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How to master the EVS application process (about EVS #2)

In the previous article, you found out that the European Voluntary Service is all about motivation.

For this new one, we propose some videos and graphics with advise on how to survive the application process.

As in any other job interview, first of all, you have to send your CV and motivation letter (1-2 pages) to the hosting organization developing the project. If you pass this stage, you’ll be invited for an interview (probably online, via Skype). Sounds complicated, but don’t be afraid, we have some tricks for you.

For example, take this genuine 360° perspective of interviews with other EVS volunteers, sharing their experiences:

Besides that, we have also spoken with Răzvan Sassu, manager of a hosting NGO and a very experienced EVS coordinator.

EVS and your project is about volunteering, so highlight that in your letter by sharing why you want to become a European volunteer (for possible answers watch the video from the first article). If you think that two or three concrete reasons are not enough, you might be wrong! A long and very descriptive letter, in which you present yourself as the best candidate ever doesn’t work. Try to be real and honest with yourself and with the organization; talk about your personal and professional background and stay relevant.

Try to point out how such an experience would benefit your future projects and how EVS will help you to achieve them. Concerning the practical aspects, if you have chosen a specific project, you should address directly to the hosting organization.

– What does it mean? Put the organization’s name in your letter, or its logo; search for the person that is directly responsible for EVS and try to figure out how some of your previous experiences or interests match with the activities developed in this NGO.

Last but not least, here you have some useful advise extracted from our own experience:

some advices for you

What about the interview?

You did a really good job with your motivation letter and guess what? You have been selected for an interview. Congratulations and don’t panic!

Basically, the hosting organization is looking to find out the following:

  • your motivation;
  • your opinion/reaction to certain situations;
  • your opinion regarding sensitive or personal issues (e. g. “Is it ok for you to sleep with another person in the same bedroom?”);
  • your English level (they don’t require the “Cambridge” English, but you should be able to express yourself);
  • your skills relevant for the project.

The interviewer already knows you’re being nervous. Therefore, don’t worry if you take some time to find the right words.  No one will play “good cop, bad cop” with you, they just want to know who they will work with. During the interview, try to be honest and open as much as possible: talk freely about your fears and weak points; we are all human beings and we all have weaknesses. Only in this way, the HO will be able to know more about you and also you have the opportunity to find out if the project really suits you. After all, it can be a win/win situation.

Here are some tips and tricks from volunteers having already survived the interview.

You are now ready and able to rock the motivation letter and interview.

After all of that, you’re almost finished. Just some last steps…

Before you’re leaving for the best experience of your life, don’t forget about the following things: What shall I carry with me?; What about the insurance?; How should I behave during the project?

All these questions will be answered in the next article.

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