Interviews are the WORST. They usually involve sitting in a small, claustrophobic room while a man with a shiny face and a badly fitting suit asks obscure questions like ‘How would you weigh your own head?’
The bad news is that you’ll have to have an interview if you want to work at Summer Camp. The good news is that the interviews are nothing to be worried about!
To help prepare you, here’s what you need to know…
1. Dress Appropriately
At camp you can wear whatever you want and NOBODY will care. You want to wear a Tiger patterned onesie, a crown on your head and Crocs on your feet? DO IT. If you turn up wearing that outfit to your interview, you’ll look like a bit of a wally. Although you won’t need to wear a suit, you should dress in comfortable, smart-casual clothing.
2. Arrive on Time
If you can’t manage to turn up to your interview on time, can you be trusted to make it to your flight on time? Can you be trusted to wake up on time so that you can help your campers in the morning? Aim to arrive 10 minutes early. First impressions really do count. If your Interviewer is sitting across the table from you, while you are sweating, flustered and apologising, it won’t look great.
Whatever you do…DO NOT TAKE YOUR PARENTS!! Although they will want to know about your summer adventure, nothing looks worse than a silly old Mum hovering over you, prodding you to ‘tell the nice lady about that time you went to Scout Camp…’ You will be in the States for at least 9 weeks and if you can’t even go to an interview without your parents, your independence will be called into question.
For the majority of the interview you’ll be chatting about what you wrote on your application form, but elaborating on what you wrote. Remember to answer all of the questions fully, giving your Interviewer as much information as possible. You will more than likely be asked about your favourite skills/activities as well as your previous experience of working with children, so spend a bit of time before the interview, working out what you’re going to say.
5. Speak Clearly
When you’re answering questions, be confident with what you’re saying and speak clearly. If you need to take a moment to think before answering a question, that’s not a problem! Your Interviewer would rather hear a thoughtful answer rather than a string of unconnected words falling out from your mouth hole.
6. Take it Seriously!
Although the interview won’t take place in an intimidating office setting, it is still an interview for a job. You won’t get a job at camp by turning up hungover, offering monosyllabic answers and yawning your way through the interview. Make sure you’re bright eyed, bushy tailed + keen to chat about why you will be an amazing Camp Counselor.
7. Be Yourself
Camps are looking to hire people with personality. You have a personality. Hopefully it’s a good one. During your interview, be enthusiastic, engaging and ask questions about working at camp.
8. Your Interviewer is a LOVELY Person
Your Interviewer will not be trying to catch you out with the questions. In fact, your Interviewer is on your side and is actively trying to get as much information from you so that your application is as strong as possible. View them as an ally rather than someone who should be feared!
9. Don’t be a Twit
Although this sounds really mean, don’t jeopardise your chances by doing or saying anything stupid. Swearing, telling inappropriate stories, trying to control the interview and giving arrogant answers are all signs that you might not be a good fit for camp. Similarly, giving vague answers, offering no eye contact or speaking incredibly quietly will make your Interviewer question your suitability for camp.
When it comes down to it, you will have been offered an interview because your application shows you to be the sort of person who has all of the qualities that a Camp Counselor should possess. The interview is important, but if you go into it with confidence, knowing that you’ve prepared for it, you’ll be just fine!