1. Prepare yourself
Before the fair, we will send you the list of camps attending. Take the time to read through the camp profiles, have a look at their website and try and decide who you would like to speak with when you first arrive. As for dress code, a tidy appearance is essential. You don’t need to wear a suit, just look neat and put together.
Everyone needs to bring a 1 page version of their CV or a copy of their application (we will advise you directly on this closer to the fair). If you are an artist, bring pictures of your work. If there is a video of you doing something of relevance, have it ready on your phone to show the director. Bring water and something small to eat with you.
2. Arrive on Time
The Camp USA Team will send you all the information you need in advance of your fair day. This will include your time slot and what to bring. Please give ample time to get to the hotel.
There is no problem whatsoever with a family member or friend accompanying you to the fair, but they won’t be allowed to come into the hiring room with you. We suggest they take a stroll (Grafton Street is 5 minutes away) and come back when you are finished. Expect to be in the hotel for 2- 2.5 hours.
When you first get to the Alex Hotel, you will check-in with us. We will hold a short presentation with everyone before entering the hiring room. Feel free to ask any questions at this point. We will make a suggestion regarding which camp to speak with first based on your skills, but it’s totally up to you.
4. Be Confident
The camp fair environment can be nerve-racking as you wait to speak with a director. Try and relax. Sip water and take deep breaths while you wait. Keep your shoulders back and your chin up, it’s not the dentist! When you first meet a camp director, make eye contact, smile and deliver a firm handshake – no limp fingers, that’s creepy! Ask them how they are while you take a seat at their table.
5. Listen & Think
We can’t tell you exactly what you will be asked first as each director has their own style. Remember to listen to what you are being asked and take a moment to think about your answer. Being nervously enthusiastic is OK, but try not to speak over the camp director. Take your time with your answers and don’t forget to breathe! In the short time you have to chat, a camp director is trying to get a sense of who you are and whether you would make a good fit for their camp. Camp directors are very personable people so allow yourself to settle into the conversation.
6. Know Your Strengths
The aim of any interview is to sell yourself. Please remember: Speaking about your strengths is not arrogance, it’s confidence! Be ready to speak about yourself confidentially – I consider myself a happy person, I work well in a group, I’m reliable, I pay attention to detail….all positive things to say! Being shy about your abilities will not get you a job at camp. You’re awesome, let the director know why!
Be prepared to speak for 3-5 minutes about your strongest skill and a 2-3 minutes about your secondary skills. You’ll want to rehearse a little bit to rid yourself of too many “umms” and “likes.” If you are interviewing for a job as an activity specialist, whether its teaching a sport or arts & crafts, talk about your experience in that area as well as a breakdown of the areas within the activity that you are comfortable teaching. For example, if you are talking about your scouting experience, talk about your experience with hiking, ability to set up different styles of tent, skills with outdoor cooking, building campfires etc.
7. Keep an open mind
Quite often participants get offered something at the camp fair that they may not have considered beforehand. Remember to be extremely grateful for any offer put to you. If you want to come and speak to one of us about it, ask for 10 minutes to consider.
Some directors may want you to make a decision quickly, so don’t delay. Come and speak with one of the Camp USA team and we can advise you on your decision.
8. Enjoy the experience!
Easy for us to say, but try and enjoy the fair. Don’t be too serious, let your personality shine through! You’ve gotten this far in the process because the Camp USA Team think you have something special, so remind yourself of that and don’t worry too much!
9. Got hired? Congrats! You’re done!
If you get offered a job at the fair, congrats! Come to the check-out desk and we will let you know what happens next, we may even take a picture or 2 if that’s OK.
10. Not Hired Immediately? Don’t Worry!
Many Camp USA applicants will get an offer at the camp fair, but if you don’t, do not worry! The camps at our fairs are only a small percentage of the camps we work with. All Camp fair attendees who were not successful become our priority. Please do not leave the fair without speaking to one of the Camp USA Team.
Some questions you should prepare for:
- Why do you want to go to camp?
- What can you bring to camp?
- What experience do you have working with/ teaching children?
- You have 10 campers for an hour and it’s raining outside, what game do you play? (Ideas found here: http://www.ultimatecampresource.com/site/camp-activities/camp-games.html)