I woke up this morning with an extra spring in my step because my first stop of the day was the Center for Global Education Services for my interview with the Peace Corps recruiter! I arrived for my interview about five minutes early and they told me he was running about ten minutes late (in other words I had about 15 minutes to have a pre-interview mini anxiety attack). This was a relatively new phenomenon for me as I am usually very confident and comfortable going into interviews. Not to say I am not confident in my ability, qualifications, or dedication but for some reason I was feeling especially nervous for this interview. I finally decided the only reason could be that I have never interviewed for something I wanted so badly!
When the recruier arrived he greeted me and we went back into a small room with a map of the world on the wall, a table, and two chairs. I began by filling out some paperwork (fingerprint cards and a consent to do a backgroud check). Then he let me know that he would be typing/handwriting my responses during the interview so he can refer back to them throughout the application process. His first question was (as I guessed it probably would be) “Why do you want to join the Peace Corps?” The rest of the questions were exactly what you would expect in a Peace Corps Interview ranging from “Give an example of a frustrating situation and how you overcame it?” to “How did your family and friends react when you told them you wanted to join the Peace Corps?” to “Do you have any concerns about possibly living in a rural community with no electricity or running water where you shower and go to the bathroom outside?”
Overall I thought the interview went really well and my recruiter was really nice and made me feel really comfortable in the interview. When we were done we rolled my fingerprints and I was on my way! The whole interview only took about an hour.
If you are in the process of applying check out this website www.peacecorpswiki.com. It is a wiki where current and returned Peace Corps volunteers add information to make it one of the most current and frequently updated sources of information I have found. It has everything from packing lists for each country, sample volunteer handbooks, a list of staging dates by country, Peace Corps statistics and more. The thing I found really helpful was the section on the interview. There is a list of questions and most of them were asked in my interview almost verbatim. My suggestion would be to go through and have an idea of what you might talk about for each question but don’t reherse your response because it won’t sound genuine in your interview plus they changed a few of the questions a little bit. The website also suggests what to wear to your interview (buisness casual). I had read that some people wear suits to their interview because you are supposed to dress just like you would for any other job interview. I was worried I wasn’t dressed up enough (I wore capri length grey dress pants, a black blouse, and black wedges) but my recruiter didn’t even have a tie on so I think I was fine!
My recruiter told me I should hear from him within the week on his decision so I am looking forward to that and moving towards the next step of this process! Until then…. paz y amor.