Meeting Your Potential Volunteer Applicants

It always best for both of you to actually meet potential volunteers and have a chat.  

It is better to shy away from using the term 'interview' when describing what is usually an informal meeting anyway.  Over formalising the selection process will put some volunteers off and can create unnecessary pressure.An 'interview', like an application form is a method of filtering, which is not always appropriate to volunteers.

Meeting with your applicants should be a chance for:

  • you to offer a welcoming experience into your organisation

  • potential volunteers to see what you do, who you are and possibly meet some of your beneficiaries

  • potential volunteers to ask questions about volunteering with you and your organisation

  • you to find out about them

Finding out about your applicant

Use this pportunity to find out about your applicants and ask them questions. 

What you need to ask should be dependent on the role, but some basic areas to cover should be:

  • what skills, experience and knowledge they have

  • what interests them about volunteering with your organisation

  • what they hope to gain from volunteering with you

  • what level of commitment they can make (time, days and for how long)

You should also consider the things that your applicant might want to know about you and your project or organisation. Consider what points you want and need to convey to your applicant during your discussion that will help them to understand the role and your organisation.

You will need to let them know:

  • about your organisation, who its beneficiaries are, its projects and its future plans

  • what role your volunteers play

  • specifics about this volunteer opportunity (if applicable)

  • details of any training support and expenses offered to volunteers

  • time commitment

  • what happens next - for example, do you require references, PVG Scheme Records/Disclosure checks?

A potential volunteer will want to know:

  • what your organisation is about

  • what they will be doing if they volunteer with you

  • who their contact person is

  • what sort of place is it to work in – will they fit in?

  • what the recruitment process involves

  • will they be safe and secure while they volunteer

  • that you value their involvement