Peace Corps Ukraine: Site Placement Interview
The site placement interview exists so that the Peace Corps can place you with a site that matches your skills and the requirements the organization has requested.
The lead specialist spends a lot of time cultivating new organizations and traveling to communities to makes sure they are ready and right to host a volunteer.
The interviews took place at our LCFs house. My interview had our lead specialist, country director, and a regional manager. The regional manager assured us that her presences was not indicative of the region we were being considered for. Being that this interview took place in someone's home, we were all in our socks/ stockings which was definitely new for me.
Our lead specialist gave us an interview questionnaire to fill out before hand. (From conversations with YD volunteers, it was the same for them.) The questionnaire covered things like now that you know the core expectations and the from work of this sector how do you feel about your ability to serve here. They also had us rank the sectors of organizations that we would like to work with.
I was super nervous before my interview which in hindsight was pretty dumb. You are literally interviewing for a job that you already have. They aren't trying to weed people out and kick people out. They are really trying to get to know you, your skills, and your passions.
The interview pretty much follows the questionnaire that was given. However they did all ask their own specific questions. They have our resumes and all our other paper work so it would baffle me if they didn't have a handful of sights already in mind.
Some of my off book questions were, how do I feel about media attention, how do I feel about being the face of something, and what type of structure I prefer within an organization. They also ask about your language preferences.
I can't say how much of our preferences they actual take into account and how much where we want to go or what we want matters, but I know they do try and match us with an organization that we will be able to succeed with.
Our sight interviews took place last week and we are to find out at some point during the next week where our sites are. We will find out during PST University. It should be fun to find out all together.
From PST University we go directly to our new sites and stay with them for 4 or 5 days. They did not used to do it this way but I think it works both in the volunteer's favor and the Peace Corps favor.
You get to spend time with the host family you will live with for the first 6 months of service, as well as the organization that you will be serving. This provides the volunteers opportunities to really assess if this is what they want to do now knowing where they will be for the duration of their service. If a volunteer was to drop out now, they wouldn't have to finish PST (which is super hard) and can get on with their live else where. This also saves the Peace Corps time and money investing in a volunteer, who under the old system, could have stayed at their new site a few months before realizing they wanted to term.
In regards to traveling to our sites, I am under the impression that our counterparts will meet us at PST university and we will travel to our sights together. One thing I do know is that we as volunteers are required to get ourselves back to Kiev after our visit.
I will update with travel arrangements if they change after all of this occurs. Stay tuned for posts on site placement visits!