What’s Your Passion? Tips for Aceing Your Volunteer Interview


Updated on:

As someone who has sat on both sides of the table during volunteer interviews, I can tell you that one common thread between successful candidates is passion. It’s not always about having the most experience or the best qualifications. Instead, it’s often about showcasing your enthusiasm for the cause and demonstrating how you can contribute to the organization’s mission. In this article, I’ll share some tips for acing your volunteer interview by tapping into your passions and emotions. With just a few simple strategies, you can stand out from the crowd and land the volunteer position of your dreams.

What do you say in a volunteer interview?

When preparing for a volunteer interview, it’s important to remember that it shouldn’t be treated as a standard job interview. Instead, it’s a chance for you and the organization to meet and see if your values align. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for your interview:

  • Introduce yourself: Start the conversation by introducing yourself and sharing your background and skills. This can help break the ice and give the organization a chance to get to know you better.
  • Ask questions: As a potential volunteer, you’ll want to know more about the organization as well. Ask about the goals, vision, and mission, and see if they align with your own values.
  • Emphasize your skills: Be sure to highlight any skills or experiences that could be beneficial to the organization. For example, if you have experience working with children and the organization is focused on youth development, be sure to mention this.
  • Be honest: If you have concerns or questions about the volunteer position, be honest and ask for clarification during the interview. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the role before committing your time.
  • Express your interest: Let the organization know why you are interested in volunteering and what you hope to gain from the experience. This can help show your commitment and dedication to the role.
  • Remember, the goal of the interview is to ensure that both you and the organization are a good fit for each other. Be yourself, ask questions, and express your interest in the role. Good luck!

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Be honest about your skills and experience: When answering questions in a volunteer interview, it’s important to be truthful about your abilities and work history. Don’t oversell yourself or exaggerate your accomplishments.

    2. Share your passion for the cause: Volunteers are typically passionate about the organization or cause they are working for. Be sure to convey this enthusiasm during the interview and explain why you are committed to volunteering.

    3. Listen actively: During the interview, listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying. Take notes if necessary and be sure to ask questions if there’s something you don’t understand.

    4. Be reliable: Volunteering requires a time commitment, so make sure you are reliable and can stick to the schedule you agree to during the interview. If you have other commitments, be upfront about them to avoid conflicts.

    5. Express your willingness to learn: Everyone has room to grow and develop. Express your openness and willingness to learn new skills and take on new challenges during the interview.

    The Purpose of a Volunteer Interview

    When it comes to volunteering, a lot of emphasis is placed on the act of volunteering itself. But there’s another important aspect of volunteering that is often overlooked – the volunteer interview. The volunteer interview serves a critical purpose in the process of engaging volunteers. It’s an opportunity for both the organization and the potential volunteer to connect, discuss shared objectives and ensure that the volunteer role is a good fit for the organization.

    A volunteer interview should never feel like a formal job interview. Instead, it should be a relaxed and conversational meeting designed to get to know each other and identify whether the opportunity aligns with the volunteer’s interests, skills, and goals. The interviewer should carefully craft their approach to ensure the interviewee feels comfortable and compelled to participate.

    Creating a Comfortable Environment

    Creating a comfortable environment is essential to ensure the interviewee feels at ease. The interview room or area should be arranged to create an open and relaxed atmosphere. This means using comfortable chairs, natural lighting, and ensuring that the space is free of major distractions. The interviewer should be welcoming and friendly, extending warm greetings and introducing themselves and the organization’s mission.

    Offering the interviewee something to drink can also help them relax while ensuring they aren’t distracted by thirst. During this stage, it’s essential to delve deeper and get to know the interviewee out of curiosity for their personality and interests. Ask questions that give the interviewee a chance to share about their interests, hobbies, and other experiences outside of their work.

    Emphasizing Shared Values and Objectives

    It’s vital to emphasize shared values and objectives during the interview process. This segment is when the interviewer and interviewee discuss how the volunteer role aligns with the vision and goals of the organization. Demonstrating passion and genuine interest in the cause will help the potential volunteer see the importance of the work. The interviewer should clearly articulate the volunteer program’s objectives and explain how the volunteers’ role helps achieve them.

    When volunteers can identify the value in their contribution, they are more likely to be engaged and productive. The interviewer should create an environment that encourages the interviewee to discuss why they are motivated to volunteer and how they inspired by the non-profit organization’s mission.

    Outlining the Volunteer Program

    Once the interviewer has taken time discussing shared values and objectives, it’s time to outline the volunteer program. The interviewer should highlight the opportunities available to potential volunteers in the organization. Use html formatted bullet points to emphasize these opportunities and key details such as job descriptions, the amount of time expected from volunteers, and the specific benefits that come from volunteering. These may include:

    • The ability to make a difference
    • Building new skills and experience
    • Meeting new people
    • Earning community service hours
    • Incentives such as reference letters, certificates or recommendations

    Make sure to hold back anything related to payment or payments related to performance. Mention that the role is unpaid and volunteers are giving their time and energy to advance the organization’s objectives.

    Addressing Questions and Concerns

    It’s natural for interviewees to have questions or concerns about volunteering. Addressing these concerns with honesty and transparency is critical to create a mutually beneficial volunteer organization. Interviewers should encourage interviewees to ask questions throughout the interview. Additionally, it’s vital to explain any potential negative experiences that may come with volunteering to help interviewees set realistic expectations.

    When addressing concerns, try not to oversell the volunteering experience or paint it in a rose-tinted context. Instead, be realistic, honest, and try to find a solution if there is a problem.

    Establishing Expectations and Goals

    Establishing expectations and goals with the interviewee is essential to ensure their volunteering experience is fulfilling. Discuss the amount of time that is expected from volunteers and the potential role’s responsibilities. Outline potential projects or initiatives where the volunteer can make a meaningful contribution.

    It’s also essential to discuss potential outcomes and goals in detail. This may include what the interviewee will gain from volunteering, how they can make a difference, and the potential impact their work can have on the community.

    Wrapping Up the Interview and Next Steps

    It’s essential to conclude the interview with a positive tone and to discuss the next steps in the volunteer application process. Thank the interviewee for their time, express excitement about having them join the team, and summarize key points from the interview. Outline the steps that follow, including any onboarding, training, or orientation. Provide contact information and encourage the interviewee to follow-up with any additional questions.

    In conclusion, the volunteer interview plays a crucial role in creating an environment where passionate volunteers can engage and thrive within your organization. By establishing shared values, outlining objectives, and providing a comprehensive overview of the volunteer program, your organization can attract dedicated volunteers, committed to advancing your mission.