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Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteer Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 7, 2014
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Interview Experience  

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Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer
Portland, ME

I applied online and the process took 8 months - interviewed at Peace Corps in February 2009.

Interview Details – Very thorough interview by the recruiter. Lots of questions about my background and flexibility and anticipated challenges. Interviewer read thru my entire application packet and asked many questions. Asked about my geographic preferences for where I'd like to be placed but it was important to show flexibility re a potential assignment (eg don't say that you'll only go to country x)

Negotiation Details – Minimal


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer

The process took a day - interviewed at Peace Corps in July 2009.

Interview Details – After submitting my application online, I was almost immediately contacted by email by my regional recruiter. She said she would send me an additional packet of information to fill out, and I would bring that to the interview. During the interview (lasted about 1.5 hours), the recruiter asked many questions starting with "Tell me about a time when..." Be prepared to talk about a frustrating situation, a time when you taught someone something, how you handle an unstructured environment, and a time when you had trouble following a rule.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a time when you had trouble following a rule.   Answer Question
  • Tell me about a frustrating situation you found yourself in, or a frustrating person you had to deal with.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Peace Corps in October 2010.

Interview Details – Very lengthy process (for good reason). Applied online and was contacted immediately by a recruiter. Application packet included several essays and letters of interest, several letters of recommendation, CV, and college transcripts. After that the process included a background check (finger printing), and medical clearance.

Normally the interview is fairly early on in the application process. In most cases, you will be called in for an interview with your nearest recruiter, but because I lived out of state from my initial recruiter I had my interview over the phone/Skype.

Intverview was very laid back and friendly. Questions focused on ability to integrate into cultures and dedication for two years. They asked for a time I taught something to someone, a time when I had difficulty working with someone, as well as my greatest weakness and leadership ability.

The second half of the interview was about my preference in working in certain regions or sectors. I was originally offered an Agricultural sector position in South America, but when I voiced that I would be more comfortable teaching English they moved me to the Education Sector for Southeast Asia.

Interview Question – Would you be willing to give up or hide part of who you are in order to integrate into the culture? (Example wearing piercings or certain clothes, going to a certain church, or eating certain foods)   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation, all volunteers receive a predetermined allowance during service, and a readjustment allowance at the end of service.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer

I applied online and the process took 9 months - interviewed at Peace Corps.

Interview Details – I recommend starting the application process 6-12 months before you intend to serve. The process is lengthy due to the extensive medical and background check. Once you pass the medical/background portion you will be contacted for an interview. The interview is typically done in person, however, mine was done via Skype. My interview lasted 2 hours.

Interview Questions

  • What are your coping mechanisms?   Answer Question
  • How would you feel about living and working in a culture where men and women are not treated as equals?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer
San Francisco, CA

I applied online and the process took 4 months - interviewed at Peace Corps.

Interview Details – The hiring process was rigorous. There was an extensive essay process, in person interview, and a lengthy medical and legal check.

Interview Question – Being asked about gender issues and how I'd feel living in countries with differing gender roles.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer
Atlanta, GA

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at Peace Corps.

Interview Details – After your application is submitted, you will be asked a brief health questionnaire. Then you will have an interview (phone or in person) then a background and medical check. Once everything is clear then you will be placed to a specific country. Typically it takes six months but it could take up to 2 years.

Interview Question – A lot of situational questions, describe a time when you had to teach someone something, describe a time when you didn't agree with someone, how did you handle that situation? Describe a time when you were uncomfortable/ unfamiliar with something, how did you handle it?   View Answer

Negotiation Details – there is no negotiation phase, you either accept your country invitation or you don't. If you decline twice, you are no longer considered.


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer

Interviewed at Peace Corps

Interview Details – The interview was in a college recruiter's office. It took almost an hour and most of the questions were behavioral type. He then had me rank how willing I would be to adapt to certain situations I might encounter for example bucket bathing, having to walk/bike long distances to get to my job, dressing modestly even in a hot climate where the people were extremely conservative etc....

Interview Question – If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend and how they feel about you leaving?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer
El Segundo, CA

I applied online - interviewed at Peace Corps in August 2013.

Interview Details – After submitting my application with references, I was contacted by a regional recruiter to set up an interview time. The office was tucked away into the side of a really upscale building complete with security guard, fountain, and glass doors. The clerk at the front desk and the recruiter were an absolute pleasure to talk to, and I didn't feel uncomfortable about any part of the process. The only thing to prepare for is an interview that can last upwards of 2 hours.

Interview Question – Describe an ambiguous or unstructured situation you've been in. How did you work through it?   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer

I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at Peace Corps.

Interview Details – The application can be a very lengthy and tiring process. It included several pages of information, ranging from detailed health information to personal information to work and education details. You will have a several hour interview if your application is up to par, where they will discuss possible placement areas and your willingness to accept these areas. You will then have to get detailed(and very annoying) health check-ups and dental check-ups before being cleared for a position.

Interview Question – They mostly concentrate on your cross-cultural skills, asking about situations where you were exposed to different cultures and how you responded.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer Interview

Peace Corps Volunteer
Ithaca, NY

I applied online and the process took 9 months - interviewed at Peace Corps in April 2010.

Interview Details – You will do the initial online application, submitting your resume, essays, and additional information, plus have to get 3 letters of recommendation submitted.

Later, you will be contacted by a regional recruiter who will do an in person interview. A lot of the questions are about your background, why you are interested in joining the Peace Corps, your thoughts on living abroad, volunteer service, etc. Pretty basic. I was asked to describe a lot about my previous abroad experience, and also a lot about my background in health (I said I wanted to be a health volunteer). They ask you several times about your commitment to serve abroad, away from family and friends, for such an extended amount of time.

If you do well on the interview, you will be nominated for a position, and then you have to pass medical and security/background clearance. Make sure you do all your appointments as quickly as possible and submit everything as soon as possible so your application can keep rolling. A lot of people get stumped here. It's easy to get done, you just need to turn everything in without errors, and follow up with the DC office often.

Interview Question – I was asked to describe a time where I didn't agree with a situation, but felt I could not do anything about it.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Obviously you don't negotiate salary with Peace Corps, but sometimes you can negotiate where you go/when you leave... although I don't recommend it because they most likely won't do it and it will make you look worse.

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