You've spent the time posting a project and someone has applied - congratulations! Now the fun part: scheduling an interview to get to know your applicant and see if they're a good fit.
Already Scheduled your interview and want tips on conducting it? Skip ahead to Conducting interviews.
Finding a Time and Date to Talk
To get started, on your dashboard you will see your open projects, and the option to "Manage Projects". Click on the application of the Volunteer you'd like to schedule an interview with.
Our scheduling tool makes setting up an interview easy - all you have to do is select the time slots that work best for you. We require you to provide at least 5 options, but the more you offer the better! Don't forget to set your timezone at the top of the page.
Interviews can be scheduled over the next 14 days. If you are not available until after this timeframe, return to this page when you're ready to select times.
Enter a U.S. phone number for the call. If you are located outside of the United States, please check "I'm not in the U.S.," and we'll provide you with a suggested list of free online conference call systems that you can use to help schedule your interview.
After selecting Submit, your selected time slots will be sent to the Volunteer. Once volunteers choose a selected time, you'll be notified via email and see a confirmation message on your dashboard too.
Once your time has been confirmed, our automated phone system will give you a call on the scheduled date. You can easily set a reminder and add the event to your personal calendar by selecting the "Add to Calendar" option on your dashboard.
Tip: If you have to reschedule your call, don't forget to update the time on your personal calendar as well!
Your Volunteer is not available at any of the times you selected. No need to worry! Volunteers can select and propose new times on their end. If they do, you'll receive an email notifying you of these new times and you will be prompted to select the time that works best for you within your dashboard.
You need to reschedule the call. You can do this directly from your dashboard by using the "Interview Actions" drop down button and selecting "Reschedule Interview."
In case you miss or disconnect from the call, no worries! You'll be able to call right back in using the dial-in and PIN provided to you in your confirmation email or in the project details section on your Catchafire dashboard:
You want to cancel an interview with a Volunteer. You may change your mind about interviewing an applicant, or, on occasion, Volunteers will apply to a project and then become unresponsive. If you have sent times to a Volunteer but no longer wish to interview them, or, haven't heard from them in over a week, you can cancel the interview request directly from your dashboard by using the "Interview Actions" drop down button and selecting "Cancel Interview."
I want to skip the interview and just get started with my Volunteer! Select "Start Project" on their application. Once they select Start Project on their end, you'll be officially matched!
Conducting Your interview
Start your call by introducing yourself, your Organization, and your project. Make sure you communicate:
The deliverable(s) you need
Your desired timeline for the project
Who the key stakeholders are for this project
What information you will be able to provide to help the Volunteer get started
Encourage your Volunteer to introduce themselves as well, and share why they're interested in volunteering with your Organization. This is a great way to build rapport and start your relationship off right.
Just as you would in a job interview, take some time to understand your Volunteer's professional experience and qualifications and how they relate to your project. You can even use the following guide we've created!
What to Assess:
Understand what the volunteer is seeking from the engagement. Does this align with how you are viewing this partnership?
Why are you volunteering on Catchafire?
Is there anything that drew you to this particular project?
Don't forget to ask about their work experiences both on and off of Catchafire!
Can you tell me about similar projects you've worked on in the past?
What was the outcome of those projects?
What was most challenging about that work?
Work Style and Communication Preferences
Ensure your volunteer's work style and communication preferences work for you
I prefer to check-in daily/weekly/over the phone/ over email. Does this work for you?
I'd the project to be completed by X DATE. Does that work for you?
Curiosity and Interest
Though you'll both formally accept or pass on the project after the call, it can be helpful to gauge interest before you sign off
Do you have any questions for me about this project or our organization?
What information or materials would you need from to successfully complete this project?
Take time to recap by explicitly stating timeline and any other critical needs for the deliverable. Are you still interested in working on this project?
Tip: If you don't understand something your Volunteer shared or why it's relevant to your project, just ask! A great candidate will be able to explain their ideas and experience in simple terms.
Answering Questions & Discussing Logistics
Remember that this is a 2-way interview - your Volunteer also needs to decide if this project is a good fit for them too. Make sure you allot plenty of time to answer their questions and make sure they understand your needs fully to make an informed decision on whether they'd like to move forward.
Tip: Make sure you and your Volunteer are aligned on logistics and timeline for your project. For example, if you need your project done within a certain timeframe, use the interview to confirm that your Volunteer's availability also works for you.
Give your Volunteer a sense of when you expect to get back to them (and let them know if you're interviewing other applicants) to keep them in the loop.
If you’re ready to make a decision about someone you’ve spoken with, go back to your Catchafire dashboard. You can either:
Select "Start Project" if you'd like to work with this Volunteer - we'll let you know when they've also made a decision and how to get started
Select "Pass" if you don't think it's a good fit - our team will send a friendly email on your behalf
Not ready to make a decision yet? That's okay! You're also always welcome to message them directly via your dashboard in case you have any follow-up questions. However, if you're still planning to schedule additional interviews, we suggest taking no more than 1 week to make a decision on your candidate post-interview.
Remember: The Volunteer has to choose to work with you too! If both parties select "Start Project," then it's a match!