Volunteer Interviews: 5 Tips for Sharing Your Motivation

Guest post by Olivia Ryan

Whether through a job interview, a business deal, or simply a first interaction, you may have noticed: the first impression always counts. When talking specifically about volunteer interviews, there’s one important trait that will always impress: your motivation.

Because volunteering is unpaid, applicants will have different and various reasons for applying. The recruiter will likely count motivation as one of the heaviest factors when it comes to allowing an applicant to join their mission.

Remember that depending on the volunteer job requirements, different organizations and volunteer positions will have varying levels of interview and screening processes. Regardless, it’s good to be prepared! In this post, I’ll share insightful tips to highlight your motivation in front of a recruiter or volunteer manager.

If you follow these guidelines correctly, you’ll begin volunteering in no time.

  1. Do Your Homework 

    The first action to take is simple: do your research on the organization you’re applying to. Research their mission, work, and culture. If you can, ask former volunteers about the most essential requirements and needed traits for the role.

    Once you show up to your interview — whether it’s online or in-person — you’ll be more prepared to face any challenging questions your interviewer might throw your way. If your answers are compelling and come as a result of your research before the interview, your recruiter will notice and will be impressed by your demonstrated knowledge.

  2. Present Previous Volunteering Experience 

    Previous volunteering experience shows that you’re an individual who cares. People who volunteer have different reasons for doing so, but one of them is their desire to be altruistic. The desire to give to the community and help as much as possible.

    Ensure that you mention your previous involvements, as this will give you added points in the recruiter’s eyes.

  3. Share Your Genuine Reasons 

    Recruiters want to understand the reason(s) for which you want to be part of their organization. Showing up to an interview with squishy answers and fake reasons is the worst path you can take. To make a good impression, you’ll need to show absolute honesty.

    Try to put yourself in a stance where you are not afraid to be judged by the recruiter. After all, you’re offering your time and energy. When you’re not afraid to, saying what’s on your mind and illustrating your personality won’t be a hard thing to do.

  4. Ask Questions 

    What do you see in a person who asks many questions? I see interest and passion. It’s the same with volunteer interviews. If you show up and sit silently in your chair, waiting to be “tested,” you’re passive. To show interest, you should be asking relevant questions, preferably ones that address one of (or both) of these goals:

    • Tell you more about the volunteer position
    • Impress the interviewer by showcasing involvement and curiosity
  5. Be Positive 

    Positivity is an influencing factor for getting a job quicker. If you’re a confident person — pay attention — you’re likely to find an opportunity faster than individuals who are not optimistic.

    Sara Lewis, a writer at AussieWritings.com with 20 years of experience, knows how the use of positive words can drastically influence a reader’s perception. That’s why she offers some suggestions on positive language you can incorporate in your volunteer interview responses:

    • I am ready to
    • I am highly motivated
    • I am ready to
    • I am highly motivated
    • I am highly interested
    • I really want to make an impact
    • I am eager to
    • I am enthusiastic about
    • Let’s do it!

Even if your experience and knowledge in the field is not your best trait, you can definitely compensate with your drive and motivation. If you’re emotionally involved with a cause and you’re also going to take consistent action once you’re accepted, your future “boss” will be happy to have met you.

Have a volunteer interview tip to add? Share it with your peers in the comment section below.


Author Bio: Olivia is an independent journalist and passionate explorer. She likes to write about everything that positively affects people’s lives. When not searching for a new topic to write about, Olivia prefers to enjoy the beauty of nature (and bring her camera along with her). Connect with Olivia on Facebook and Twitter.

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