Greet students by name, be relaxed and warm. Open with a question e.g. “How are things going?” or “How can I help?”
Conversational flow will be cut off if questions are asked so that a “yes” or “no” reply is required. A good question might be, “What have you thought about taking next semester?” or “What are some things that have made you think about a business as a career?”
Out-Talking the Student
Good advising is effective listening. Listening is more than the absence of talking. Identify the fine shades of feelings behind the words
Accepting the Student’s Attitudes and Feelings
A student may fear that the advisor won’t approve of what he/she says. Advisors must convey their acceptance of these feelings and attitudes in a non-judgmental way. Cardinal principle: If the student thinks it is a problem, the advisor does too.
Do not fire questions at the student like a machine gun.
Silence in the Interview
Most people are embarrassed if no conversation is going on. Remember, the student may be groping for words or ideas.
Reflecting the Student’s Feelings
Try to understand what the student is saying. For example, it is better to say “ You feel that professor is unfair to you.” Rather than “Everyone has trouble getting along with professors sometimes.”
Admitting Your Ignorance
If a student asks a question regarding facts and you do not have the facts, admit it. Go to your resources for the information immediately or call the student back.
Setting Limits on the Interview
It is better if the advisor and the student realize from the beginning that the interview lasts for a fixed length of time.
Ending the Interview.
Once limits have been set, it is best to end the interview at the agreed time. A comfortable phrase might be, “Do you think we have done all we can for today?” or “Lets make another appointment so that we can go into this further.”