Greek Experience

How to Use Your Greek Experience in an Interview

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With some negative stereotypes perpetuating about sororities, you may fear your Greek connection could be a drawback. But being an Alpha Phi gives you amazingly marketable skills you may not have even considered.

First, remember that there are also plenty of positive connotations about Greek life that precede you. Many managers for entry level roles seek people who were involved in the Greek system, because they’re typically personable and know how to work with others. On top of that, if you have helped on a committee, gathered donations, assisted with recruitment or held an office, hiring managers will want to know. If you were president of your chapter, just think: Running a chapter is like running a small business.

Your Alpha Phi job-relatable skills:

1. Time Management. You may fondly remember all the required Alpha Phi events as being a ton of fun, but you combined those with academic success, extracurricular activities and maybe even work. Translate that to a job interview and you might say, “Required attendance at Greek functions and maintaining minimum GPA improved my time-management skills.” Showing up on time, getting your work done on deadline and knowing when to take breaks are all crucial elements of any work situation.

2. Teamwork. Being a member of Alpha Phi means that you often worked with your sisters to plan events, volunteer, even keep your house clean and generally keep the chapter running smoothly. The ability to function well with a group of people and achieve your goals together has huge implications for your career.

3. Commitment. When you were initiated as an Alpha Phi, you made commitments to follow policies and procedures. Maybe it wasn’t always easy, but you did it. You followed through, which is a valuable quality to an employer.

3. Communication. You have become an Alpha Phi brand ambassador, educating potential new members and then fulfilling traditions and lessons for new initiates. All of this has left you with the very useful skill of being able to convey a message in a clear and informative way.

4. Money Management. If you had anything to do with the chapter budget, planned an event or collected donations, you likely managed money. If not, you certainly learned to manage your finances, budgeting enough for essentials and Alpha Phi expenses—maybe you saved up to pay for your red dress or an Alpha Phi sweatshirt. This shows budgeting know-how.

5. Leadership. What role did you have at your chapter? Even if you weren’t an executive officer, what about being a Big—you were a mentor and leader of some sort, and it’s worth mentioning.

6. Community Involvement. Undoubtedly, you took part in some volunteer work through Alpha Phi. It shines the light on your philanthropy, as well as your ability to look outside of yourself and see the bigger picture. If you ran a charity event, talk about how much money you brought in, how many volunteers you recruited, the growth from previous years, etc.

What NOT to do:
1. Don’t use specific Greek, Alpha Phi or school jargon, unless you know your interviewer will understand the references.
2. Don’t use the terms sister or brother; stick with “member.” It’s just more professional.
3. Don’t talk about all the fun parties you went to every night, unless you’re referring to the planning that went into them and how you were involved.
4. Don’t gush. Expressing your passion for Alpha Phi is OK, as long as you balance it with the specific aspects of your experience that relate to a work situation.