Thanks for your advice Mel, you’re the best!
When your camp counselor interview is just days away it can be really nerve wracking. I had to go down to London for mine and that alone seemed pretty scary! My mum offered to come with me but I decided if I was going all the way over to America on my own (hopefully) then just getting to London should be the least of my worries. My cousin had been a camp counselor 2 years before me and that’s how I heard about it initially. I was really lucky that she was able to talk me through the process and what to expect. She also gave me loads of camp counselor interview tips which were really helpful. I thought it would be good to pass on her words of wisdom to you guys. If they help you like they helped me than that would be great.
Practice makes perfect
It’s probably quite likely that you’ve done at least one interview before, for uni or for a job back home. Hopefully you’ve got at least a bit of practice. If you haven’t don’t worry because that was going to be my first tip… practice. It sounds a bit stupid but if you have a go with a friend or your mum then by the time you come to do the real thing you know exactly what you would like to say. Write down questions that you think you might get asked such as:
- ‘Why do you want to be a camp counselor?’
- ‘What qualities do you have that would make you a good camp counselor?’
- ‘Can you give an example of a time you had to deal with a stressful situation’
Then write down bullet points of things you would like to get across about yourself. Once you’ve done that try and learn your answers off by heart, but make them sound natural obviously, and then your ready for the practice interview! If you feel too stupid asking your Mum to interview you then just practice saying it all into the mirror. Make sure no one else is in the house though so that they don’t all think you’ve gone mad.
Smile and speak clearly
During your camp counselor interview you want to try and come across as confident, hard working, reliable and friendly. They need to know that you can handle masses of 9-year-olds all running around. Smile, speak clearly – no mumbling allowed and don’t speak too fast either. I always do that when I get nervous. Look whoever is asking you the questions in the eye – not so much it’s scary, but just don’t look at the floor all the time.
Dress smartly but don’t go over the top
You want to look like you have made an effort but a suit would be a bit much and might even make them think you’re not the sort of person who would enjoy running around in the woods!
Get some experience
Try and get some experience working with children so that you can talk about it in your interview. I did some volunteering at the local Brownies and that gave me some insight into being responsible for them and looking after them. It helped in my interview because I could use specific examples from my time there to answer questions and it was really useful to refer to.
You want to try and make yourself seem organised (they will never find out that your bedroom at home is an absolute mess) because if you don’t seem organised they can’t expect you to organise children all summer. To help with this, the camp counselor interview tips I got told were…
- Take a pen and notebook
- Take another pen in case your first one runs out
- Have some questions ready to ask them at the end so it looks like you’ve already done your research
- Turn up early
- If you can’t turn up early, turn up on time
- Be ready for anything
I think that just about covers it. If yours is in London like mine was you have to remember to check your journey out properly. Don’t just get on a tube and expect to find your way there without any complications. If you are not used to London (like I wasn’t) it can be crazy! Just start out early and eat your breakfast in a nearby cafe. You can’t do a proper interview if you’re out of breath so you don’t want to have just been running down the road.
Although I was nervous everyone I met on the day was really lovely and friendly. It is worth preparing for the interview but at the end of the day they want you to do well so you just have to be yourself. I hope these camp counselor interview tips work for you. They worked for me! After my interview I got my acceptance letter and off to camp I went.