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close this bookAquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)
close this folderChapter twelve: Program design - week three
View the documentSession III-1: Quiz (week three)
View the documentSession III-2: Management plan (part two)
View the documentSession III-3: Equipment shed, feed shed and pump - trainee responsibilities
View the documentSession III-4: Weekly technical report requirements
View the documentSession III-5: Field trips - week three
View the documentSession III-6: Processing of field trip
View the documentSession III-7: Masonry and carpentry projects
View the documentSession III-8: Dissection exercise
View the documentSession III-9: Social awareness
View the documentSession III-10: Personal interview - week three

Session III-10: Personal interview - week three

Total Time: Very variable. Average is between 20 and 30 minutes per trainee.


· Provide opportunity for trainees to give concentrated thought to self-assessment;

· Provide opportunity for trainees to discuss their feelings about being in the program (both short and long-term) and their level of commitment at this point;

· Provide opportunity for each trainee to receive feedback from the staff regarding his/her performance in the program;

· Reinforce strong points of each trainee's performance and discuss strategies for improving weaker areas;

· Provide an opportunity for each trainee to express any concerns or discuss any issues he/she may care to share with the staff.

Overview: This interview is quite different from the first one. Trainees prepare for it ahead of time by filling out a self-assessment form that is meant to help them evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses and target areas in which they are strongest or would like to improve. There is an exchange of perceptions between the staff and the trainee, and the trainee receives direct feedback from the staff.

1. At least one day prior to the first interview, the trainees are each given a copy of the attached self-assessment form. They are asked to consider the items listed on the form very carefully, and respond to each point thoughtfully and honestly. Tell them that they are not limited to the issues on the form, and that they are welcome to bring up any other matters they care to discuss at their interview.

2. Prior to the interviews, the staff also completes a form (the same form the trainees received) for each trainee. During this process, frequent reference should be made to the behavioral data files. Using the form as a vehicle, the staff will determine what they consider to be the most important points to discuss with the trainee, and will prepare themselves to provide objective, balanced feedback.

3. The interview should be held in a quiet, comfortable, private location. The Master Trainer and one other trainer should be present at each interview. When the trainee arrives, the trainers greet him/her, and the Master Trainer explains what will occur during the interview. It is explained that the interview will begin with the trainers asking the trainee a few questions. Following that, the trainee will be asked to share the ratings and comments he/she put on the self-assessment form, and the trainers will give the staff perspective on some of the issues on the form as well. Special attention will probably be given to points for which the trainee and the staff have indicated very different opinions, or to areas that either the trainee or the staff feel should be further examined.

4. Although staff note-taking during the interview should be kept to a minimum, the Master Trainer should explain to the trainee that the trainers will be writing down some of the ratings the trainee has given him/herself, and that the trainers might jot down a few notes. This is to help them remember points that they want to discuss further at a later point in the interview.

5. The Master Trainer asks the trainer to begin the interview. The trainer asks the following questions (obviously, the trainees responses may require further discussion and necessitate a departure from this order or set of questions):

· Now that you have left your family, friends, school or job behind and you have been here at the training site for about three weeks, how do you feel about your decision to join Peace Corps?

· Do you feel that you have any loose ends or unfinished business that you haven't fully addressed yet?

· You have begun to get some hands-on experience in fish culture, is it similar to what you anticipated? In what ways is/isn't it?

6. The Master Trainer then asks the trainee:

· Earlier in the program, you listed some personal goals for training. How do you feel about those goals not, and have you been making progress toward achieving them?

7. The Master Trainer now asks the trainee to go through the self-assessment form. Discuss the trainee's comments about his/her own performance, and provide feedback on the staff's perceptions of the trainee's performance in the different areas. If appropriate, help the trainee to put his/her feelings into perspective (sometimes trainees are very hard on themselves), recognize his/her strengths, and develop strategies for making improvements in areas either the trainee or the staff consider weak.

8. After discussing the issues in the assessment form, the Master Trainer asks the trainee if there is anything else that he/she cares to talk about. (If the staff has other issues they want to address, these are brought up as well).

9. In concluding the interview, ask the trainee to summarize what he/she feels are his/her strongest areas, and what the individual has targeted as areas to work on. Ask the trainee if there is anything in particular about which he/she would like to receive feedback in the next interview. Remind the trainee that a special interview or specific feedback may be requested at anytime.

Resources and Materials:

· A comfortable, quiet, private location;

· Two copies of the self-assessment form per trainee (one to be given to the trainee, one to be filled out by the staff).

Trainer Notes:

· After the interview, the trainee keeps his/her form so that he/she may continue to refer to it. The staff keeps the copy that was completed by the staff;

· This approach to personal interviews was developed after a series of other approaches and modifications. At first, no self-assessment forms were used. Trainees were asked to evaluate themselves verbally at the interview. This resulted in the trainees often doing too little talking in their own interviews. They tended to remember every detail of negative feedback, yet seemed to retain almost no memory of the positive feedback they received. The first few times a self- assessment form was used, the results were encouraging, but the forms themselves were too general and vague. There were no ratings, just a space for comments, and many trainees did not actually fill them out, thus they did not take the time to really think about the issues listed. The form that is provided here was finally developed and has worked very well. By placing a greater emphasis on the process of self- assessment and providing an instrument that really demands it, the trainees seem to put much more effort and honest thought into evaluating their own performances, plus they seem more receptive to hearing the reactions of the staff to their own assessments. It creates a non-threatening, supportive atmosphere and a sense of trust and mutual respect that allows for a greater exchange of ideas and a much more open, positive attitude toward the process of giving and receiving feedback;

· In the case of a trainee who is having real difficulties in the program, or who may even be under consideration for administrative separation, there may need to be some subtle differences in the way the interview is handled. More staff members should be present, and the need for thorough documentation will probably require more note-taking during the interview. Review required procedures for administrative separations and/or resignations as outlined in Peace Corps Manual Section 284 to ensure that the trainee receives fair treatment and that all correct procedures are followed;

· Following each interview, the staff members who were present should make notes for the files about what occurred, about the trainee's self-assessment, the feedback that was given, and the feedback that the trainee requested be provided in the next interview;

· Following is a sample of a self-assessment form:


Name:____________________________________ Date:_____________

The following is a list of some skill indicators that fall under the Assessment Dimension categories outlined during orientation. Please rate your own performance in these areas up to this point in training. Make any comments you may have and note points that you would like to discuss during your personal interview. Use a rating scale of 1 to 5 where 1=Weak and 5=Strong.



· Perseveres in difficult, ambiguous or frustrating situations and with difficult tasks or assignments.

· Listens actively, pays attention and participates actively in group discussions/projects.

· Completes written assignments on time and satisfactorily.

· Is assertive in making use of available resources and records information appropriately for future use.

· Takes some leadership roles, demonstrates leadership ability.

· Is self-motivated, takes responsibility for learning and doing, and can work independently.

· Sets goals and plans effectively.

· Demonstrates technical competence.
Understands and applies technical principles.

· Able to identify and analyze problems. Is innovative and creative in solving problems, and can apply own skills and knowledge to new situations or problems.

· Exhibits enthusiasm and curiosity about problem-solving activities. Seeks out and accepts challenges.

· Communicates effectively.

· Is willing to give and receive feedback, and responds to feedback in a constructive manner.

· Recognizes own strengths and limitations.

· Adjusts rapidly to new environments.
Demonstrates flexibility and a willingness to change behavior when appropriate.

· Projects professionalism, self-respect and respect for others through behavior and personal appearance.

· Observes common standards of etiquette.

· Avoids stereotyping; is not judgmental.
Demonstrates interest in others and a willingness to consider other ideas and opinions.

· Demonstrates integrity in complying with training rules and the spirit of individual training.

· Additional Comments: