The project interview is a critical step in the matching process - it's a time for both you and your potential Volunteer to ask questions, learn about one another, and decide if you want to work together.
Note: 1-hour consultation calls do not require an interview.
Joining the Call
If you're both based in the US:
Our automated system will call you and your applicant at the agreed upon time. If for some reason you do not receive a call, or you missed the automated call, no worries! You can always use your back-up dial-in and PIN found on your Catchafire dashboard, as well as in your interview confirmation email.
If one or both of you are outside the US:
Our automated system unfortunately only facilitates calls within the United States at this time. If you scheduled an international call, you should have received an email with the other party's contact information so that you can coordinate directly. Once you complete your international call, don't forget to log back into your dashboard to update your project status for next steps!
Tip: If you’re having trouble connecting with your Volunteer, give us a shout! You can always reach our team using the blue chat bubble on the bottom-right of your screen (for keyboard-only and screen-reader users, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 (generally)?
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!