Interviews

Preparation

  • Aim to keep the interview as relaxed as possible. It should be a two way process, an opportunity for both parties to find out more each other
  • Set aside enough time without interruptions
  • Make sure you have everything to hand that you may need including any forms, reports or policies that you may want to give the volunteer

Interview structure

Even though the interview may be informal you should have a structure to ensure that you gather the necessary information and treat all volunteers fairly and equally.  The following are areas that you may want to cover -

About the organisation

  • Your aims and how volunteers fit in
  • The opportunities to volunteer (role descriptions)
  • The training and support available
  • Your expectations of volunteers
  • Any time commitment
  • Resources available to volunteers

About the Volunteer

  • What made them want to volunteer with you
  • What they hope to gain through volunteering
  • What they know about your client group
  • Relevant skills, interests and experience
  • Availability
  • Any support needs they may have
  • Names of potential referees

Coming to a decision

At the end of the interview discuss whether you are both happy to proceed.  If you need time to decide, then make it clear what the deadline is for letting them know. If you are proceeding let them know what the next step is - references CRB checks etc.  Consider a trail period.  If you have to turn someone down give constructive feedback about why.

General points

  • Say that the interview is confidential but explain what this means e.g. that the information will be also seen by the HR manager
  • Use open questions i.e. ones that demand more than a yes or no answer
  • Be open to adapting the role description to accommodate individual volunteers skills or support needs
  • Make sure you allow enough time for any questions that the volunteer may have