Tuesday, October 18, 2005

As per your requests...

So we've been out of town for a few days, so I hadn't even had a chance to post about my Peace Corps interview. Thanks for askin'...

So my interview went pretty good. It lasted for two hours, and I think I did a fair job of answering the questions the interviewer was asking. And there were alot of 'em. I was trying to give really deep, thoughtful answers- the kind that would bring a tear to the interviewer's eye and make her jot down in the margins of her notebook "THIS guy is PERFECT for Peace Corps!!" But had I known exactly how much she was gonna be asking, I would have realized how succinct I should have kept my answers. She actually asked me to make my answers shorter. HA HA. No surprise to anyone that knows me. But overall I was honest, I was myself, and if that is a hindrence to the process, then I am not meant to be in this program.

A few points of concern: My experiences relevant to the Peace Corps come primarily from three places: The Madison County Cultural Center (where I was Programs Coordinator for 2 years), Americarps*NCCC (1 year), and Americorps VISTA / Communities in Schools of the Midlands (where I was a VISTA for year one, and part-time employee for year two). She asked a few questions that I had a real problem coming up with experiences that sufficiently answered the questions in a manner that was what they were looking for. Second concern: the NCCC is comprised of 5 different and distinct experiences, and VISTA is also a unique program with an entirely different focus than other AmeriCorps programs. So in totality, these two years give me 6 unique experinces to pull from, yet I feel my interviewer was not differentiating the experiences. She kept asking for me to answer questions with experiences other than AmeriCorps, even though I was using many different examples of organizations with which I worked over the course of my time in the Corps. So I fear that what I consider to be my varied work / volunteer resume will not look so varied after she translates my answers onto whatever form they'll end up upon.

But again, I feel confident that I gave a good interview and that I'm still a competitive applicant. And by going first in the interviews, I'll be able to coach Katie a little on what to expect for HER interview, which will be this Friday. After that, we'll schedule a "couples interview" and then...we wait. It could be a while before we hear more, as they'll be looking at where our skill sets fit in order to make a match. (Hopefully, Africa somewhere. Say it with me: Africa Africa Africa...)


Sean said...

africa africa africa.

seriously, i think they just have to ask questions to make you feel unsure. you are absolutely qualified for this. besides, i know people who have gone to africa with the peace corps, and you have tons more experience than they did.

i mean, unless you were just kidding about that time you started a hospital and had to dig all the wells yourself...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree, dude. They are probably trying to scare the people away who just thought of applying who in reality couldn't handle it. You know? They are making sure you know what you are getting into and 100% sure about going. I am SO SO proud of you! You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

Don't fret. You and Katie are qualified. As addressed above, the goal of the interview is to weed the applicants out for the best candidates. The last thing the corp wants to do is spend money and have you resign within 2 months.

Plus, they want to find individuals with as much experience and skills that are valuable to the area they're visiting.

I knew someone who wasn't as qualifed as you and your wife. The Peace Corp accepted her and located her in Africa. She left within a month. It was too much of a culture shock.

You are nothing like that person because you live, breath and think of Africa constantly.

I'm sure Katie will do well with her interviews.



(jim) Bo Ba Log said...

Relax . . . . as you know, we know someone who went to Africa with the Corps. His varied experience was . . . well, uh . . . college!!!

Dude, you're a natural, except for that pale, pasty look you cultivate. But hey, you're from Mississippi, you can do hot.