Prior to conducting an interview, have the person’s application and background materials in hand. You should also have a list of your openings, with descriptions of duties and qualifications, questions related to job skills, open-ended discussion points, and info about the organization. Also, remember that the atmosphere and location of the interview are important. The volunteer is scoping out your work space and the office “vibe,” and what they see and hear during the interview will shape their feelings toward your organization.
During the interview, explore applicant’s interests, abilities, and situation. What kind of commitment can they give, what skills do they offer, and what are their preferences in a work environment and team structure? Where might they be a good fit? Too often agencies have the perfect volunteer in the wrong position. Discuss the job possibilities you have, and include information on time commitments and training.
In closing the interview, it’s a good idea to tell the applicant that you’d like to allow 24 hours for both the agency and the applicant to think things over and see if it’s a match. This will ensure neither side makes a commitment before thoroughly considering what’s involved. Be sure to explain what will happen next. Will you conduct background or reference checks? Contact the applicant about a second interview? Schedule training? What is the time frame?