Difference between pages "Peter Crume" and "Interview Questions"

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(New page: '''{{DEFAULTSORT:Crume, Peter K.}} {{quickbar |Volunteer= Peter Kirk Crume |Country= Kenya |Years= 1999-2001 |Group= ? |Site= North Kinangop |Sector= Deaf Ed...)
 
 
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'''{{DEFAULTSORT:Crume, Peter K.}}
 
  
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{| align="left"
|Volunteer=   Peter Kirk Crume
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| __TOC__
|Country=    Kenya
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|}
|Years=      1999-2001
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<br>
|Group=      ?
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Many applicants first big fear is the interview. Who likes an interview? You want to feel prepared, but not overly prepared, but definitely not in the dark.  The key to the Peace Corps interview is to dress professionally like you would to any job interview ''(slacks, button up collared shirt, tie, skirt, suit, dress shoes, blouse, primped)'', relax and be comfortable ''(many people attribute a Peace Corps interview to being like talking with an old friend about why you are joining)'', and be informed about the Peace Corps [[#Questions_to_Ask|''(but be prepared to ask questions)'']]. An interview may last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
|Site=        North Kinangop
 
|Sector=      Deaf Education
 
}}
 
  
My training class left for Kenya in late September 1999. All of us were teachers, assigned to either teach in secondary schools or in primary schools for the deaf.  We had a total of 20 in the training class, 15 were assigned to teach in the secondary schools, either in one of the sub-sectors of English, Math, or Science and I was among one of the five assigned to teach in a primary school for the deaf. Three people dropped out before the 10-weeks of training was over and then another dropped out two months into service. I had also contemplated leaving several times during training and in the first six-months of service, but after the shock my initial adjustment I became quite active throughout my service. 
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==Interview Questions==
  
I was among the third class of deaf education volunteers. The first class finished as I did my training. We had one deaf volunteer in the first class (five total), one in the second class (eight total), two in my class (four total), two in the class after me (six total), and then two more in the class that replaced mine (five total). Few of us in deaf education actually had any experience teaching deaf children before Peace Corps service. Prior to the Peace Corps, I was professional sign language interpreter working primarily in the medical field and had just received a Masters in Adult Education in June of 1999. I knew very little about teaching deaf children. We received some training about deaf education in an primary school setting (mainly lesson planning) and training in Kenyan Sign Language.  
+
These questions have been compiled by various sources who have been interviewed during their application process.  In general, it has been agreed by those who've looked at this list that this is a pretty concrete list of the questions that you will be asked during the interview. The list may not be word for word, but nearly all these questions will be asked in one wording or another, and one order or another. Usually there are a couple extra or a couple they don't ask, but they all sort of fall in sync with this list. Finally, this list should be used as a guide to help you start thinking about why you are interested in the Peace Corps and if this is the right opportunity to seek out at this time in your life. Your responses in the interview should be authentic. Scripted responses may negatively affect your application.
  
When we were assigned to our new sites, most of my training class was sent as far east to the coastal towns off the Indian Ocean, and toward the western towns that dotted Lake Victoria, and all places in-between. I was going only 20 miles away to a mountainous rural town that you could only get to by dirt road. Initially, I was disappointed, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I got a chance to be involved with the Peace Corps training center toward the latter part of my service. It was something I really enjoyed.  
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''(recommend turning any response from a negative into a positive, as well as in most responses.)''
  
For my primary job, I served as a full-time teacher assigned to Nyandarua School for the Deaf in North Kinangop, Kenya. I served as one of sixteen staff teachers on staff. The school offered ten grades of study, levels equivalent to grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, with approximately 75 students.
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<br>
  
I was responsible for the following teaching and co-curricular responsibilities:
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'''MOTIVATION / COMMITMENT'''
 +
* What motivates you to seek a service position as a Peace Corps Volunteer? How does Peace Corps service fit into your long range plans?
 +
* Remember back to your first playground experience.  Why did you want to play on the playground?  What games did you play?
 +
* What, if anything, might keep you from completing a 27-month commitment to Peace Corps Service?
 +
* Do you have a specific geographic preference? If yes: what is the reason for your preference and how flexible are you? If there are specific regions where you are unwilling to serve: what are your reasons and what is your degree of flexibility?
 +
<br>
  
'''Teaching:'''
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'''PRODUCTIVE COMPETENCE'''
Year 2000 (Each term was about 12 weeks long)
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* Please tell me about your most successful experience in a leadership role. Be as specific as possible.
1st term: Grade 3: Math, English, Science, Art, and History (40 lessons per week)
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* Please tell me about an experience when you were able to transfer some knowledge or skill to someone who was different from yourself. What did you learn about your interpersonal skills from that experience? What did you learn about the other person?
2nd & 3rd term: 4th & 7th grade English (16 lessons per week); 6th grade Math (8 lessons per week), 7th grade Home Science (4 lessons per week)
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* Please tell me about the most frustrating experience you have had when working with others. Specifically, how did you manage that frustration?
 +
* Please tell me about a time when you worked in an unstructured or ambiguous situation?  How did you approach the task at hand?  What did you learn about your personal strengths from that experience?
 +
* All Peace Corps Volunteers learn a new language. Have you studied a second language?
 +
** If so, what challenges did you face and what level of facility did you achieve?
 +
** What aptitudes or abilities can you draw on to help you succeed in learning a new language?
 +
<br>
  
Year 2001
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'''MATURITY'''
1st & 2nd term: 8th grade English (8 lessons per week), 4th-8th grade HIV (5 lessons per week); 1st-8th grade Computers (16 lessons per week)
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* What situations do you typically find stressful? What do you currently do to reduce stress?
3rd term: (Away from school; served as technical trainer for Peace Corps Training Center)
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* When you are overseas, circumstances and/or cultural norms may prevent you from employing your usual ways of managing stress, boredom, and loneliness. You will also most likely be out of touch with your familiar support group.
 +
** In such a situation, what alternative outlets might you use?
 +
** If your support group currently plays a critical role in helping you cope with stress, how will you manage without them?
 +
* What is the longest you have been physically separated from important people (family, friends, romantic interests, etc.) in your life? What was the most difficult part of being away from those closest to you? How did you cope?
 +
* What kind of support have you received from those closest to you on your decision to join the Peace Corps?
 +
* Has anyone close to you opposed your decision to join Peace Corps? If so, who was it? What were his/her concerns? How have you responded to them?
 +
* Tell me about a time when you had trouble following a rule.
 +
* One’s ability to work through and resolve differences or conflict is often tested in cross-cultural situations. Please tell me about a specific situation, one we haven’t already discussed, when you needed to work through a disagreement or difference of opinion. Were you able to reach a resolution? How, specifically, did you do that?
 +
* If you weren’t able to resolve the conflict, what prevented you from doing so? In retrospect, is there anything you would do differently?
 +
* Are you currently in a relationship? If so, how will you handle the expectations of your service overseas?
 +
* Rank the following three aspects of your service by how important they are to you: where you go, when you go, and what you do.
 +
<br>
  
'''Co-curricular Activities:'''
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'''SOCIAL SENSITIVITY / CULTURAL AWARENESS'''
1. Athletics Team Coach
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* In some countries, tattoos, body piercing, or unusual hairstyles may be culturally unacceptable. To be a successful Volunteer in such a country, you would have to modify your appearance so that it conforms to local norms. Are you willing to make such an adjustment? Give an example of a time that you had to modify your appearance.
- Head coach for boys soccer team
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* The following are issues that you may face in your country of service. Please note any concerns:
- Assistant coach for boys and girls volleyball team
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** different and/or lack of familiar foods
 +
** different living conditions
 +
** lack of privacy; isolation
 +
** prescribed gender roles 
 +
** possible minority challenges
 +
** personal religious requirements/possible lack of access to your own religious services
 +
** living in a culture where alcohol may be widely consumed and accepted/living in a culture that prohibits the use of alcohol altogether!
  
2. School librarian
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==Questions to Ask==
- Started school's first library in its 30-year history
 
- Organized and maintained over 1,000 library books and magazines
 
- Kept records of usage of books by staff and students
 
  
3. Computer Laboratory Manager
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Besides giving answers you are happy with, something that is quite important, sometimes overlooked, and the interviewer is really interested in are the questions you ask them.  They want to see that you know about the organization, you've done some research, but that you are still seeking more knowledge about the Peace Corps. Keep in mind that you may ''think'' you know the answer to something, but most likely, you only know part of it, so ask anyway! 
- Wrote a grant proposal worth $3,150 for five Pentium-3 based computers, a printer, and office and educational software
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Again, use these questions as a guide.  The questions you ask during the interview should be tied into your own skills, interests or concerns and not scripted based on the recommendations below.
- Taught basic computer theory, Windows OS, and assorted software packages (Microsoft Office, Educational games) to students and staff members
 
- Established income generating Internet and e-mail services for the school
 
  
'''Additional Activities:'''
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'''HEALTH/SAFETY'''
 +
* What if I get severely ill or injured and can't get to the Peace Corps office or another volunteer--what happens?
 +
* With the PCVs recently pulled out of Georgia and Bolivia--what happens to me if that should happen?
 +
** Will I be reassigned?
 +
*** Do I have more of a say on a new country?
 +
*** How long would a reassignment take?
 +
** How long will I wait to see if we go back to that country?
 +
** How do our belongings get back to us if we are very quickly evacuated?
 +
* What steps do they take to make sure they are providing their volunteers with the safest environment possible?
  
School Activities:
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'''TRAINING/WORK'''
- Conducted numerous workshops to improve student reading skills
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* I have heard in-country training consists of language, culture, technical, & safety--could you tell me anything more specific about it?
- Trained fellow Kenyan teachers in Kenyan Sign Language, culture of the deaf, and instructional strategies and techniques for deaf children
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* How much of your work as a volunteer is completed solely by you and how much does the Peace Corps help with?
- Trained Kenyan colleagues in grant writing techniques and assisted teachers in writing an income generating dairy project and water tank proposals
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** If you are having trouble getting your project started, does the Peace Corps provide any help?
 +
* If I am nominated, what can I do to make myself more competitive for placement?
  
HIV/AIDS Activities:
+
'''LIFESTYLE'''
- Conducted over 20 HIV/AIDS lectures to stafff and students of neighboring primary and secondary schools in North Kinangop
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* Ask about the recruiters/interviewers experience in the Peace Corps.
- Conducted over 15 HIV/AIDS lectures to deaf youth and deaf adults in the central and western regions of Kenya
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** Where and when did they go?
- Trained Kenyan colleagues to become HIV/AIDS educators
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** What was it like?
- Planned, coordinated, and facilitated a national HIV/AIDS outreach to the deaf community conference in Nairobi hosted by Peace Corps Kenya
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** What was the most the most difficult thing they encountered?
 +
***How did they deal with this?
 +
** What was the thing they least expected that happened?
 +
** What did they get out of it the most?
 +
* If you are interested in the PC Fellows program, ask about it.
 +
* How far apart are volunteers placed?
 +
* In some countries you can live on your own after training, and in others you're required to live the full 2 years with a host family, is that correct?
 +
** In countries where its required to live with a host family, why is that required?
 +
** How is a host family chosen?
  
Peace Corps Training Center Initiatives and Activities:
 
- Collaborated in facilitating a national Kenyan Sign Language interpreting workshop
 
- Conducted numerous lectures on instructional strategies and techniques to fellow Peace Corps volunteers and trainees
 
- Collaborated in developing and organizing a Kenyan Sign Language training manual for use by the training center
 
- Provided training and guidance for new Kenyan technical trainer for the deaf education sector
 
- Provided technical training and support for six Peace Corps trainees in the deaf education sector during the training cycle in fall 2001
 
- Piloted Kenyan Sign Language ACTFL language assessment test for the training center
 
- Served as sign language interpreter for deaf Peace Corps volunteers and trainees
 
  
Additional Activities:
+
See additional: [[Advice for applicants]]
- Wrote a proposal to Peace Corps Kenya administration to expand Peace Corps programs geared  toward deaf populations in Kenya to include Health and Small - Enterprise Development
 
- Wrote a paper discussing the problems and issues of education of the deaf in Kenya
 
- Conducted Kenyan Sign Language training to 15 hearing worked at the Oserian Flower Farm in Naivasha
 
  
'''Thoughts and reflections of my Peace Corps experience:'''
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==External Links==
There's hardly a day that goes by when I don't think about my two years that I served in Kenya with the Peace Corps. The first year of service was a tremendous psychological struggle of feeling extremely isolated and alone in a country that was so different than what I was used to. The constant greetings of "How are you" said in a nasal pitch was cute the first 20 times, but quite annoying after the 10,000 time. I could never understand why hotels always had bars that blared music until 3am, and why religious revivals were allowed to blare all night long and keep everyone up within a one mile radius. Despite some of these negatives, I learned so much about myself, I accomplished a lot, grew tremendously as a person, and made lifelong memories and friends. My Peace Corps experience has certainly changed me and how I view Kenya, the African continent, and much of the world.
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[[Advice for applicants]]
  
'''Current major life paths because of Peace Corps service.'''
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[http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.howvol.stepstoapply.interview Peace Corps: The Interview]
Currently, I am at the University of Illinois pursuing doctoral degree in Educational Psychology with an interest in the language development and socialization of deaf children. It's a field of study I never would have even considered before Peace Corps service. It took a Kenyan colleague to suggest the idea to me for me to realize what an ideal field of study it was for me and again I am forever indebted to my friends I made in Kenya.
 
  
One of the initial attractions that both my wife and I had toward each other was  that we spent significant time abroad before we met each other. She spent two years in Russia and I spent time in Kenya. We met just a few months after I returned from service. We currently have a beautiful and very happy little toddler who wreaks havoc throughout the house while laughing and giggling the whole time.  
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[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN1kSo-TbFA YouTube Peace Corps Interview]
  
 +
[http://groups.yahoo.com/group/peacecorps2/ PeaceCorps2 Yahoo Group]
  
 
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[http://peacecorpswiki.com/UnofficialVolunteerHandbook Unofficial Volunteer Handbook]
 
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[[Category:Application process]]
 
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[[Category:Prospective volunteers]]
 
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yes you could
[[category:Volunteer]]
 

Latest revision as of 14:02, 23 August 2016


Many applicants first big fear is the interview. Who likes an interview? You want to feel prepared, but not overly prepared, but definitely not in the dark. The key to the Peace Corps interview is to dress professionally like you would to any job interview (slacks, button up collared shirt, tie, skirt, suit, dress shoes, blouse, primped), relax and be comfortable (many people attribute a Peace Corps interview to being like talking with an old friend about why you are joining), and be informed about the Peace Corps (but be prepared to ask questions). An interview may last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Interview Questions

These questions have been compiled by various sources who have been interviewed during their application process. In general, it has been agreed by those who've looked at this list that this is a pretty concrete list of the questions that you will be asked during the interview. The list may not be word for word, but nearly all these questions will be asked in one wording or another, and one order or another. Usually there are a couple extra or a couple they don't ask, but they all sort of fall in sync with this list. Finally, this list should be used as a guide to help you start thinking about why you are interested in the Peace Corps and if this is the right opportunity to seek out at this time in your life. Your responses in the interview should be authentic. Scripted responses may negatively affect your application.”

(recommend turning any response from a negative into a positive, as well as in most responses.)


MOTIVATION / COMMITMENT

  • What motivates you to seek a service position as a Peace Corps Volunteer? How does Peace Corps service fit into your long range plans?
  • Remember back to your first playground experience. Why did you want to play on the playground? What games did you play?
  • What, if anything, might keep you from completing a 27-month commitment to Peace Corps Service?
  • Do you have a specific geographic preference? If yes: what is the reason for your preference and how flexible are you? If there are specific regions where you are unwilling to serve: what are your reasons and what is your degree of flexibility?


PRODUCTIVE COMPETENCE

  • Please tell me about your most successful experience in a leadership role. Be as specific as possible.
  • Please tell me about an experience when you were able to transfer some knowledge or skill to someone who was different from yourself. What did you learn about your interpersonal skills from that experience? What did you learn about the other person?
  • Please tell me about the most frustrating experience you have had when working with others. Specifically, how did you manage that frustration?
  • Please tell me about a time when you worked in an unstructured or ambiguous situation? How did you approach the task at hand? What did you learn about your personal strengths from that experience?
  • All Peace Corps Volunteers learn a new language. Have you studied a second language?
    • If so, what challenges did you face and what level of facility did you achieve?
    • What aptitudes or abilities can you draw on to help you succeed in learning a new language?


MATURITY

  • What situations do you typically find stressful? What do you currently do to reduce stress?
  • When you are overseas, circumstances and/or cultural norms may prevent you from employing your usual ways of managing stress, boredom, and loneliness. You will also most likely be out of touch with your familiar support group.
    • In such a situation, what alternative outlets might you use?
    • If your support group currently plays a critical role in helping you cope with stress, how will you manage without them?
  • What is the longest you have been physically separated from important people (family, friends, romantic interests, etc.) in your life? What was the most difficult part of being away from those closest to you? How did you cope?
  • What kind of support have you received from those closest to you on your decision to join the Peace Corps?
  • Has anyone close to you opposed your decision to join Peace Corps? If so, who was it? What were his/her concerns? How have you responded to them?
  • Tell me about a time when you had trouble following a rule.
  • One’s ability to work through and resolve differences or conflict is often tested in cross-cultural situations. Please tell me about a specific situation, one we haven’t already discussed, when you needed to work through a disagreement or difference of opinion. Were you able to reach a resolution? How, specifically, did you do that?
  • If you weren’t able to resolve the conflict, what prevented you from doing so? In retrospect, is there anything you would do differently?
  • Are you currently in a relationship? If so, how will you handle the expectations of your service overseas?
  • Rank the following three aspects of your service by how important they are to you: where you go, when you go, and what you do.


SOCIAL SENSITIVITY / CULTURAL AWARENESS

  • In some countries, tattoos, body piercing, or unusual hairstyles may be culturally unacceptable. To be a successful Volunteer in such a country, you would have to modify your appearance so that it conforms to local norms. Are you willing to make such an adjustment? Give an example of a time that you had to modify your appearance.
  • The following are issues that you may face in your country of service. Please note any concerns:
    • different and/or lack of familiar foods
    • different living conditions
    • lack of privacy; isolation
    • prescribed gender roles
    • possible minority challenges
    • personal religious requirements/possible lack of access to your own religious services
    • living in a culture where alcohol may be widely consumed and accepted/living in a culture that prohibits the use of alcohol altogether!

Questions to Ask

Besides giving answers you are happy with, something that is quite important, sometimes overlooked, and the interviewer is really interested in are the questions you ask them. They want to see that you know about the organization, you've done some research, but that you are still seeking more knowledge about the Peace Corps. Keep in mind that you may think you know the answer to something, but most likely, you only know part of it, so ask anyway! Again, use these questions as a guide. The questions you ask during the interview should be tied into your own skills, interests or concerns and not scripted based on the recommendations below.

HEALTH/SAFETY

  • What if I get severely ill or injured and can't get to the Peace Corps office or another volunteer--what happens?
  • With the PCVs recently pulled out of Georgia and Bolivia--what happens to me if that should happen?
    • Will I be reassigned?
      • Do I have more of a say on a new country?
      • How long would a reassignment take?
    • How long will I wait to see if we go back to that country?
    • How do our belongings get back to us if we are very quickly evacuated?
  • What steps do they take to make sure they are providing their volunteers with the safest environment possible?

TRAINING/WORK

  • I have heard in-country training consists of language, culture, technical, & safety--could you tell me anything more specific about it?
  • How much of your work as a volunteer is completed solely by you and how much does the Peace Corps help with?
    • If you are having trouble getting your project started, does the Peace Corps provide any help?
  • If I am nominated, what can I do to make myself more competitive for placement?

LIFESTYLE

  • Ask about the recruiters/interviewers experience in the Peace Corps.
    • Where and when did they go?
    • What was it like?
    • What was the most the most difficult thing they encountered?
      • How did they deal with this?
    • What was the thing they least expected that happened?
    • What did they get out of it the most?
  • If you are interested in the PC Fellows program, ask about it.
  • How far apart are volunteers placed?
  • In some countries you can live on your own after training, and in others you're required to live the full 2 years with a host family, is that correct?
    • In countries where its required to live with a host family, why is that required?
    • How is a host family chosen?


See additional: Advice for applicants

External Links

Advice for applicants

Peace Corps: The Interview

YouTube Peace Corps Interview

PeaceCorps2 Yahoo Group

Unofficial Volunteer Handbook yes you could