUSSION
This study adds to the literature by analyzing interview questions asked in the RA
hiring process. The qualitative approach allowed researchers to focus on coding questions into three themes: Job Expectations,
Competencies, and Personal. The findings
show Competency-based questions made up
the largest percentage of all institutions'
interview questions (48.5%, n = 97). This
outcome is certainly not unexpected as the
goal of most hiring practices is to assess
how applicants' current skill sets match
with the position, and leadership skills are
an important characteristic for RAs (Deluga
& Masson, 2000). This shows that departments prioritize questions in this area.
	
Another important finding is that Personal represented a higher frequency with
29% (n = 58) compared to Job Expectations
interview questions with 22.5% (n = 45).
This indicates that institutions put a higher

emphasis on getting to know the candidates'
interests and knowledge of the position
than on an understanding of RA job expectations. This data highlights a disconnect
between the vitality of assessing personal attributes and characteristics over candidates'
abilities to recognize the job expectations.
If institutions emphasize RAs upholding
job expectations, then asking questions to
prompt the knowledge of candidates would
be highly beneficial. Therefore, asking more
interview questions regarding job expectations could better inform and educate those
who are interested in serving and being successful in the RA role. Within these modalities, revisiting what each department values
and aims to excel in may also help guide
them in choosing which questions will best
serve their needs.
	
While the questions interviewers ask
are important, a lot can also be learned from
what is not asked. In general, the questions
asked demonstrate areas important to the
department; conversely, questions not asked
indicate less importance. There were seven codes that were initially established by
the researchers that were removed because
no questions fell in those categories. The
omitted codes included: Public Speaking,
Desk Work, Report Writing, Marketing, Emergency Response, Administrative Skills, and
Approachability. The absence of these types
of questions might be explained in several
ways. First, some of these areas might be
observable throughout other areas of the
interview process, such as public speaking

Community Outreach is a key aspect of the RA position. Based
on the total number of questions dedicated to this theme,
institutions seem interested in how applicants will perform this
responsibility.

Volume 47, No. 3 * 2021

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

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