I know that this is late in coming, since I had my interview just over a week ago on Wednesday, March 19th. For the most part, it went exactly as I had expected. I am glad that they told me ahead of time that it would be a business formal interview. I brought in all of the paperwork that they had mailed to me for processing. The interview took about an hour, maybe a little more, I wasn't paying close attention to the time. All of the questions that they asked were alluded to in the application or paperwork, or they were pretty typical interview questions. Surprisingly, I think that many of the journals that I have been doing in my holistic health and healing class this semester helped me answer the questions since to write them I've had to look closely at myself. I also discovered that in order to work in a program in a Spanish speaking country one must have at least four units of college Spanish classes. For the University, that means I qualified after completing Spanish 1004. Fortunately, I finished through 3015.

After the interview we (my recruiter and I) completed my fingerprint charts. I didn't expect that I would need to be so precise in how I pushed my fingers onto the chart, but it was done soon enough. After we were done with that I also had to fill out a packet on my willingness to adjust my eating habits since I am a vegetarian. I think they also have a packet for people in relationships and one other packet I can't seem to remember. When I was done with that my recruiter explained to me that he would then nominate me for a program, which meant my file would be forwarded to Washington D.C. to compete with other nominees who had been nominated to the same program. He also explained that it usually takes a couple of days to a week for an applicant to be nominated by a recruiter, but my interview had gone so well that he was able to nominate my immediately, and I received my nomination information before I even left the office. It's nothing terribly specific. All I know is that I have been nominated for a business administration position in Latin America, and that I will most likely be leaving in February of 2009. This is all subject to change depending on the decisions made in Washington D.C. but they won't even look at my file until I have completed my physical, dental, and optical examinations and have submitted the paperwork to the national Peace Corps office.
I got my packet of information from the Peace Corps on Friday (the packet they told me to expect 10-14 days after submitting my application). It has sheets for fingerprinting, a background check form, a 'paperwork to submit' checklist, and a few sheets on things like the HPV vaccine and drug and alcohol use. On Monday I was able to get a hold of my recruiter to schedule an interview for a week from tomorrow. This whole process is actually going much faster than I had originally anticipated.

In the letter that was e-mailed to me after scheduling my interview they recommended completing an online activity (in my online toolkit) before my interview. However, the link has not yet shown up in my toolkit. (Having access to an online profile with all of my Peace Corps information has helped me pass the time between interactions, but it takes longer for that profile to be updated than it takes for me to receive paperwork via snail mail.) The letter was also helpful in describing dress expectations for the interview, sample questions, and future expectations (e.g. there is still a large amount of paperwork to be filled out after the interview, if the interview is successful).

From what the letter said, the online activity is supposed to be a good tool for preparation. It sounds like it may be useful beyond the interview for preparing for placement if I'm fortunate enough to be placed. On my application I listed September 1st as my first available leave by date. It will be interesting to see how long after that I am actually able to leave.

Something I learned after setting up my interview is that this will be the last step before I become a Peace Corps nominee. Becoming a nominee means that my information is forwarded to the Peace Corps office in Washington D.C. for further examination and, hopefully, assignment. I'm thinking that this will mean a long wait between the interview and the next time that I hear from the Peace Corps.
Today I talked to my recruiter for the first time. He called me to let me know that he had reviewed my application and asked me to clarify a few items on my resume. He was very polite, in fact, he was so polite that I thought he was a telemarketer at first and almost told him I wasn't interested. Phew, that might have been the end of the line.

It was nice to finally get a few questions clarified, like where I am supposed to get fingerprinted (they finger print at the Peace Corps office during the interview). The conversation also explained what had happened to my paperwork (the paperwork I was supposed to get 10-14 days after submitting my resume). Brian (my recruiter) said that he was mailing it out from the downtown office today. After I get the paperwork in the mail I am supposed to call him back and schedule an interview. At the interview I can finish filling out some of the paperwork such as the fingerprinting form. It seems to me that it would be much more efficient to schedule the interview now and have them hold the paperwork at the office. I guess this is the system I'm going to have to get used to since I'll be working with it for more than two years if I'm accepted.

Another exciting part of the conversation was getting an indication of the direction I'll be going. I chose not to rank locations, but I did indicate that my activity preference was; (1) environment, (2) business, and (3) education. After looking at my application, Brian said that it looked like business would be the best fit for me, but he's going to have me fill out more information on my experience with environmental work and then reevaluate my fit. I thought that I would be disappointed if I didn't get to do environmental work, but I'm actually really excited by the idea of working in business. I would actually get to use all the things that I've been learning in school, and it would better prepare me for a career when I return (assuming I actually leave in the first place).