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, these 45-minute information sessions provide an excellent orientation to the RA position and the selection process.

  • November 12, 2018, 9 p.m. (Donner, Main Lobby)
  • November 14, 2018, 9 p.m. (Mudge, Reading Room)
  • November 15, 2018, 9 p.m. (Residence on Fifth, First Floor Dining Room)
  • November 29, 2018, 9 p.m. (Porter Hall, 126A)
  • December 5, 2018, 9 p.m. (Porter Hall, 126A)

For all candidates, submission of an online RA application is the first step. The application is due on January 20, 2019 at 11:59 PM.

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 January 24, 2019 and February 3, 2019.

The 30-40 minute interview will consist of you 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.

The interviews will take place in the Housefellow's office, unless otherwise noted. The location of the offices are listed below:

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 2018 or cumulative QPA are not eligible to be hired as an RA. Applicants with Fall 2018 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.  Please choose one of the following sessions to attend:

  • Monday, October 22, 2018 at 8PM (Baker Hall 235A)
  • Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 8PM (Wean 5415)
  • Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 4:30PM (Scaife 208)
  • Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 9PM (Baker Hall 235A)

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

For all candidates, submitting an online CA application is the next step in the process.  This application will be available on this site on November 1, 2018 and is due at 5:00PM on November 26, 2018.  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 that will be released on November 1, 2018 when the application becomes available.  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.  Presentations will be scheduled for the weekend of November 30-December 2, 2018.  

This year, the prompt for the presentation is:
Talk to us about the most meaningful residential experience you have had during your time at CMU.  What was the experience? How did it make you feel?  What did you learn from it?  Identify two specific ways that this experience would inform your work as a CA to support the Residential Curriculum?

Between December 3, 2018 and December 18, 2018 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