Bringing Up Fraternity Experience in Interview

So obviously I wouldn't try to impress my interviewer with stories of my shotgun times or my pong record, but if I was asked about a time I stayed cool under pressure, would talking about my fraternity experience be frowned upon? Any pledge has gone through this - getting screamed at, shit thrown at you while you have to recite your preamble/standards/values whatever your frat called them. Is that a valid answer for performance under pressure or are they looking for something more like getting a project under a deadline? Thanks

Comments (27)

Most Helpful
Jul 26, 2020 - 8:54pm

I pledged and think it helped me mature, but actually bringing up getting hazed in a job interview is borderline retarded.

Good rule: Having your frat position on your resume is fine, but don't bring it up unless the interviewer asks and definitely don't talk about being hazed.

  • Intern in Other
Jul 27, 2020 - 5:08pm

Yea ngl in hindsight it was a pretty retarded question. Just didn't wanna be cookie cutter but talking about hazing isn't the best way to get that across. Thanks all for the advice

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 1, 2020 - 5:20am

What about your frat is safe to talk about if the interview asked about it? Honestly would be hesitant about talking about it at all.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 1, 2020 - 12:59pm

Leadership positions I would assume? I have treasurer on my resume because we had a fairly complex, 250k+ a year budget and have not had anything but positive comments about it (at least that I know of).

Aug 1, 2020 - 2:18pm

Q: What are you involved in outside of class?

A: I'm in (business club), (social fraternity) and (club team). Explain why you chose these things as necessary and let the interviewer follow up if they have any common background (example: "that's funny I was Sigma Chi too, but at another school", example: "I played club golf in college too, did you go to tournament X in that region")

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jul 26, 2020 - 9:06pm

First thing you learn when pledging is to never talk about your experience to geeds. Its okay to put your frat on ur resume but once you graduate, no one cares.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 26, 2020 - 9:20pm

Frats are hit or miss- an interviewer who was in Greek life will automatically connect with you more knowing you're in a frat, but there's also plenty of interviewers who will think Greek life is nothing more than binge drinking and sexual assault and will think you're a total hoodlum for being in a frat.

I say either put it on your resume and don't bring it up unless asked about, which allows people to ask if it's something their into it or ignore it otherwise, or just completely leave it off.

Personally, I left my frat experience completely off my resume even though I had a semester as president and a semester as treasurer. I thought the risks (some HR lady had a negative encounter with Greek life, sees frat president on my resume, and throws it straight in the garbage) outweighed the reward of the chance of a minor connection with my interviewer. I did network with alums from my chapter and always made sure to talk about my positions with them, but I just thought it wasn't worth gambling with that info on unknown people.

Jul 27, 2020 - 2:39am

Talking about leadership is fine, but do not bring up pledging as an "under pressure" scenario. It's a weird thing to bring up, and you never know if your interviewer might think its extremely weird.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 28, 2020 - 2:15pm

Lmao if this actually happened, that's hilarious. Definitely guys I'd wanna work with too- shows they have a good culture in their group/bank

  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Jul 28, 2020 - 10:45am

I was in a fraternity in college and now am an associate at an IB. Chances are if you bring up an experience in your fraternity as a time that you faced adversity or for any personal/growth story, then you probably have a pretty easy life and need to branch out. One of the biggest regrets I have now looking back was that I gave too much of a crap about the fraternity and didn't hustle more on the job front or join different professional clubs on campus.

I know I may be deviating from OP's original post but for people in greek life who view this post, give less of a fuck about your fraternity. It shouldn't serve as a focal point for your social/professional growth story.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jul 28, 2020 - 11:51am

Interviewed a girl with one of our associates who related every question we asked to some story about her sorority. It was strange even though both of us were in greek life. It was like this girl had never experienced anything outside her group of friends and couldn't put together an original thought. Very weird. As others said talk about when it comes up but wouldn't constantly bring it up. Once you're a couple years out of school no one really cares anyways even though it does seem like a big deal at the time when you're in school

  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Jul 28, 2020 - 1:18pm

This. Especially about no one caring a few years out.

Many members treat Greek Life as if it defines them, only then to see a few years down the road it has 0% impact on their daily lives.

Jul 28, 2020 - 2:56pm

Don't say it in an interview if you wouldn't say it on national TV.

Discussing leadership experience and initiatives is fine (so long as it meets the above criteria).

Something like "I was treasurer, found out we didn't collect 25% of dues, and brought that down to 12% by sending a second late notice and offering extended payment plans" is a great response, but things like "numbers were down so we started offering hard liquor at parties" or "I kept a cool head as a pledge" are terrible

Jul 28, 2020 - 7:20pm

Mention hazing if you want to get crossed off a list. Dude ur an idiot

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
Jul 29, 2020 - 9:14pm

I would ding you because it's a bad answer, not necessarily because you brought up your frat. If having to recite some shit during hazing is the best example of delivering under pressure that you have, you've either never been under actual pressure or have never accomplished anything while you were.

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