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This page is devoted to the management of volunteer programs at the military level, including information for all branches of the armed services.

~ December 2006 ~ Topics

The Importance of the Volunteer Interview

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The Importance of the Volunteer Interview

A cornerstone to a successful volunteer program is the interview with a potential volunteer. The interview accomplishes several important functions. It builds rapport with an interested individual who, though out this process, will determine if volunteering would be a good fit. As coordinators of volunteers we are able to discus position possibilities and the requirements needed to successfully perform a particular service. Let’s explore additional pertinent information for an effective interview.

Policies Relating to Interviewing Volunteers

Interviewing Volunteers

Prior to being assigned or appointed to a position, all volunteers will be interviewed to ascertain their suitability for and interest in that position. The interview should determine the qualifications of the volunteer, their commitment to fulfill the requirements of the position, and should answer any questions that the volunteer might have about the position. Interviews may be conducted either in person or by other means.

Placement of Volunteers

In placing a volunteer in a position, attention shall be paid to the interests and capabilities of the volunteer and to the requirements of the volunteer position. No placement shall be made unless the requirements of both the volunteer and the supervising staff can be met: no volunteer should be assigned to a 'make-work' position and no position should be given to an unqualified or uninterested volunteer.

Staff Involvement in Placement of Volunteers

Wherever possible, staff that will be working with the volunteer should participate in the design and conduct of the interview. Final assignment of a potential volunteer should not take place without review and approval of appropriate staff with whom the volunteer will be working.

Questions for a Volunteer Interview

Here is a list of potential questions that may be used during a volunteer interview.

1. Tell us about yourself.
2. Why do you want to volunteer at this point in your life?
3. What attracted you do our program?
4. What do you know about our organization?
5. What would you like to gain from your volunteer experience?
6. What are you looking for in a volunteer position?
7. What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?
8. Describe your work ethic.
9. Why do you think you would be a good volunteer?
10. Would you rather work alone, with a group, or with a partner? Why?
11. How long would you stay with us?
12. How would people describe you?
13. How do you feel about previous volunteer positions?
14. What did you like most about your last volunteer position?
15. What did you like least about your last volunteer position?
16. What do you consider to be the ideal volunteer position for you?
17. Describe an ideal supervisor.
18. Do you consider yourself a "self-starter"? Why or Why not?
19. How do you work in a hectic environment?
20. Where do you want to be 5 years from now? Ten years?
21. Describe your personality.
22. Are you primarily a "numbers" person?
23. Are you creative? In what ways?
24. Are you a good listener?
25. Describe your computer skills (or whatever skills).
26. How would you describe your working knowledge of ...(Subject of position)?

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This month's author is Georgean C. Johnson-Coffey, M. Ed., author of Local Government Volunteer Programs page.
P.O. Box 15118 * Fort Wayne, IN 46885-5118 * Phone: 260-338-1414 * Fax: 260-338-1707
E-mail: georgeanjc@aol.com * Website: http://www.bluevisiontraining.com

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