Questions for Interviews
Excerpted from, A Conversation with a Purpose: A Practical Guide to Interviewing Prospective Volunteers, McCleskey and Yallen, © 2009, page 20.
Getting to Know the Prospective Volunteer
The first question that many interviewers ask is "Tell me about yourself." This is a good start, but there is a more specific method that is extremely successful when used. Ask the prospective volunteer to describe an experience they had that they really enjoyed doing and that they felt really good about. This can be in any part of their life. You might break the ice by describing something you really enjoyed doing.
Other opening questions are:
- What do you see yourself doing five years from now? Ten years?
- What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What two or three things are most important to you in a job?
As the prospective volunteer talks, the interviewer should listen for specific skills. Often the interviewer will hear things such as: organized, planned, cooperated, designed, was artistic or creative, researched, etc. This will give the interviewer a good indication of some skills that might transfer to the volunteer activities for which they are interviewing.
Once this question is complete, you need to ask some other more specific questions to check for the volunteer's motivation, values, background, interpersonal skills, and attitude. They should be adapted to your own style and can be asked in the order and manner with which you feel most comfortable. A sampling of these questions follow [in this chapter].
Permission is granted for organizations to reprint this excerpt. Reprints must provide full acknowledgment of the source, as cited here:
Excerpted from A Conversation with a Purpose: A Practical Guide to Interviewing Prospective Volunteers, Kathleen McCleskey and Cheryle N. Yallen, KM Consulting and Training Connection, 2009. Found in the Energize online bookstore at http://www.energizeinc.com/store/5-231-E-1.