A few tips for your Lattitude interview

Posted on the 15th January 2019

After you have submitted your online application, the first step towards making your gap year plans a reality is your personal interview.

We know that interviews can be stressful, but don’t panic too much!

This is your chance to tell us a little more about yourself and the kind of volunteering experience you are looking for. We use the interview process to help ensure we match you to a placement that best suits your skills and experience, in alignment with the needs of our placement hosts in your chosen destination.

As a youth development organisation, we think that honing your interview skills is great practice for the future, so we do conduct these interviews in a reasonably formal fashion.

Here are a few tips to help you feel ready for your interview:

Prepare for interview questions

You’ll always interview better if you give yourself some time beforehand to think about yourself and your skills and achievements.

  • Have some answers ready for common interview questions. We want to hear about your involvement in all facets of life, so prepare by thinking about all the things you have been involved with to date. You don’t need to be the highest achiever, but ideally you will be able to share some examples of participation in such things as sports, arts, any clubs, groups, leadership experience etc, as well as discussing your school subjects and academic record.
  • Prepare for some slightly trickier questions. Have a think about some things you could work on as a person – it’s always difficult to discuss your weaknesses, but also important to be honest so we know how to provide you with the support you need!

Research Lattitude

It helps to find out about a bit about Lattitude, your chosen destination, and what your preferred role involves. We love to hear that you have put some serious thought into your adventure ahead.
Some ways to do research include:

  • Reading blogs and volunteer stories from our website
  • Call or email Lattitude staff to make sure you have a good basic understanding of what you are getting yourself into!
  • Attend an Info Night in your area, or a school presentation if we visit your school (you can always contact us and request one, or ask your careers advisor if we are scheduled to visit at any stage).
  • Looking at our social media to see what past and current volunteers are up to.

 

Know how to get there

Make sure you don’t turn up to the wrong place for your interview! It’s an easy enough mistake to make, but there are ways to avoid it:

  • You will be sent an email invitation well in advance. Make sure you read it carefully.
  • Look up the address on google maps or similar.
  • Work out how you’re going to get there on the day.
  • Double-check you’ve got the location right.
  • If you are driving, make sure you come early enough to find a park.

Have a practice run

It can help to do a practise interview with a friend or family member. When you’ve finished, ask how you could improve your answers. After you’ve practised a few times you’ll be better prepared for the real thing.

Make sure you get them to focus on asking questions about your strengths and skills! Practice talking about your schooling, any sports, arts, leadership experience etc, as well as any community involvement, voluntary or paid work experience etc.

Don’t be late!

Being late for your interview is not a good first impression. You are applying for a role of responsibility, and will be treated as a valued member of staff at your placement, so we want to see that you are capable of time management straight off the bat!

Double-check the right date and time of the interview. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early. That way, even if you’re delayed you’ll still be on time.

Look presentable

In any interview situation, first impressions count, so it’s important to look your best at an interview.
We understand that you may be coming straight from school – school uniforms are absolutely fine, but try to make sure you are neat and clean, and your hair is neat and tidy etc.

Get your documents organised

We do not require a CV from you, but there are a set of documents that we require from you. We will outline these in your email invitation, but it’s a good idea to gather up important documents such as your passport, birth certificate, drivers licence and proof of address (a bank statement or similar is fine). If you don’t have a passport etc, no need to rush out and get one just yet – our staff will let you know when you need to action this.

We encourage you to scan and email these to us prior to your interview, but if you don’t have the ability to do this, bring them along on the day and we can assist.

Communication is key

Make sure you pay attention to your interviewer. As a young person, we understand that you may not have much, or any, work experience, and that is fine. Communication skills are one of the main things we are looking for.

There is no need to rush your answers, so take some time to consider each question before replying. Don’t interrupt your interviewer. Try to be positive and enthusiastic, and maintain good eye contact and positive body language.
If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification.

Ask questions in the interview

We are happy for you to ask questions, it shows you are interested in your adventure ahead! It’s also a chance for you to find out everything you need to know so you can make an informed decision.

Your Lattitude interview will be in two halves – the first half will be about you, the second more focused on giving you further insight about your destination, your role, and the processes required to get you there.

If you choose to bring your parents or guardians along, they will be invited in for the second half of the interview to join this discussion.

 

Most importantly, we hope you will come to your interview excited about the amazing opportunity you are embarking on. We look forward to meeting you soon!

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