Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 69

Factors Considered When Selecting Teams

as part of the process and exploring bias in the
RA interview and selection process.
Group Interview Process
In our first few interviews, RLPs mentioned
they either recently removed group activities
from the RA interview process or employed
a group process component but did not like
it. With this information, our interviews
evolved to ask RLPs their opinions on group
interviews in the RA hiring process. We received a variety of responses, but the majority of RLPs in our sample did not currently
use a group interview process. Several RLPs
valued group process as a tool to see how
candidates may work together while others
found group interview scores did not help
predict who got hired. One RLP stated, " Personally, I have always really enjoyed group
process, not in regard to selecting people to
hire, but to show candidates what to expect
in the job. " Challenges of group process include the significant time commitment, and
almost all RLPs agreed that group process
needs to be planned carefully and intentionally to be useful. As one RLP put it:
People design group process poorly.
I count myself as one of them, and I am
trying to be better at it. Sometimes I think
people think, " Oh, that's a cute activity,
let's do it, " but what I am committed to
doing is...thinking of, " What is the skill
I am trying to evaluate and then let me
build an activity backwards from that. "
Recommendations from Colleagues
We specifically asked RLPs if they were more
likely to place someone on their RA teams
who they either knew before the interviews

or had interviewed themselves. Such feelings were not universal, but many RLPs believed their colleagues as well as themselves
were more likely to hire someone they interviewed, assuming similar interview scores.
All other things being equal, RLPs having
additional knowledge of an RA candidate
did influence the RA's likelihood of getting
placed on a team. At larger schools, RLPs
would not have seen every candidate and
may need to rely on colleagues' recommendations. We asked if there were certain factors leading to interview notes being more
compelling to RLPs. Responses on this varied, but some RLPs did look at notes from
peer supervisors and looked more favorably
at notes from colleagues who were perceived
to be good supervisors. If an RLP knew a colleague had a similar opinion on what makes
a strong RA, the RLP was more likely to look
closely at that recommendation. In some cases, RLPs saw positional authority as a factor
in considering a recommendation, knowing
the interviewer had more professional experience than the RLP. When external partners
were involved in interviewing, their notes
were regarded as helpful but often not given
the same level of consideration as notes from
residence life colleagues. Colleague trust
seemed to be the most important factor in
how seriously RLPs considered an evaluation
or recommendation. One RLP who supervised staff who hired and placed RA teams
stated, " So this year [colleagues] trusted each
other strongly. I saw them [placing RA candidates on their teams] that they wouldn't have
traditionally, but that's because there was a
built trust [among colleagues]. "

Team members' personality types did not predict successful team
performance, which suggests understanding how a team works together
is more important than attempting to select for certain personality traits.
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Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3

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