Important: Please refer to this article on MyAFS News for information on conducting and submitting Host Family Interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who can conduct interviews?
How long does the typical interview take?
How do I know when an interview is needed?
How do I claim an interview?
What if the interviewee lives far from me?
What should I do if I am asked a question which I don't know the answer?
What if I don't feel an interviewee is right for AFS?
How do I submit my interview results?
Where can I learn more about interviewing?
Any registered volunteer can conduct an interview—you just need the right training. We encourage volunteers to get involved, and check with their team leadership if they have any questions about their owns team's process for scheduling and interviewing applicants. Click here to view the Interviewer volunteer role description.
The length of the interview depends on the program and interview type.
- Host Family Interviews take on average 1 hour to complete
- Information Sessions (Sending Interviews) with the exception of Global Prep applicants where an interview is not required, take on average 1 1/2 hours to complete
- Volunteer Interviews take on average 15-20 minutes to complete
You will be notified about an interview or info session (sending applicants) that is needed in your area in one of the following ways:
- Communication directly from the HPS (Hosting Programs Specialist), the (SAFS) Study Abroad Field Specialist, or the VSS (Volunteer Services Specialist), or Volunteer Leader in your team.
- Email from AFS-USA informing you of an interview.
- MyAFS where you can log in and see the interviews/info sessions that are needed in your team.
You can claim, schedule, and submit interviews easily on MyAFS. To start, find applicants who need an interview.
- Host Family interviews
Must be conducted in-person with all members of the family present. In this case, you could work with the HPS (Hosting Programs Specialist) to identify a nearby volunteer to assist.
- Sending Interviews
Sending Interviews can take place via a video conferencing tool like Skype if the applicant lives too far for an in-person interview to be feasible.
- Volunteer interview
Most volunteer interviews happen by phone!
It is okay to not have all the "answers." Make note of these questions from the applicant/s and let them know you will get back to them. A member of the Volunteer Leadership Team who is most knowledgeable about the applicant's program or your SAFS (Study Abroad Field Specialist), HPS (Hosting Programs Specialist) or the VSS (Volunteer Services Specialist) are the best resources to either answer or lead your to the answers and/or resources. Not knowing an answer gives you a great excuse to follow up with the applicant to help them continue to feel connected to AFS.
If you have concerns about the applicant and you have conducted the interview on your own, write down and be specific as to the reasons why you think the applicant is not right for an AFS program. The next step would be to contact staff - SAFS (Study Abroad Field Specialist), HPS (Hosting Programs Specialist) or VSS (Volunteer Services Specialist) and the Volunteer Leader to review your concerns and determine next steps. Depending on the situation the next step could be a recommendation to not accept the applicant or to arrange a follow-up interview with the applicant that would involve specific questions addressing the concerns.
Use MyAFS to submit an interview. In addition, you can transcribe the notes from the interview directly onto the interview form or in the applicant's service case in Global Link. If you are using a Word version of the interview form rather than the online form, you can upload the document directly to the applicant's record in Global Link once you have completed it.
There are a number of resources and online training modules available to volunteers outlining the different types of interviews that are conducted at AFS-USA. Please click here for the resource and training page.