Meeting and interviewing volunteers

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Figure 3 Many organisations meet with or interview volunteers

As with paid jobs, organisations want to meet or interview people who have applied to volunteer. Applications might involve just an email message outlining the person’s experience, or some organisations use application forms. Some roles will involve taking up references too. The next step in recruitment is to meet the applicant. Some organisations might organise a group meeting of several volunteers, whereas others will do individual meetings or even formal interviews, depending on the role. If you apply to volunteer with vulnerable adults or children, then an interview is extremely likely.

Activity 5

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes.

Imagine you have applied for a role at a charity helping homeless people. What questions would you expect to be asked? What questions would you ask?


Given that you would be working with vulnerable people, you could expect to be asked about relevant experience, why you want to volunteer there and also perhaps some specific questions about homelessness. A good interview or meeting for volunteering is not just about being asked questions, it is also important to see where you would be working and perhaps meet some existing volunteers.

You might ask the person showing you around what training is available and what time commitment is expected of you. The number of questions you need to ask is of course dependent on how the person conducts the meeting or interview and how much information they give you first.

This covers the main aspects of how organisations recruit volunteers. You will now look at what happens once volunteers have started with an organisation or group.

Methods for recruiting volunteers

3.3 Good practice in supporting and managing volunteers