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What Sorority Recruitment Taught Me About Interviewing

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Sorority recruitment wasn’t something I’d always considered. However, once I decided to do it, I wanted it badly. I rushed my sophomore year, which meant that I already knew which house I wanted to join. Knowing this made the process more stressful. While I enjoyed meeting girls at the other houses, I only wanted to be the sister of one house. At the end of each rush day, I went home hoping it would turn out how I wanted. Luckily for me, it did! I spent the next three years forging friendships and making memories that I’m thankful for to this day.

Beyond the fun experiences that I enjoyed during my time as an Alpha Delta Pi, being in a sorority prepared me for life after college. Those three years taught me about professionalism, teamwork, and how to leave a good impression. And unbeknownst to me, these lessons all started during sorority recruitment.

Be (the Best Version of) Yourself

There’s an image of the “typical sorority girl.” While I’ll admit some women fall into that stereotype, there are also women who don’t. These are the women that I call my dear friends, my sisters, and it isn’t by accident that I ended up in a house with some of them. The most important lesson I learned through sorority recruitment that has carried over to the professional world is to be yourself—and be the best version you can be!

There’s no one outfit, size, or personality type that sororities—or companies—you want to be a part of are looking for. They want to meet individuals that surprise them, that can contribute to their organization, and that leave them with a good impression. You don’t need to wear designer clothes to do that, but you do need to wear clothes that fit your body type well. You don’t need to tell the exact right story, but you do need to pick anecdotes that accentuate your good qualities and don’t point out that time you forgot a work assignment or lost your credit card when you had one too many cocktails. Play up your good qualities, wear flattering outfits that fit your personal style, and don’t fall into the trap that there is only one way to be. Make sure you are being the best version of you, but still be you! Your house—and your future job—want to see who that is.

Dig Deep

You have to know what you’re going into and be prepared for any situation or topic that could come up. For sorority recruitment, that means meeting girls in classes before rush week if possible, checking out the sorority’s website, and figuring out any causes the house supports. For an interview, the method is the same: Look up any alumni or personal contacts you may have at the company, scour its website for salient details about the job description, research the company in recent news, and find out the company’s mission statement.

Knowing these details will help you be more engaged in the conversations you have and demonstrate that you respect the time and energy of the interviewer. Let’s be honest: Sorority recruitment is like having back-to-back interviews—but with better lemonade and a prettier dress! You still need to mentally-prepare answers to any potential questions they might ask you, and doing research ahead of time is the easiest way to prepare.

Show, Don’t Tell

Sororities and employers are both looking for the same thing: an individual who can contribute to and become part of the whole organization while also possessing qualities of her own that set her apart from the crowd. Whether you’re speaking with sisters during rush week or sitting in an office in a suit, you need to be able to give answers that clearly demonstrate how you can do these things.

This isn’t about listing your skills or accomplishments: this means thinking of examples and experiences that show what you can bring to the table. If a sister asks what you like to do and you want to show that you’re social, don’t just say you like to go to the movies. Tell her about the great Oscar party you throw every year at your house, complete with themed snacks and paper ballots (Remember, be yourself! Tell this story only if it’s true.) If you want to demonstrate to a job interviewer that you are detail-oriented, tell her how you organize and manage your family reunion every year, coordinating 25 extended family members’ travel schedules. Bring in real-life details to demonstrate these qualities in action.

Have Fun With It

Finally, you need to find a way to enjoy the process. Real happiness exudes a kind of confidence you can’t fake, and the best thing to be during sorority recruitment or a job interview is confident. Savor the color-coordinated snacks you’re given during a rush party or appreciate the beautiful scenery on the drive to your interview. Compliment your interviewer on her necklace or make a joke about a class you have in common with one of the sisters. Don’t forget to let go of the nerves, the intimidation, and the pressure. Just have fun with it. Enjoying yourself lets your true personality shine through, and whomever you’re speaking to will love you for it.

Be your best self, research the organization, use clear examples to show your good qualities, and remember to enjoy some of it. You’ll do great, whether it’s a rush party or a callback interview.

What was your sorority recruitment experience like? What lessons did you learn from it?

Ask Levo co-founder Caroline Ghosn about the lessons she learned from her sorority!

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Photo Courtesy of Classy in Connecticut


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Snaps to this article... so incredibly true on every level!

Excellent points! And remember that having recruitment NOT work out exactly as you'd anticipated can be a very valuable lesson too. I rushed as a second-year, but things didn't exactly pan out. It was tough at the time, yet I was determined to stay involved in the things that I love and keep honing the values that I live by. Later down the line--at the beginning of my third year--I had the opportunity to become a colonizing member of Pi Beta Phi, IL Kappa chapter (at the University of Chicago), and that experience has been life-changing (seriously!). Not only is the organization a perfect fit for me, but the chance to start a chapter has opened up so many doors for my sisters and I. Long story short, my recruitment experience taught me that--just as in the job world--one thing NOT working out can certainly be a blessing in disguise...and can lead you to where you're truly meant to be.

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