Preparing for Your WUSA/BEAR Leader Application

Things to think about for your application

  • Abide by the requested word limit
  • Answer EVERY portion of the question. Some have multiple parts.
  • Make sure to leave plenty of time to submit your application–they are time stamped;we are not able to accept late applications.
  • This application must be done in one sitting; we recommend working on the essays in a separate word processor (Microsoft Word is most commonly used) and then copy/paste them over once you are completed.
  • Send your reference the recommendation link in advance so they have plenty of time to complete it. Additionally, an automated email with the recommendation link will be sent to your reference when you apply. It’s also helpful to send recommenders a copy of your resume and a brief summary of why you are applying for the position and what you hope to gain from the experience.
  • Attend a Mandatory Applicant Meeting.You can attend one of these meetings before OR after submitting the application but you must attend to be considered an applicant. There will be information shared at this event to help you write a strong application.
  • Please note, we are not able to extend individual interviews to all candidates. It is important to put thought and effort into your written application.

Things to think about for your individual interview

  • If offered an individual interview, sign up for a time that works well for you and affords you time to travel and get settled for the interview. We are not able to interview candidates who arrive late.
  • Confirm the date, time, and location of your interview.
  • Read through the position description. If there is something you would like further clarification on, you can ask at the end of the interview.
  • Be thoughtful about how long each of your responses will be. We will ask you 10 questions, the interview is 20 minutes, and we want to include time for you to ask us questions at the end.
  • Prepare for a variety of possible interview questions. See below for some examples and tips from us:
    • Tell us about yourself. We will begin by asking you to share a little about yourself. This should be your 30-60 second elevator pitch –year in school, what you’re studying (if you know), and campus or community involvement.
    • What is your understanding of the WUSA/BEAR Leader role? Before answering this question, you need to fully understand the WUSA/BEARLeaderposition. You should review the position description and reflect on the role’s responsibilities.You’ll also want to reflect on why you are applying for the role. When answering this question, be as honest as you can. Avoid cliché answers of “I want to help people.” Let the interviewers know more specifically why you want this position.
    • Tell us about a situation you have been involved in where there were individuals who had different opinions than you.
      • In this answer, the interviewers are trying to determine how you handle conflicts. As a student leader, you will be working many hours with people who will have different personalities and perspectives from your own and the interviewers want an honest assessment of how you handle these situations.
      • Even if the example you give does not have a perfect ending or may show you were at fault, you can use this example to show what you have learned since then and the changes you will make in the future.
      • Think about class projects or teams that you have been a part of, roommate conflicts, problems at work, or conflicts that have arisen with customers you have worked with in the past.
    • (WUSA specific) Describe a time when you needed to seek out academic help for one of your classes. What advice would you give to a student struggling academically?
      • An important role of a WUSA is to direct their students to proper academic resources. Think about places or people you’ve gone for help or would go to if need be. The interviewers want to hear about your understanding of WashU’s resources and how students should access themas well as the support you would provide for your students struggling with the academic transition.
    • (BEARLeader specific) How would you make new students feel welcome?
      • An important role of a BEAR Leader is to create an inclusive, positive environment for new students. Think about your own transition to college and the impact people have made on your experience at WashU as well as the support you would provide for your students struggling with the transition.
    • What questions do you have for us?
      • Have 1-2 questions prepared for us. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the role and what you will be doing throughout the year.
  • Treat the interview as if it were a job or internship interview.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early to the interview.
  • Find the interview location a day or so before it takes place to ensure you don’t get lost and arrive on time, relaxed, and prepared to shine.
  • Dress in business casual attire. Please note, we are not evaluating candidates in any way on their attire but we do want to have candidates use this as an opportunity to practice for future internship and job interviews and professional opportunities.
  • Utilize the Career Center as a resource.
    • Visit the Career Center’s website for interview tips.
    • Call 314-935-5930 to schedule a mock interview with the Career Center for more practice.

Things to think about for your group interview

  • Candidates will be participating in a series of group activities with four to five other applicants designed to assess how you work with a team. The series might include games, discussions, or othersmallgroup activities. Often the activities have time to share instructions and goals at the beginning, an amount of time to work together, and a wrap-up time at the end.
  • Enjoy the time with your team! Listen, engage with others, and collaborate.
  • Don’t stress about the evaluators. Three to five evaluators will be observing and taking notes but try not to focus on them. They are taking notes about engagement within the group and do not expect you to address them during group activities.
  • Dress in business casual attire. While you will be doing a variety of activities during the group interview, you will be seated in desks working with others. You will not be asked to sit on the floor during the activities.

Business Casual

  • Business casual attire includes clothing such as a dress shirt, khakis, a skirt, dress, dress pants, and closed-toed shoes.
  • Business casual does not include jeans, leggings, sneakers, shorts, and/or sandals.
  • We understand that not everyone may own business casual attire, we recommend you try borrowing clothes from a friend or checking the Trading Post located under Gregg Hall.