5 steps to apply successfully for a volunteer position

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Thinking of volunteering? Take the following steps:

  1. Choose a volunteer position

    Know what you’re good at – What you can offer to help an organization or a cause? Look at your experience, knowledge, skills and resources. Use the skills self-assessment checklist to match your skills to activities.

    Know what you’re passionate about – Match your skills with causes that you like. For example: You know basic accounting and you want to help the poor. Get involved in the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).

  2. Look for opportunities

    Find people or groups who share your passion. Start with your community. Go to Volunteer Manitoba or search online. Type “Volunteer opportunities in ____ (ex: Winnipeg)” on Google. Use your network. Ask family, friends, or immigrant-serving organizations for opportunities. Read 5 best places to volunteer in Manitoba for more ideas.

    Check if it is the type of work you want, if it fits your schedule, or if the location is convenient.

  3. Prepare the requirements

    Submit a resume or fill out an application. Be ready with two to three references. They may ask for a Child Abuse Registry Check, or Police Record Check. This depends on the nature of the volunteer work. Apply for these documents after the interview.

  4. Prepare for the interview

    Learn about the organization – Visit the organization’s website to get more information. Read about their activities and know their mission, vision and goals.

    Practice answering questions – Think about how you will answer usual interview questions. See sample questions from the video below:


    Top 10 volunteer interview questions from Mock questions

  5. Pass the interview

    Make a good first impression – Come on time. Be confident and show enthusiasm. Greet people warmly, be polite and attentive. Have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact.

    Answer behavioural questions with STAR – STAR is situation, task, action and result. Follow this pattern when answering behavioural questions. Watch the video below for more tips:


    How to succeed in your job interview: Behavioural Questions from EngVid

    Tell them how you can help the organization – Explain how your interests and skills will make the organization better.

    Ask questions – Ask about:

    • orientation and training
    • flexibility about schedule changes (especially if you have shift work or are actively applying to jobs)
    • the minimum time commitment

Just stay positive and you’ll do well. Goodluck!
 
Sources: Volunteer interviews: 5 tips for sharing your motivation, Olivia Ryan/Basil Sadiq, Volunteer match.org; Pan Canadian Youth Opportunities Platform, Volunteer Canada; Volunteer Screening: The interview, Verified Volunteers; and Volunteer interview tips, Marcy Brinkley, Livestrong. Retrieved January 10, 2019.

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