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Interview tips for prospective AmeriCorps coaches

College Possible AmeriCorps Coach Sits On A Bench, Smiling While They Hold A College Possible Pennant Flag.

According to Pew Research data, the number of managerial and teaching jobs that require both analytical and social skills has increased by 94 percent since 1980. It should come as no surprise, then, that more than 1.2 million people have chosen AmeriCorps service to help them gain invaluable skills and launch their career. 

While an AmeriCorps service year helps service members hone tangible skills in various career sectors, AmeriCorps work is centered in the values of honesty, integrity and respect for people, helping to send well-rounded individuals with both transferable work skills and advanced social skills into the job market.

Hundreds of people apply for AmeriCorps service at College Possible every year. Many are looking for education experience to boost their resume. Others are taking a gap year after college to figure out their career path. If you’ve been invited to interview with our AmeriCorps recruiters, congratulations! Here are some tips to help you land a service role with College Possible.

The College Possible AmeriCorps coach hiring process

So you’ve applied for AmeriCorps service at College Possible and have been invited to interview — we’re so excited to meet you! Your first interview will be a phone screening with a College Possible AmeriCorps recruiter, which will take about 30 minutes of your time. The purpose of the phone interview is to gauge your interest in the position and learn more about your college journey. 

If you are selected to move on to the next round of interviews, we’ll reach out to you to schedule a second interview. This panel interview with College Possible program team members will be your final interview in the process.

During the second interview, our team members will share further details about College Possible and the position you’ve applied for. We’ll also provide information about AmeriCorps compensation and benefits, and a brief description of a day in the life of an AmeriCorps coach. Of course, we’ll also leave time for you to ask questions about the role during this interview. 

After both interviews have been completed, candidates can expect to receive a decision and next steps within five to ten business days. 

Spend some time prepping for your interview

According to Indeed, it takes roughly five to 10 hours to properly prepare for an interview. While this may seem like a lot of time to devote to the process, it ensures that you have adequate time to review and make copies of your resume, research the company, and practice your answers to common interview questions.

For your College Possible interview, it’s particularly important that you spend time researching the company’s mission and familiarizing yourself with the AmeriCorps coach job description. Having some background knowledge on College Possible’s values, our coaching model and our program’s impact can help you answer questions about what drew you to apply for the organization. 

It may be helpful to write down some key milestones, struggles or accomplishments you experienced in your own college journey. Our team will ask you questions about how you will be relating to College Possible high school and college students, as our near-peer coaching model is essential to our program.

How to complete a successful AmeriCorps coach interview

Once you’ve completed your interview prep, it’s time to trust the work you’ve put into the process and just be yourself! Our AmeriCorps recruiters are looking for people who can connect with others and those who have a passion for educational equity. 

To start, it’s a good idea to be ready for your interview 10–15 minutes early. Make sure your phone or computer is charged and your notes are ready. If you have an in-person interview, make sure to arrive at your site location early. That way you’ll have time to take some cleansing breaths and center your focus. 

When you’re in the interview, don’t forget the importance of body language and eye contact. According to a LinkedIn survey, 67 percent of recruiters feel that eye contact is crucial to making a good impression. You can feel confident knowing the recruiters see your potential, and the rest is about letting your personality shine! 

If you don’t have a ton of traditional work experience to tell us about during your interviews, don’t sweat it. Our team members are excited to hear about your diverse experiences that involved team collaboration, work study, academic challenges, and the like. “We know a lot of AmeriCorps coach applicants may not have extensive work history directly out of college,” says DiLiesha Bryant, College Possible’s National Director of AmeriCorps Recruitment & Engagement. “During these interviews, our hope is to get a better sense of what College Possible’s mission means to the candidate, and how they see themselves bringing our mission to life.” When you’re asked to provide specific examples for a scenario, consider your academic, professional and personal background, and then answer with the STAR method. 

This is a technique for answering interview questions that you can use to tell a story by stating the situation, task, action, and result. For example:

Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.

Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.

Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.

Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.

Remember that if you need a moment to think of an example, that is perfectly fine. Gather your thoughts and then proceed with answering the question. 

Researching the mission and impact of College Possible and sharing your authentic self with our team will ensure that you put your best foot forward during your AmeriCorps coach interviews. We’re thrilled to meet you, and hope you’ll join our next cohort of College Possible coaches helping students all across the country. If you haven’t yet applied for an AmeriCorps role, browse our open positions today or register for a virtual info session to learn more. 

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