In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.
Human Rights Watch Interview Questions
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.
"I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, a lot can be misread due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible."
"I like to leverage both methods of communications when dealing in business. Sometimes, situations call for verbal communications and other times, written. As a rule of thumb, I tend to practice verbal communications, with written follow up or visa versa. Utilizing multiple methods creates repetition and therefore, change."
How do you encourage generosity in others; whether that be their ability to contribute financially, or with their time?
The interviewer would like to know that you can be an active employee when it comes to fundraising and recruiting for Human Rights Watch Talk to the interviewer about your ability to ask for donations, close a deal, or gain a commitment of time from volunteers.
"I spent a few years in a business development role before starting my career in nonprofit fund development. I am well connected and persuasive when it comes to gaining financial and time commitments from others."
"I believe that people will readily contribute financially, or with their time, when the cause is close to them or when they fully understand the impact that their contribution will make. I am open to individuals by showing them the impact they can make. This approach generally solicits very positive results."
On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?
Do you feel that you are a sincere person or do you have room for growth? This question could be a tricky one as nobody is always 100% honest. Answer to the best of your ability and back your reply by speaking about your ethics.
"I would love to give myself a 10/10 for honesty but truthfully - nobody is 100% honest all of the time. I will give myself an nine because I always do my best to be as honest as possible."
"I put a heavy focus on honesty and trustworthiness in the workplace, as well as in my personal life. Because I strive for complete honesty, I will rate myself as a 10/10. My values are solid."
In your opinion, what are the greatest needs in our community?
Have an open discussion with the interviewer on what you feel are the most significant needs in your community at this time. Let your passion shine through! Avoid being negative or having a "doomsday" attitude. Remain positive and hopeful by talking about what you can do to make a difference.
"We have many needs in this large and diverse community. My initial instinct is that we need a focus on continued adult education, and supporting low-income families through affordable childcare. What do you feel are the greatest needs in this community?"
At Human Rights Watch we prefer to hire those who have a penchant for sales and fundraising. Have you ever had a fundraising target from a previous nonprofit employer?
Many people enter the nonprofit sector because they want to help people. What they do not realize is that nonprofit organizations also have funding needs to meet. Assure the interviewer that you will not shy away from aggressive fundraising targets.
"I have had multiple sales positions and have also owned my own business in the past. I fully understand that a nonprofit organization still has a bottom line. In my last position with ABC, I was tasked with raising $500K per quarter in charitable contributions."
"In my most recent position I have had multiple targets to reach; whether geared towards dollars, volunteer hours, or regular sponsorship's. I am always on top of my KPI's and targets, setting clear and achievable milestones for myself."
Tell me about a contribution you made to the last team you worked on.
It is essential to show the interviewer that you are a team player. Talk about a time that you were recently expected to achieve a goal in a team setting. How did you go over and above to ensure that your contribution was felt?
"My biggest contribution to my last team came in the form of leadership. I am a natural leader and can foster strong communication with my team which directly impacted the overall results."
"My most notable contribution was my ability to analyze and predict market trends, and then create a successful marketing strategy. Before me, there was no one with a true marketing background on the team."
What experience do you have using team-based messaging applications?
There are many options for communication software and messaging applications. Give the interviewer a brief overview of the apps you are experienced in and assure them that you can learn their internal system, should it be new to you.
"I have used a variety of team-based messaging applications. I am best versed in Brosix, AOL Instant Messenger, and Freedcamp. No matter which system you use I am sure that I can pick it up very quickly."
"I do not have a lot of experience with team-based messaging applications besides MSN Messenger years ago. I do pick up on technology quickly and have no concerns when it comes to my ability to learn. What team-based messaging applications do you use?"
Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to improve work related procedures.
Have you ever taken the opportunity to present your employer with potential change? Talk to the hiring manager about a time when you took the initiative in the workplace.
"I was able to present and implement one specific change in the office this past year. It was a recycling program that I felt was very important, even for our smaller office. We had significantly less waste after my initiative was implemented and I enjoyed seeing others take pride in helping our environment."
"In my current position, I noticed that our written procedures were not exactly how the employees were doing things. I decided to interview the employees and compare it to the written procedures that management wanted to be used. We were able to come to a compromise that met all of the safety and quality requirements of the company, but still worked a bit faster and easier for the staff."
At Human Rights Watch we want to work with individuals who value volunteerism. Walk me through your volunteer experience.
When applying for a nonprofit position you should be prepared to talk about how you give back to others, and how you contribute to your community. Show the interviewer that you can 'walk the walk.'
"I have been involved in volunteer work with our local community for the past ten years. I have worked at our local food bank, women's shelter and humane society."
"I am an avid volunteer at the local animal shelter and have been for the last five years. Animal care is critical to me which is why I am also a foster parent to animals who need to be re-homed but are having a tough time being placed. I believe that all living creatures should be loved and well cared for."
In your opinion, how does social media marketing fit with nonprofit fundraising?
More nonprofit organizations are seeing the benefits of social media for fundraising. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on this form of marketing. If you have ever taken on social media related activities, be sure to mention this to the interviewer.
"I was the social media marketing lead for Company ABC for approximately eight months while we back-filled a marketing position. I feel that small and fast fundraising goals work well on social media. The efforts don't necessarily need to be solely financial focused either. For instance, if you look at the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Not only did it raise an incredible amount of funds - but it also raised a huge amount of awareness of the disease."
"It's interesting that you ask this question, as I just read an article related to this the other day. One of the ways that social media marketing is beneficial to non-profits is because it allows continual engagement of its stakeholders. Another way social media is great is that it allows for global reach that one normally could not achieve."
Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond.
Display to the interviewer that you can do more than the bare minimum. Show that you can react appropriately when you see that your employer has a need that goes beyond your usual day-to-day expectations.
"Last week I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff were complaining that they didn't have their work schedule yet. Rather than going to my manager with the complaint, I offered to take on some of her workload so that she would have the time to complete the schedule. We worked together for a couple of overtime hours that day and were able to catch her up on everything. It felt good to help but also benefited me by way of organization."
"I often go above and beyond what is expected of me. Most recently, I agreed to cover for a co-worker who was on short-term medical leave. I worked 10 hour days for two weeks so that our work did not suffer any setbacks."
Why do you want to work in the nonprofit sector when you can earn more money working in a profit driven corporate environment?
Many nonprofit organizations cannot afford to pay the big salaries of profit-driven organizations. The interviewer wants to know that you are going to be okay with potentially earning less than the average person in your field. Talk to the interviewer about the other ways you will find satisfaction in this role.
"Compensation is always a factor; however, it is not the primary driving force behind my search. I am seeking an organization with a cause where I can make a difference."
"Working in nonprofit has always been my driving force, far above the concern of compensation. Of course, it is nice to earn a good living at the same time. What I value most is the idea of being pleased with my work, at the end of each day."
At Human Rights Watch we aim to hire individuals who can wear many different 'hats' in our organization. What other job functions could you perform?
Every nonprofit organization seeks to hire the most diverse talent possible. This strategy saves the cost of over-staffing and creating a strain on the budget if funds are low. Talk to the interviewer about your multiple skills and abilities. Now is not the time to be humble!
"I am competent in sales as well as online marketing and cold calling. I am very comfortable leading events and am also experienced in recruiting large amounts of volunteers."
"I have many transferable skills which include project management, employee training, interviewing, and succession planning."
Do you have experience in recruiting volunteers?
A large part of the success of a nonprofit organization comes from it's dedicated volunteers. A nonprofit organization will often have recruitment fairs to find and onboard more significant amounts of volunteers. Talk to the interviewer about any experience you have in attracting potential volunteers.
"In my current position I have recruited a total of 40 volunteers in the last year. I am very vocal about my love for volunteering and hope that it's contagious enough to attract others. I have also helped at hiring fairs for Company ABC. I am comfortable in interviewing and screening potential volunteers as well."
"I do not have experience in recruiting volunteers; however, this is a responsibility that I would enjoy learning more about. I am eager to expand my capabilities and feel I would be great in this capacity as I am thorough, with strong intuition."
Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
Talking about your most significant accomplishment will give the interviewer a firm idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments!
"The greatest accomplishment in my career was graduating University as an honors student while still working full time in a related field. I was top of my class, and working full time. This accomplishment showed me that I could dedicate myself to my career, and reach the goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and be recognized for my dedication."
"I have many accomplishments of which I am very proud. Overall, I would say that my greatest work accomplishment is the positive reputation that I have in this industry."
How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?
At Human Rights Watch we want to hire those who are passionate about our cause. What do you know about our organization and how does our mission fit you?
We want to know what you are passionate about. If you could work for any cause, what would you choose?
Do you know anyone who has worked for Human Rights Watch before? What kind of feedback have you received on our organization?
Many nonprofits take an apologetic approach when asking for funding. What is your fundraising approach?
Do you have experience with writing grant proposals?
What are your salary expectations?
Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?
How often do you take work home with you?
Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
How do you like to encourage ideas in others?
When have you used an inventive method to stretch company resources beyond the normal level?
When have you shown great integrity at work?
Have you ever been advised by a fellow employee or supervisor to lie about a situation? How did you handle this ethical dilemma?
How do you handle stress on the job?
Are you applying for any other jobs?