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Volunteer Cultivation: Part 2, The Art of Interviewing

In this article we will delve into the art of the volunteer interview. This personal interaction stands as a vital step in ensuring that your volunteers align with your organization's mission, vision, and values. It's more than just a formality; it's an opportunity to get to know candidates on a deeper level, to understand the motivations that led them to apply, and to assess their convictions, giftings, and experiences. Beyond that, it's also a chance to evaluate soft skills, punctuality, and body language cues that can provide valuable insights.

Motivations and Convictions

The volunteer interview process is more than a checklist of qualifications; it's an exploration of an applicant's heart and beliefs. Seek to understand their motivations and uncover the driving forces that led them to your organization. By speaking to them about their beliefs on topics like faith and abortion stance, you can gauge their alignment with your center's mission and vision. This step also allows you to assess the depth of their convictions, helping you identify those with a genuine commitment to your center’s mission.

Giftings and Experience

The interview is an ideal time to explore an applicant's giftings and their past work or volunteer experiences. Identifying these strengths can help match them to roles where they can excel and make a significant impact. Additionally, examining their relevant experience provides insights into their readiness and qualifications for specific roles. It’s important to note that there are times when life experience be more significant than professional experience.

Long-Term Commitment and Self-Awareness

Look for candidates who are not only capable of committing for the long term but who also demonstrate self-awareness. Volunteers who understand their strengths and weaknesses are better equipped to thrive in their roles. They bring a level of humility and a willingness to grow, which are key qualities in any volunteer.

Reading Non-Verbal Cues

During the interview, pay attention to body language cues. Non-verbal communication can reveal a lot about a person's comfort level, confidence, and authenticity. It can provide insights into their emotional state and their potential to connect with clients effectively. For example, non-verbal cues, such as maintaining eye contact and displaying open body language, can convey an applicant's confidence and comfort level during the interview process. However cues such as avoiding eye contact and fidgeting nervously, may indicate discomfort or unease, potentially suggesting that an applicant is anxious.

Sensitivity to Past Experiences

It's essential to be sensitive to the fact that some volunteers may have past experiences related to abortion. The interview process should provide a safe space for them to express their feelings and address where they are in their healing journey. It’s also pertinent to mention that some applicants have a subconscious motivation to make amends for their regretful choice. This is not a healthy reason to get involved as a volunteer. Be sure that you make open discussion and the offer of resources available to ensure that volunteering does not trigger negative emotions for these men and women.

Background Checks & References

A comprehensive background check is an essential component of the volunteer vetting process, ensuring the safety and security of both the organization and the clients it serves. By conducting background checks, we can help guarantee that volunteers meet our ethical and safety standards.

Another crucial step that completes the volunteer interview process is contacting the provided references. This serves as a final validation of the applicant's qualifications and character. However, contacting references can sometimes be challenging due to busy schedules and time constraints. In such cases, an electronic reference form can prove invaluable, not only making the process more convenient but also potentially encouraging more candid and truthful evaluations, as individuals may feel more at ease providing feedback in a written format.


An Invitation

If, at this stage, an applicant appears to be a good fit based on the interview and application, the next step is to extend an invitation to a new volunteer orientation day. This experience is designed to equip them with vital knowledge about the center, its core principles, and the available volunteer roles they can be a part of. They will gain a comprehensive understanding of the center’s mission and vision, deepening their alignment with the center’s value


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