And We’ve Established Contact!

9 days ago I sent an email to Placement letting them know that I’d be open to be sent anywhere at all in the world. 70% of the purpose of my email was to really tell them that but 30% of it was to stir the pot, just to get a reaction, a response…something! Well I finally got a response. See the email below:

Thank you for checking on the status of your application. I certainly understand if you’re anxious to learn about next steps and timing. I am the Placement Specialist at Peace Corps responsible for moving forward with your application. A number of applicants have learned from internet message boards, blogs or directly from Peace Corps staff that Federal budget cuts have resulted in fewer assignments for Volunteers in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, we currently have more qualified nominees in the system than spots in which to place them as they were originally nominated. The reality is that most current nominees will not be considered for placement for assignments departing earlier than the January – March 2012 period, at the earliest.
 
We recognize that this may be disappointing and potentially unsettling news. Because each situation is unique, we want to visit with you on the phone to discuss, among other things, your willingness and ability to wait until we can consider you for placement. I plan on calling you on Tuesday, the 2nd of August, at 1:30 PM EST. In the meantime, I think it would be safe to make Fall plans with the expectation that a placement in Peace Corps with departure before January 2012 is not going to happen.
 
Additionally, would you please answer the following questions by reply email:
·         What is the best phone number for me to reach you?
·         What is your current availability date for Peace Corps departure? Please keep in mind that we are currently considering applicants for programs leaving in the January-March timeframe, at the earliest.
·         Since you completed your application, have there been any changes to your legal status?  (Involvement in lawsuits, increased financial obligations, charges or arrests, traffic violations, etc.)
·         Have there been any changes to your medical status?
·         Are there updates regarding any Romantic Involvement?
·         What is your current street address? (no PO Box, please) Please make sure this is up to date in your online Toolkit.
 
Thank you for your patience.
 
Kind regards,

Blah Blah

So, as you can see it’s not ideal news but it’s something I can live with. I’ve heard/read everything about how the budget cuts have affected departure dates, etc. etc. but it feels good to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Now I can finally rest easy in knowing that I won’t be going anywhere until early next year…possibly.

On a different note, can anyone remember the types of questions they ask you on your final interview? Perhaps give me some examples so I can prepare? Please?

Thanks 🙂

 

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6 thoughts on “And We’ve Established Contact!

  1. Lew says:

    You want to know about the kinds of questions the Placement Specialist asked me during our final telephone interview? That’s easy. Practically all of the questions asked by the Placement Specialist were the same as the questions asked by the Recruiter a year earlier. Only, this time, the Placement Specialist took exception to my answers which were the same as I had given to the Recruiter and with which she had no concern. I had to be very careful to not get drawn into being defensive or argumentative, because it seemed as though I was frequently being baited to do so as if the Placement Specialist was looking for a reason to not extend an invitation. I specifically identified this issue and the whole tone of the phone interview changed immediately and within a very short time I was verbally offered an invitation and asked to decide on the spot if I would accept it. I did and the Big Blue Packet arrived at my house two business days later.

    So, 12 months after applying, I received an invitation. (You can see my timeline in my blog at: palew.blogspot.com). in June, 2010, I had been nominated for a departure in January – March, 2011 to go to C/S America for Community Development/Youth Development. I have been invited to go to Macedonia for CD/YD. Departure is scheduled for September 9 (17 months after I applied).

    I thought that I had been caught in a slow down of the process at that time. It appears that the process continues to slow down due primarily to the financial issues facing the Government.

    Best wishes!

    • Nathalie says:

      Ah, this makes me nervous! So they listen to your answers to look for reasons not to invite you?? I thought this was all just a formality because their decision is determined by what’s in my file? I don’t remember the answers I gave to my first intervieww/ the recruiter but I’m sure I can look up the questions somewhere online. I wonder what type of answers they’re looking for…how should I seem in the interview other than nervous? Sorry, you don’t have to answer all that Lew. Just thinking out loud. Haha…

      • Lew says:

        Oh, please do not misinterpret what I said, and please do not get nervous. My experience might have been because I gave direct, honest answers to some of the questions that I interpreted as being challenging and also indicative that I might be getting an invitation to a geographic area about which I was not too excited. Perhaps I should have merely gone along with the flow and stated that I didn’t have any questions or concerns.The Placement Specialist appeared to take my answers as negative & argumentative until I identified my feelings about that and said something to the point that “you asked if I have any concerns about (X) region. I have spent many months without receiving any information from the Peace Corps and during that time I have thought a lot about the region for which I had been nominated. Now, I am being asked about a region that I have had no time to investigate and this is all new to me. You specifically asked if I have any questions or concerns about this. I thought that if you were asking a question such as that, I was being invited to discuss my feelings. I was not arguing with you as you seem to feel I was doing. Nor was I stating that I want to refuse to consider any region. I was only honestly stating that, yes, I have a few questions and concerns. We should be able to discuss them and put them to rest.” At that point, the phone interview changed tone and we got along fine.
        I was pointedly asked if I would consider an invitation and I said yes. The Placement Specialist made it ever so clear that if I declined the invitation, I would not likely receive another one for elsewhere. I assured that person that I fully understood this to be the case. The interview ended shortly after that and, as I said, the BBP arrived two business days later.
        I do not think that the Placement Specialist was intentionally looking for an excuse to not invite me. I believe that I caught that person off guard by answering honestly and attempting to have a discussion instead of just going along agreeing with everything and being gushingly enthusiastic.
        Please realize that a degree of nervousness is inevitable, but do not allow yourself to be consumed by it.
        You will do fine!

  2. Justin says:

    I had pretty much the same experience as Lew, but most others i’ve talked to said theirs went very smoothy. So i think it can depend on your placement officer or the type of placement their considering you for. Don’t sweat it to much, just be prepared to show them commitment and flexibility and you’ll be fine.

    • Nathalie says:

      Thanks, guys. I think I’m just overthinking it. It would suck to come this far and “fail” the last step. I appreciate you sharing your experiences. At least now I can go into it with a better idea of what to expect 🙂

      • Lew says:

        Good thinking.
        Keep Justin’s words in mind.
        Just remember that if you made it this far, you are approved for service and the PC has a place for you and things will work out fine.

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