I’ve been sharing an ongoing sorority recruitment series here on Hannah With a Camera. Click here to read more posts about recruitment and sorority life, or comment below if you want to see a specific post on the blog!
Hi all! Today I’m sharing my tips on mastering small talk during sorority recruitment. I’ve been through sorority recruitment twice (as a freshman and as a recruiter), so I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on how to feel comfortable during those short conversations in the first few rounds. These tips are also from other girls in my sorority, so it’s not just my own experience!
The most important part of recruitment isn’t your clothes, or your shoes, or the way you look—it’s how you connect with the girls in the house! Here are some of my go-to tips to feeling comfortable and confident throughout recruitment.
Don’t let others influence your opinion
One thing that my recruitment counselors constantly told us was “no chapter chatting,” and it’s for a good reason! “Chapter chatting” means you’re discussing your experience with each house with other girls throughout recruitment. While gossiping about each house may seem like a good way to bond with other girls through recruitment, it may hurt you in the end. If you had a great experience at one house, but you heard your friend had a terrible experience, don’t sweat it!
If you had a great experience at one house, but you heard your friend had a terrible experience, don’t sweat it! Some girls are better at recruiting and connecting than others. Sorority recruitment is about your personal interactions with each girl, not about how much money or how popular the girls in the house supposedly are. You’ll find your fit.
This was the biggest tip that I used as a freshman going through recruitment, and it helped so much! I was a little nervous about the whole process, but having questions on hand helped me feel more confident and keep the conversation flowing. As a recruiter, when girls asked me questions, it felt like they were genuinely interested and engaged.
Some good questions to have in the back of your mind are…
- What’s your favorite part about living in the sorority house?
- What’s your philanthropy?
- Why did you choose this chapter?
- How did you know that this sorority was the right one for you?
Some questions not to ask are…
- Can you bring boys into the house?
- Do you drink in your house?
- Who’d you vote for in the last election?
Those questions are all ones that can be asked later, and will most likely be answered later for you as you join a chapter. Remember that recruitment is about you, so it’s not the time to bring up your significant other!
Don’t be afraid to be open with your questions, but be careful how you phrase things. For example, asking “How many events do I have to attend?” sounds like you’re trying to get around the rules before even joining. Instead, phrase it as: “I’m an athlete here and I’m concerned about the time commitment between athletics and a sorority. Are there sisters that are able to maintain sorority life, athletics, and a good GPA?” This poses you as willing to be flexible and wanting to be active in the chapter. This will also help your recruiter learn more about you and be able to talk about other sisters in the chapter in the same situation as you.
When we go through training to learn how to be better recruiters, we learn about things to take note of about the girls. Having good posture and smiling are two of the easiest ways to come off more confident, and in turn, feel more confident! The days are long and you’ll be tired (and trust me, they will be too), but just taking a little extra effort to smile and pay attention goes a long way.
Talk to the girls in the house like a friend
This one is a trick that Sally from Sweetly Sally shared with me (as well as a few girls in my chapter!). Act like the girls you’re talking with are friends that you haven’t seen in a long time, and you’re catching up and filling them in on everything. I haven’t tried this trick personally, but it seems like a great way to get to know the girls in each house better and feel comfortable!
Sorority recruitment isn’t the time to try and fit yourself into a person you’re not! I heard so many girls going through recruitment tell me “I’m not really the sorority girl stereotype,” and there are so many girls in my sorority house that have said the same thing. Talk about your passions, what you did in high school, what makes you unique.
This will also help you stand out to the recruiter. There’s a pretty good chance that they have similar interests as you! It’s easier for me, as a recruiter, to remember that I talked to a girl who loved photography than to remember that I talked to a journalism major.
Your major, where you’re from, etc, is important, but that’s not what makes you who you are. Why did you choose your major? If you’re from California, are you passionate about surfing, or if you’re from small-town Kansas, why did you want to get out of town and move to a big college? All these things will help girls get to know you better and connect with you.
Give it a chance
I fell in love with a chapter during recruitment, and I was cut in the middle of the week. I wasn’t super happy with some of the choices I had left, but I chose to continue recruitment and ended up loving my sorority. My roommate also preferenced a different sorority than the one she ended up in on bid day, but now she can’t see herself anywhere else!
Even if you think you’re not interested in the house, give every house a chance and be engaged. You might end up loving it later in the week or even be on their lawn on bid day. This is my biggest tip about recruitment—I saw so many girls in my dorm drop throughout the week just because they didn’t get their ideal chapter. (Note that their ‘ideal chapter’ was based on three days’ worth of conversations, which definitely doesn’t give you enough time to know the chapter!) It may even take you a month to feel at home, but it all works out in the end.
If you have any questions, let me know below—I’m happy to help!