Interview

>> Saturday, March 04, 2006

On Tuesday night, there was a Peace Corps informational meeting led by our recruiter. Although it was geared to people who just wanted to find out a little bit about the Peace Corps, Paul and I still went in hopes that we might get to see the same video that we saw a year and a half ago that really got us excited about joining. :) We did see the video and I got to scope out the recruiter before I had to meet him for my interview the next day (Paul had met him earlier in the day at the University's Career Expo). Two of my favorite professors, also RPCVs, were there to tell a little bit about their experiences and answer questions. Hearing about our recruiter's experience with his wife in Tonga, hearing more from Dr. Quinn and Dr. Shapiro, and seeing that cheesy (but very compelling!) video again really made us positive that we really were doing the right thing.

That boost of Peace Corps energy was really fortunate because that night we still had to fill out or skill addenda, our agency check form, our couples questionnaire, get all our other paperwork (transcripts, CPR/First Aid Certification, resum├ęs, etc.) together and ready for tomorrow's interview, and we wanted to review the list of potential interview questions I found on the
peacecorps_2 Yahoo! group. The addenda in particular took a long time to complete, but we finished it all and were ready for our interviews the next day.

On Wednesday, Paul had his interview first and mine was to immediately follow. A few minutes before my interview was supposed to start, Paul came out to get me so we could have our "couple's interview." It really wasn't an interview--our recruiter just asked if we had any questions and then answered the few that I had and then he gave us each a pen and highlighter. Paul then left and I began my interview. He first reviewed a lot of my application responses like the date I can leave, whether or not I have any intelligence involvement, whether there's anything I'd like to tell him before they run my background check, etc. He then asked a lot of interview questions, typed my responses as quickly as he could on his laptop, responded with, "OK..." after each response, and then asked the next question; that was a little bit unnerving since he never commented on my responses, but he was still very friendly and kind. The interview took just about an hour.

I think one of the weird things about the interview was that I never got a definite "I'm nominating you!" or "You really didn't do very well on this interview." He just said that the next step is that he has to write up a two-page summary for each of us in which he discusses our interview responses, what he knows about us as people, etc. and those (not our entire applications) go to a placement officer in DC. However, he can't send those along until the end of April to be reviewed in May for the April, May, and June quarterly placements. This is when we hoped to leave anyway, so my fingers are securely crossed that we'll get one of those spots. The recruiter said that for the January-March placements, there were 150 couples and only 100 spots, so the 50 that didn't get placed have top priority for the April-June placements (if they are still interested). However, there will also be far more placements for April-June because the majority of the programs (particularly teaching ESL programs) leave from about May-August.

All the circles on my Toolkit are now officially checked, so now we just wait for two months until our names and applications can be passed on...

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