Interview Tips for Nonprofit Jobs

Interview Tips for nonprofit jobs from Scion Technical Staffing

Interview Tips for Nonprofit Jobs

Are you preparing to interview for a position with a nonprofit organization? If you’re heading into an interview for a position with a nonprofit, it is important to understand that this interview will likely be a bit different than any other interview you’ve had before. Nonprofit organizations run differently than other companies and are looking for different traits in their candidates. There’s a science to mastering your next nonprofit job interview and increasing your chances of landing that job and starting your career in the nonprofit sector. Taking those steps and administering these helpful tips can help you in the long run!

According to Foundation List, nonprofits look for their candidates to meet three main overall criteria. They are looking for people who match their mission or work, candidates who match the job requirements, and candidates who fit into their specific environment, compensation history, and workplace culture. These interview tips for nonprofit jobs can help better prepare you for your interview and prepare you to meet the needs of the nonprofit organization!

Tip Number One: Do Your Research

As with any interview, it’s important to do your homework on your potential future employer. However, when it comes to a nonprofit organization, it’s important to really do your research on the organization. Put a major focus on their missions or their focus of work. It can also be very helpful to do some research into who you’ll be meeting in order to get an idea what your meeting may be like. This way, you’ll be able to have a good understanding of how they operate and what kind of person they are as a whole. Doing your research ahead of time will make it easier for you to know exactly what questions to ask during your interview. Be aware not to ask questions about responsibilities or requirements that may be in the job description!

Tip Number Two: Maintain Positivity

During your interview, you may be asked about previous employers or coworkers. Remember to always keep the mood positive, even if the past employer wasn’t exactly the greatest or you had a coworker who you didn’t get along with. Most of the time, it will end up making you look like the negative party to a potential employer. Employers, including nonprofits, are looking for candidates who respect their previous employer and associates, even if the situation wasn’t a positive one.

Mini-Tip to Remember: Stay Excited, Keep Up the Energy, and Be Honest!

Staying positive during your interview is a great way to keep the mood light and allows conversations to move freely. Show your enthusiasm about the role, the organization, and the mission! Keep your eye contact, be aware of your posture, and represent yourself with honesty!

Tip Number Three: Review Your Online Presence

Social media is a great tool that can help professionals connect with other professionals in order to network and even get new opportunities! LinkedIn has become the ultimate networking social media platform and is a great way to connect with people who work for nonprofits. Making sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and matches what is on your resume is crucial, as interviewers will often look you up before they meet with you. It’s also very important to scan all your social media accounts and err on the side of caution when it comes to anything that may seem unprofessional or against the organization’s moral values.

Mini-Tip to Remember: Dress the Part

As you normally would for any job interview, you want to make sure that you come properly dressed, no matter what organization you are applying to. Present yourself the best way you can. Don’t be overly flashy or dress sloppily. Make sure you dress confidently for the job.

Tip Number Four: Take Thorough Notes

When you come to your interview, make sure you bring a pen and notepad to take notes with. Another thing you could do while you’re doing your research about the organization is take notes on them and the position specifically. Refer back to the roles during the interview process and relate your own skills to the ones listed in the job description. This will show that you have planned ahead and show that you are a great fit for the job.

Mini-Tip to Remember: Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect! If you’ve never interviewed before, don’t worry too much about practicing first. You should definitely practice answering common interview questions, as well as questions about yourself and why you’d be a good candidate for the job. Make sure you highlight certain skills and explain them in detail.

Tip Number Five: Have Examples Ready

Bringing examples of work you’ve done in the past that relates to the job you’re interviewing for is the best way to prove to the hiring manager that you truly do care about what they do. Talking about how passionate you are about a cause or a mission is one thing, but when you have examples to back up your talk, it speaks volumes. Purpose-Driven Organizations are looking for mission-driven people and candidates who take their work seriously are more likely to land a career with a nonprofit.

Tip Number Six: Sell Yourself and Show You Have the Skills They Want

In addition to showing off your passion for the cause, you need to sell yourself as someone who can fill the needs of the organization. Explain how you can contribute to the team and how you’ll add value to the nonprofit. Try not to give simple answers, but also try to keep your question answers to under two minutes. Be honest about your weaknesses but explain how you overcome those weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

Scion Nonprofit is here to connect you with great nonprofit organizations

Scion Nonprofit specializes in placing experienced, mission-driven nonprofit staff members from the entry-level to the executive level. Our search firm was specifically designed to meet the need of the nonprofit sector and effectively provides our devoted clients with top-notch nonprofit talent pipelines and human resource services. If you are looking for an opportunity with a nonprofit, contact someone from our recruiting team here today to get started!