Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have probably made it to the interview process of the Peace Corps. You most likely have waited a few months to get to this point and it is all very exciting, but a little daunting at the same time. That is normal. Although I have many friends who “winged” their interviews, I prepared a lot– I get nervous, so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t stumbling through and being prepared takes some of the stress off. Below are tips that will hopefully prepare you for this next step and some questions I was asked (maybe worded a little differently).
List of Tips
- Be professional and look the part. It will most likely be over webcam, dress as if you were going to any other job interview. You’ll have to dress in business attire during Peace Corps Training, so if you can’t dress appropriately for the interview, will you actually be able to dress professionally if you get through? Plus, looking nice will give you a boost of confidence and help you act in a professional manner.
- Do some research. Here’s a short version of the notes I prepared (Peace Corps Interview Notes). You should have an idea of the Core Expectations, the position you applied for (should be in the email they sent you, this was mine Namibia Project Description), and knowledge about the country you are being considered for. This is the time to impress them! Show that you took initiative and are serious about this position. Read lots of blogs, watch videos, know a little bit about the culture.
- Go over some of the questions. I wanted to make sure I had specific examples of experiences that I could use in my answers and then elaborate on. I also tried to connect those experiences to the Core Expectations or anything else Peace Corps.
- Be early and take a breath. The interview is Eastern Standard Time, so keep that in mind when scheduling your interview. Also, I would sign on early to make sure nothing goes wrong, you have time to relax, and then you don’t want to make the interviewer wait for you.
- Be yourself! They genuinely want to know why you are passionate about Peace Corps. Be honest, no matter how cheesy you may sound.
- Ask questions. You can ask general questions, but if you are able to ask a few more specific questions, it shows you took the time to think about them. An example of a question I had was, “What secondary projects did you work on? How did you come up with them?” Most Returned Peace Corps Volunteers don’t mind being a resource of knowledge for you and sharing their experiences. Plus, it may make you more memorable, which couldn’t hurt.
List of Questions
- Why do you want to join the Peace Corps?
- Why do you want to serve in the education sector?
- Why do you want to serve in (country)?
- Would you be willing to serve in other parts of the world and sectors?
- If so, what countries of sectors?
- Tell me about a time you had to adapt to living or working with people from another culture? Have you stayed in touch or visited them?
- Tell me about the most meaningful situation you have experienced helping others. What motived you?
- Tell me about the most challenging experience you’ve had working on a team.
- Tell me about a time when you were able to transfer knowledge or skills to others. Walk me through your lesson plan. What challenges did you face?
- Tell me a challenge you with little support.
- Tell me about a stressful time in your life. How did you cope?
- Topics covered: Exposure to different foods, health issues, possibility of living without electricity and/or water, less privacy, geographic isolation, gender roles, minority challenges, lack of access to your religion, alcohol, and maybe even ask about any relationships (Are you ready to be away from them?).
- Do you have any questions for the Interviewer?
Good luck with your Peace Corps interview! I believe in you!
This blog does not reflect the views of and is not associated with Peace Corps, any of its staff or volunteers, or the United States Government.