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The Recruitment Conversation Roadmap

by Alex DiBacco
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Before I rushed, I spent a month planning my outfits.  I picked up a few Lilly dresses, a cute pair of nude heels, and spent a good few hours at Sephora.  What I didn’t realize is that while appearance is definitely a huge part of recruitment, so are the conversations.  To get a bid, the sisters have to actually like you as a person.  Crazy, right?  You’ll get generic advice like “be yourself” and “they just want to get to know you,” but let’s be real, it’s incredibly awkward to be a freshman surrounded by upperclassmen who might be chanting age old sorority songs or asking you a list of questions and still let your personality shine.  On top of that, conversations during the recruitment process actually have a specific flow, sort of like a formula.  If you know how a sorority is preparing for recruitment and how each party will go, that will help you be ready to react in a genuine way.  I didn’t get most of this “perfect” during recruitment, but last year when my (biological) sister rushed, she had a lot less stress.  Now that I’ve given you an overview of recruitment, here’s my advice on prepping for conversations during recruitment:

Prepare unique answers

Most sisters will ask you questions similar to these to start off:

What’s your major?
What’re you planning to do with your major? (No one actually cares if this is what you end up doing, just come up with something that’s not “I have no idea”)
How’re you liking school so far? (Stay positive)
How are your classes going?
Where are you from?
How did you choose this school?
How was your break?
What’re you looking for in a sorority?
How has it been making friends so far? (Not the time to say you haven’t made any and want to go home)
How’s your dorm? (Saying it’s gross is probably the way to go, they remember)
Tell me about your family.
Tell me about your friends from home.
Do you have any pets?
What kind of music do you like?
What’s your favorite _____?
What do you do for fun? (Come up with activities you like and could actually have in common, like shopping, fitness, brunch, Netflix, photography, etc.)
Have you met anyone in Greek life yet?
Did you know anyone when you came here?

Your job is to come up with unique, thoughtful answers that can spark a conversation and show your personality.  Be natural, ask questions, and listen!  You want to be showing your personality while finding things out about the other person to make a connection.  

Example:

Recruiter: How was your summer?

Most people would respond: It was pretty good.  Sad to leave home but exciting to come to college.

Better response: It was awesome! I was actually able to travel throughout Europe before moving to school.  What’d you do with your summer? (Open ended question)

Or: It was good! Pretty chill, because I’m from Iowa and there isn’t a ton to do there, but I hung out with my dog all summer.  I was so sad to leave her! (People love dogs and this would spark a conversation with most recruiters)

The more specific the answer the better.  You need to give the recruiter a taste of who you are within 5 minutes (the average length of a day one conversation) and also ask questions or bring up open-ended topics so that you can have a connection.

Adapt to the sister’s personality type

Some girls will move at warp speed and fire off questions to you.  Other sisters could go more slowly, or ask unorthodox questions, or have trouble staying on topic and get pretty awkward.  You might even come across a girl who clearly doesn’t want to talk to you (she’s probably having a long day and doesn’t want to be there).  Your goal is to make the conversation feel easy.  If you can make them feel comfortable, you’re that much closer to getting a bid.  Go with the flow and adapt.

Limit informational questions

At some point, sisters are going to talk about their philanthropy, explain Greek Week events, and describe how Bid Day works.  You should definitely act interested and try to learn as much as you can, but if you let this informational part be your entire conversation, you won’t be very memorable to the sister.  Listen, ask a few questions, be excited, then try to ask an open-ended personal question.  If a Theta sister is talking about their buddy system for kids in foster care, ask her if she’s ever had a buddy, then talk about an experience during high school when you worked as a buddy for kids or even babysat.  

Don’t Pro-Rush 

The key during recruitment is to be genuine.  If you’re overly complimentary about the house and the sisters, act way too eager to be invited back, or appear unauthentic at any point you’ll automatically get points taken away.  Compliments are good if they’re only one or two.  Keep them specific and real.  The rest of the time, focus on having a decent conversation.  

Practice, practice, practice

Take advantage of your summer break! If you know people in Greek life who can do a mock recruitment with you that’s ideal, but if not ask family and friends to act as the recruiting sister.  Explain to them how it works and have a conversation.  The list of questions above is a good starting point.  Practice with tons of different people with different personality types and always focus on making a connection.  I’d love to hear from any of you who have already gone through the recruitment process and have advice.

Stay tuned for more recruitment posts throughout the summer and mock videos!

xo,

Alex

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