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Interviewing Applicants

Interviewing is just one step in screening an applicant. That said, the interview is probably your best chance to get a true feel for the person, and should count heavily in your decision. It's also a time for you to give applicants a clear picture of the position, so they can make an informed decision.

There are many types of interviews and interview questions. In this section, you will learn more about the essential steps in the interview process, types of interviews, and behavioral interviewing.

Your interview should follow this general process:

  • Introduce yourself, your program, and the position: Set a comfortable but professional tone for the interview, give the candidate an overview of the interview structure, and state the time limit
  • Gather information: Ask comprehensive, open-ended questions, beginning with broad questions and moving to more specific ones to draw out the information you need
  • Provide information: Discuss key elements of the position, including specific duties, expectations, on-the-job training, travel reimbursement, living on the stipend, housing opportunities, and benefits of the position
  • Close the interview: Let the candidate know where you are in the interviewing process and what the next steps will be

You can find more information about this process, plus helpful tips and sample interview questions, in the following resources:

  • Preparing for an Interview (PDF) is a handout that can help supervisors reflect on their needs prior to interviewing, contributed by Education Northwest/BSC.
  • Interviewing Basics (PDF) provides an overview of the interviewing process and many sample questions and criteria, contributed by Donna Palandro, AmeriCorps*VISTA Outreach Specialist at CNCS.
  • Interview Guide (PDF) is another helpful list of procedures to follow before, during, and after the interview, contributed by Northwest Service Academy.
  • Interview Questions are a collection of tried-and-true interview questions organized by topic and purpose.
  • Applicant Interview Form (PDF) is a form that can be used during the interview to record answers and impressions, contributed by Northwest Service Academy Lower Columbia Center.
  • VISTA Interview Checklist (PDF) is a list of topics to cover in the "providing information" section of the interview, contributed by Minnesota Literacy Council.
  • Interview Process for Multi-Site Model (PDF) is an example of a process for finding members where both the fiscal host and the service sites are involved in interviewing, contributed by the Minnesota Reading Corps.
  • Interview Evaluation Form (PDF) is a form that can be used to rank interviewees, contributed by Peace Corps Fellows Program.

Find more helpful interviewing resources and information on these pages:

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