Contact the interviewee within 1-2 days.
It is good customer service to contact the interviewee within 1-2 days of receiving notification to set up your interview. Particularly for those interviews where multiple members of the family are involved, it can be a few days before you can secure a date/time that works for all.
Share AFS materials.
No matter the type of interview you are conducting, the interview is a great opportunity to share AFS materials about the variety of program and volunteer opportunities available to the applicant/s, their friends, or family. Make sure you are familiar with the AFS history, mission and programs. Some ideas of AFS materials to share are: AFS brochures on hosting, sending, and volunteering with AFS-USA, and local team materials – newsletters, calendar of events, volunteer opportunities/needs in your team. Click here to access the article on how you can access and/or create your own AFS materials.
Review the application prior to the interview.
Review the person's application prior to the interview. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the applicant/s and helps you to
- Identify questions you may want to ask during your interview
- Determine whether or not you need to be prepared to have specific information/resources for the applicant/s. For example, you might want to bring information on the Department of State scholarship programs for applicant/s applying to host or go abroad
- Identify what is still missing in the application, in order for it to be complete. For example, missing references for the host family or volunteer applicants
Bring important materials.
Do not forget to bring to the in-person/in-home interview
- Digital camera (specific to the Host Family Interview). Some host family applicants do not have a recent photo of all household members.
- AFS or Team resources/materials to leave with the applicant/s.
- Interview forms if you want to review them during your session on paper rather than a mobile device:
Bring a buddy.
Depending on the situation, it could be valuable to have two volunteers participate in the interview process. Interviews are a great way to mentor and train a new volunteer on interviewing. For host family interviews, it might be helpful to have a volunteer who has hosted before or a younger volunteer who was a host sibling. For sending info sessions (interviews), it might be helpful to have a returnee who went abroad on a similar AFS program or country or a volunteer who was a natural parent.
Become Familiar with the Interview.
Read more in the Conduct an Interview article including links to the interview questions to review in advance. There is required training for Sending Interviewers and Volunteer Registration Interviewers. Be sure to complete the training before doing an interview!
For Volunteer Registration Interviews, please be sure to view this 33 minute webinar for helpful information on the Interview Widget, Volunteer Registration Process, and Interview best practices,
For Sending Interviews, you may find these tips helpful to review beforehand.