Carnegie Mellon University

Resident Assistant Selection

Becoming a Resident Assistant (RA) is a great way to get involved in your residence hall community. RAs are key student leaders who help their peers to develop artistic and intellectual curiosity, personal wellbeing, professional competency, and leadership skills. They do this by providing opportunities for community members to engage with each other while finding ways for each resident to contribute to the larger community.

Overview and Timeline

The selection process has been designed to help you learn as much as possible about the RA position so that you can make an informed decision about becoming an RA in the event that you are offered a position. Details about the role are available in the RA Position Description. The process itself consists of several phases:

While not mandatory, a 45-minute information session provides an excellent orientation to the RA position and the selection process. All interested students are encouraged to attend. Please register for an Information Session.

For all candidates, submission of an online RA application is the first step. 

New RA candidates will need to submit an online RA application, which includes uploading both a resume and several short essay questions. You will also need to provide contact information for a staff member or faculty member who you have asked to serve as references for you in the RA selection process.  This person may be your Housefellow or another staff/faculty member at CMU who knows you well.

Returning RA candidates (individuals who have been or are currently an RA) will also need to submit an online RA application, which includes uploading both a resume and several short essay questions.

After submitting your RA application you will be invited to participate in an individual interview which will occur sometime between sometime in late February and/or early March 2021.

The 30-40 minute interview will consist of a meeting with a Housefellow and Community Advisor. While you may be meeting with representatives from one specific house, they will share their thoughts from the interview with all of the residential communities and you are being considered as a candidate for all RA positions across campus.

You will be contacted by the Housefellow conducting your interview or The Office of Residential Education to schedule a time to meet.  

A Note for Both New and Returning Candidates

By submitting your application, you consent to a check of your university academic record and student conduct record to determine whether you are an enrolled student in good standing with the university. Students with below a 2.25 for either Fall 2019 or cumulative QPA are not eligible to be hired as an RA. Applicants with Fall 2020 or cumulative QPAs below 2.25 are welcome to participate in the interview process and may be identified as alternates as a result of their performance in the selection process. Applicants who have an academic or student conduct history that could have some negative impact on their candidacy may be contacted by a Housefellow to discuss the situation.  

Community Advisor Selection

Each house community is served by one Community Advisor. In concert with professional staff members, CAs provide the leadership for the vision, direction, and daily activity in each of our residential house communities. They are upperclass or graduate students who develop a strong sense of community in each house by getting residents involved and fostering an environment that contributes to the personal and academic success of all who live there.

Overview and Timeline

The Selection process is designed to help you learn as much as possible about the CA position so that you can make an informed decision about becoming a CA in the event that you are offered a position.  Details about the position are available in the CA Position Description.  The process itself consists of several phases:

All applicants for the CA position are required to attend an information session to learn more about the position and the application process. Sign up for a CA Information session.

In the event that you have classes that conflict with these information sessions or are currently not taking classes on the Pittsburgh campus, please contact Kristine Kengor to schedule an individual information session.

For all candidates, submitting an online CA application is the next step in the process.  This CA application is now live and will close on February 8, 2021 at noon. The application includes uploading a resume and cover letter, in addition to demographic information and several short essay questions.

Candidates will deliver an 8-10 minute presentation to the Housefellows on a prompt. The presentation gives Housefellows the opportunity to learn more about the candidates, and for candidates to demonstrate their skills for public speaking and sharing information with a group of people. The presentations will occur in mid to late February.

This year, the prompt for the presentation is:

Please explain how one of the residential learning goals has contributed to your personal growth during your time at Carnegie Mellon in the residential communities. Which of the four learning goals are you most passionate about and how would you bring that passion and learning to your house community as a community advisor?

Between December 2 and 13, candidates will schedule a 45-minute interview with a group of two Housefellows.  

The interview consists of behavioral interview questions have been developed that align with the CA position description and responsibilities in these areas:

  • Motivation and General Knowledge
  • Community Development
  • Supervision and Staff Support
  • Administration, Planning, and Management