Interviewing volunteer candidates takes time… but that time is well spent. Investing time in interviewing candidates up front saves time in the long run. Ensuring that the position is the right fit for both the organization and the individual benefits everyone. Finding out that this is not the right fit before the organization and the individual invest time in training and onboarding saves everyone time and trouble. With that in mind, here are a few types of questions we think are helpful to include in your interview process.

Interviewers can learn vital information about a volunteer candidate by asking questions from all – or at least most – of these categories. Tailor the interview script based on the specific responsibilities of the role you are trying to fill. Here are some examples.

Problem Solving

  • Examples:
    • Please take a look at this brochure about our programs and tell us how you would improve it?
    • Describe a difficult situation you experienced at work or school. How did you handle the situation? Is there anything you would have done differently?
  • Benefits:
    • Helps you understand whether the candidate has critical thinking capabilities.
    • Shows you whether the candidate can be reflective about past experiences.


  • Examples:
    • Your volunteer assignment is to develop a new curriculum for our outreach education programs. Whom would you engage to help you and why?
    • A client who is very upset approaches you, complaining about… What would you say or do? How would you diffuse the situation?
  • Benefits:
    • Is this volunteer going to be a leader within your organization? These questions help you get a sense of their ability to think independently and on their feet.


  • Examples:
    • Describe a paid or volunteer experience in which you were the leader of other people. What went well? What would you do differently next time?
  • Benefits:
    • Demonstrates their experience as a leader and their ability to understand their own strengths, weaknesses and areas for growth.


  • Examples:
    • What are the skills at which you are proficient that you would gladly share with us, if we could make it possible for you to do so?
  • Benefits:
    • Conveys to you skills or passions that a volunteer possesses which may not be part of the role. Is there a different role available where the volunteer could contribute meaningfully?

Modify these questions so that they make sense for your organization and try them out during the interview. You are sure to gain helpful insights on your volunteer candidates – and whether they are a fit for your organization and the role you are trying to fill.

For more tips and tools on how to Find the Fit, sign up for our upcoming webinar designed to boost your VQ in screening. Register to take it live on June 13 or access the recording on-demand when convenient.