How to Prepare for Your First Nonprofit Job Interview

by Staffer Team

When it comes time for preparing that first big interview, there are so many things to be conscious of. It’s crucial that you arrive prepared. To aid in this, we’ve rounded up some tips to help you prepare for every aspect of your first nonprofit interview.

  1. Do your research
  • Make sure you're familiar with what the organization does, how they do it, and how your skills can improve their existing operation
  • Take a look at the organization's social media pages to get a feel for what the culture is like
  • Consider reaching out to current employees to learn bout their experiences
  • Guidestar.org offers information about nonprofit's missions, locations, sizes and other aspects
  • Bring at least 3 copies of your resume
  • Arrive 5 minutes before an interview; be in the area and know where you are going before it is time

2. Connect with the mission

  • Show how your passion and experience can contribute to the organization's overall goals
  • Volunteer positions, participation in fundraising campaigns, and other charitable work can come into play
  • Ask educated questions, explain why you're interested in the position and highlight how your values align with the organization's
  • Make sure to be prepared with a strong reason why your connection to the cause is most meaningful

3. Pay attention to body language

  • Use eye contact
  • Sit up straight

4. Focus on transferable skills

  • These soft skills might give you an edge: adaptability, communication, positive attitude, resourcefulness, teamwork and multi-tasking
  • Exemplifying your can-do attitude will overshadow any skill-related shortcomings
  • The organization is looking for someone to match the speed of their work, the energy of their staff, attitude, and nonprofit philosophy

5. Practice your answers

  • No matter where you're interviewing, there are some questions that you're almost guaranteed to be asked (ex. "Tell me about yourself", "Why do you want this job?")
  • Preparing answers for these questions will ensure a confident and strong interview
  • Never talk bad about your past employers - it makes you look bad
  • Use examples of responsibilities that relate to the position you're applying for 

6. Ask questions

  • Asking questions demonstrates your interest and shows that you care about what the organization does
  • Avoid questions that could be avoided by looking online and anything related to salary and benefits

Consider:

  • Who would I be working with in this role?
  • How would you describe the office dynamic and culture?
  • What is your hiring timeline for this job?

Have fun!! Candidates that enjoy the meeting, get the job