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close this bookAquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)
close this folderChapter ten: Program design - week one
View the documentSession I-1: Trainee arrival
View the documentSession I-2: Orientation
View the documentSession I-3: Expectations, rules and norms
View the documentSession I-4: Individual focusing
View the documentSession I-5: Pond observations
View the documentSession I-6: Processing - pond observations
View the documentSession I-7: Personal Interview - week one
View the documentSession I-8: Processing of week one - bridge to Peace Corps, goal setting

Session I-7: Personal Interview - week one

Time Frame: Average approximately ten minutes per trainee, but vanes greatly.


· Welcome each trainee to the program on an individual basis;

· Allow staff members to become acquainted with each trainee on an individual basis;

· Provide opportunity for trainees to express any concerns, thoughts or questions they may care to share with the staff;

· Allow the staff to learn, on an individual basis, what each trainee expects, hopes or wants in terms of his/her personal experience in training.

Overview: The first personal interview takes place as early as possible, usually around the middle or end of the first week. It is usually very short, just meant to establish a personal contact with each trainee and to provide an opportunity for trainees to share anything they wish to discuss with the staff. The actual length and content will vary considerably based upon the trainee's input. The Master Trainer conducts each interview, preferably with a trainer present as well. Feedback is very rarely shared during this interview.

There is not a set process for these interviews, as what occurs is strictly dependent upon the individual trainees. The following is a suggested approach that can be taken by the Master Trainer, with some sample questions that can be asked to initiate conversation.

The Master Trainer greets the trainee and explains that the first personal interview is simply meant to provide an opportunity to welcome each trainee individually, and to make an individual contact with each person. He/she can say that often trainees have questions they would like to ask or things they would like to discuss with the staff, so this also serves as an opportunity to address anything the trainee would like to talk about.

After those introductory statements, the Master Trainer might ask the trainee some of the following questions:

· What were you doing right before you came to training?

· What are your impressions so far?

· Based on what you have heard and seen so far, what do you anticipate as being some of the more interesting/valuable/difficult/easy aspects of the program for you, personally?

· What are some of the things you plan to work on and/or most hope to get out of training?

· Do you have any questions, concerns or comments you would like to discuss?

· In future interviews, we will be giving you feedback on your progress here. Are there any particular areas in which you are especially interested in receiving feedback?

In closing the interview, the Master Trainer should tell the trainee that future interviews will be structured somewhat differently. They will be more formal and structured, there will usually be a trainer present as well as the Master Trainer, and there will be more discussion of the trainee's work and progress, including feedback on the trainee's performance. The Master Trainer should also point out that the trainee never has to wait for a scheduled interview to talk with staff members, and is welcome to request a special interview with any staff member at any time.

Trainer Notes:

· Since these interviews often take place during Pond Observations, it is possible that trainers, occupied with trainees in the field, may not be able to attend these interviews. In this case, the Master Trainer conducts them alone, but can tell the trainee that trainers will be present in future interviews;

· This interview, since it is less formal than future interviews, can be held outdoors as long as there is a private, reasonably comfortable place to meet;

· After the trainee leaves, the trainer should note down some of the major points that came out during this interview. This is important because concerns or requests expressed may be of the sort that should be addressed again in later interviews. For example, if a trainee is still feeling very unsure about the decision to join Peace Corps at this time, it will be important to check back with him/her later in the program. If the trainee has requested feedback in a particular area, the staff should make a point of making the kinds of observations that will enable them to provide that feedback in future interviews.