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Questions to Ask at Your Interview

What Questions Should I Ask at My Interview?

Camp Kupugani endeavors to be transparent about the important expectations we have for our excellent staff members. Applicants should be suitably informed before they even are awarded an interview.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions that interviewees have had, along with our camp responses.  (Prospective applicants are also welcome to ask these questions when they interview.)

How do you measure the success of the person in a camp position?

  • Success at camp is when campers feel safe and supported.
  • You are a successful staff member when campers respect you.
  • In a practical sense, success is measured by mid-session and end of session evaluations from fellow staff, campers, and administrators.

What are some of the expected challenges from this position?

  • Campers are individuals with varied needs; given a variety of camper family dynamics and individual personalities, figuring out how to individually support each camper can be a challenge.
  • Camp days and weeks can be long (although they also seem to fly by…that’s the weirdness of being in the “camp time zone”–a day can seem like a week, and a month can seem like it went by in a day).
  • Managing your energy is important, as well as getting re-energized during your daily and weekly time off.
  • Staff members used to being continually “connected” may initially struggle with the reality of accessing their phone only on days off.

Can you describe a typical day or week on the job? 

What’s staff training like?

  • Busy!
  • During our ten-day staff training, we teach our staff everything they need to know about working at Kupugani.
  • We cover a lot of information and teach many skills, largely focused on working with children, interpersonal development, team building, and cultural competence.
  • You will be well prepared for future jobs or careers from what you learn and experience at camp, including leadership, time management, working as a team, interpersonal skills, and problem solving.

What do you hope staff members will accomplish during the camp sessions?

  • Make a true connection with each camper you encounter to play a part in helping them feel safe and supported.
  • Connect with fellow staff.
  • Support admins by checking in to see how else you can add to the program.
  • Support camper parents by empowering campers to take what they learn at camp and bring it home.
  • As former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer says, “Do your job and do it as well as you can, and then maybe somebody will notice, and you’ll get a better job. Maybe they won’t, but at least you’ve done the work.”

Thinking back to past staff members, what differentiated the ones who were great from the ones who were good?

  • A great staff member is “someone who handles hard well.”
  • Personal characteristics of past great staff members include: diligence, being a self-starter, flexibility, working well with others, able to do things on one’s own and make good decisions, knowing when to ask questions, supporting the camp mission, being prompt and punctual, communicating well, remaining calm during stressful situations, serving as a role model, and making a positive impression on the camp community.
  • Making appropriate, heartfelt, individual connections with campers
    • Get to know campers on a personal level
    • Be unafraid to be vulnerable; share with campers appropriate details that help them to feel safe and comfortable.
    • Be mindful of being a counselor first (i.e. not necessarily trying to be a friend…if you engender and show respect, you will be a friend without having to “try”)
  • Making appropriate, heartfelt, individual connections with staff
    • Connection with a variety of staff, not just those who might prove to be a “bestie”
    • Help fellow staff feel welcomed and appreciated
    • Do regular check-ins to see how fellow staff members are doing
    • Be inclusive when considering planning for off days
  • Being a critical thinker
    • Engaging in analytical thinking
    • Being able to think creatively
    • Being open-minded
    • Being a good problem solver
    • Asking thoughtful questions
    • Promoting a teamwork approach to problem-solving
    • Self-evaluating your contributions to camp
  • Support camp administrators
    • Check-in with admin to see how you can support them with the program
    • Help admins feel welcomed and appreciated
  • Managed their self-care physically and psychologically
    • Use your time off wisely
    • Able to deal with long hours while still taking care of themselves

How would you describe the camp culture?

  • One where we strive for cultural competence
    • Each camper and staff should feel free to share their culture
    • Educate campers and staff on the cultural issues
    • Use the social justice track as a way to empower campers to be world changers
  • The culture at camp is one that is accepting of all people, a place where the leadership team will do its best to support you in your daily work.

What type of people tend to really thrive here?

  • People who give of themselves without asking for anything in return
  • People who are focused on being agents of change in today’s society
  • People who are flexible in accomplishing a variety of jobs or tasks
  • People who are comfortable with schedules sometimes changing
  • People who can handle their emotions even during intense situations
  • People who love working with kids (and peers) to help them become the best version of themselves
  • People who are open to challenging and evolving their way of thinking
  • People who recognize that they will be treated as adults, and expected to act accordingly
  • People who are resilient and respond positively when encountering challenges 
  • People who can function without having their smartphone or electronics (which are accessible only on days off)

What type of person might struggle here?

  • Someone who doesn’t do well with change
  • Someone who needs rigid daily structure
  • Someone who cannot work independently
  • Someone with poor communication skills
  • Someone who does not connect well with children
  • Someone how is uncomfortable in the outdoors
  • Someone with poor organizational skills
  • Someone who needs to be coddled
  • Someone who gives up when something is hard
  • Someone who can’t function without their smartphone or electronics (which are accessible only on days off)

What kind of performance feedback will I receive?

  • We will give you as much help and advice in any matter relating to your job (or otherwise, if you’d like). Our role is to help you be your best for our campers.
  • In addition to regular informal feedback from an admin, you will receive an official written form after each camp session.
  • There are also semi-weekly “strengths and challenges” sessions, where you will receive from your peers a list of what’s so great about you and what can use further development.
  • We also share with you feedback from campers, who complete mid-session and end of session camper surveys.

What do you (the interviewer) like about working here?

  • I enjoy how different each day is.
  • I enjoy working with children and staff from varied backgrounds; each person has a story to tell.
  • I enjoy having the opportunity to impact individuals, impact families, impact communities, and change the world!

What’s your timeline for the next steps?

  • If you were selected for and completed an in-person interview, you are already being seriously considered for a position; the in-person interview is a culmination of the application process, beginning with evaluating your online application, reviewing your written references, and completing a remote video interview.
  • After completing the in-person interview, we contact three of your references or prior employers by phone; ideally, we hear back from them timely and can complete the vetting process within two weeks.  
  • If all’s good, we send you an employment agreement for you to send back within 48 hours and you can then get ready for an amazing summer!

Sound Fun? Ready To Go To Camp?