|Aquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)|
|Chapter nineteen: Program design - week ten|
Time frame: Very variable. Approximately 45 minutes per trainee.
· Review the trainee's analysis, final conclusions and most significant [earnings regarding the management of his/her pond;
· Review and reinforce the most basic, essential elements of good management for Oreochromis niloticus, and ensure that the basic management plan is clear and fresh in the trainee's mind as he/she departs for his/her country of assignment;
· Acknowledge each trainee's efforts and accomplishments over the course of training, and bring his/her technical training to a formal close;
· Express the staff's congratulations to each trainee upon successful completion of the program.
Overview: Final Interviews are not at all like previous personal interviews. They are very formal, and both the content and format are different. There are a series of steps that take place in the final interview that address both technical and non-technical issues.
1. The Project Director welcomes the trainee to the interview and explains that the interview will be comprised of several parts.
2. The trainer who worked with the trainee's reports throughout the program has the trainee's final report in hand. He/she asks the trainee a series of questions about some of the more significant issues raised in the report these may include unique approaches to management, techniques the trainee developed, special problems that were encountered, interpretations made by the trainee in his/her analysis, etc. The other staff members who are present may choose to ask follow-up questions as the discussion progresses. In concluding this part of the interview, the trainer who evaluated the report acknowledges the effort the trainee put into the management of the pond and into the preparation of the report, congratulates the trainee on the quality of the report (if appropriate), and returns it to the trainee. Finally, it is pointed out that the report is an important and informative document, and the trainees is encouraged to keep it so that he/she may refer to it in the future.
3. For the next part of the interview, another trainer asks the trainee to tell the staff what fish would be considered the culture species of choice for most warm water aquaculture situations. (The trainee is expected to give Oreochromis niloticus as a reply).
The same trainer then asks the trainee to describe the most basic, simple management plan that could be used to raise O. niloticus successfully. The trainee is told to emphasize the points that are especially important in light of the characteristics of this fish. (In reply, the trainee should describe the management scheme that was presented in the special technical session on a "Basic Management Strategy for O. niloticus").
4. The Project Director (or Project Manager) asks the trainee to reflect back over the past ten weeks of training and to express what he/she considers to be his/her most significant accomplishment.
5. The Master Trainer provides any final feedback to the trainee, and acknowledges the progress that the trainee has made over the course of training. (The Master Trainer may choose to include some observations from the staffs point of view regarding the trainee's own comments regarding his/her most significant accomplishment).
6. The last part of the interview is the reading of the trainee's final evaluation. The Project Director explains that the staff has prepared a written final evaluation of each trainee that will be provided to the in-country staff. The purpose of the written evaluation is explained, and the Project Director reads it to the trainee.
7. After the evaluation has been read, the Project Director congratulates the trainee on his/her successful completion of the program. The rest of the staff also congratulates the trainee, and the interview is completed.
Resources and Materials:
· Comfortable, private meeting area with ample seating for up to six people
· Trainee's final report: the trainer who read it should have it at the interview
· A written evaluation of the trainee, prepared by the staff for the in-country staff
· Any notes that the staff has prepared regarding comments to be made in part 5 above
· Final interviews should be quite formal. Staff members should dress appropriately, and the interview should be held in a clean, comfortable, private location.
· At a minimum, the Master Trainer and two other trainers should be present in the interview. One of the two trainers is the one who worked with the trainee's reports throughout the program. Any other available trainers should also be present - this is an important moment and it would be ideal to have all trainers present to lend support in the interview, recognize the trainee's accomplishment and offer congratulations on completion of the program. Unfortunately, this is often not feasible since staff members are usually very busy evaluating final reports. In addition to the Master Trainer and the two trainers who must be present, the Project Director should be present, if possible. In the case of a stateside training program, it is advisable to have a Peace Corps/Washington staff member, preferably the project manager, present. For an in-country program, the appropriate APCD should be present.
· For the first part of the interview, the discussion of the trainee's final report, the trainer who read it can brief the rest of the staff quickly about unique aspects of the trainee's pond management, highlights of the report, and the questions he/she plans to ask the trainee. During this part of the interview, the staff should pay attention to the time. It is possible to get so involved in the discussion that twenty or thirty minutes can pass, and it is very easy to get backlogged on the interviews. On the other hand, this part should not be rushed or off-handed; the staff should show interest in the trainee's pond work and report.
· For the second part of the interview, described in step number three above, trainees should not have any problem answering the questions. However, there are exceptions to this. In some cases, it may take a few moments for the trainee to "click in" to the management plan that was presented in the earlier session. The trainee may be very nervous and have a lapse of memory, or may go into a very detailed plan rather than describe the concise version. To help get the point across, the question regarding the management plan can be posed in the form of a hypothetical scenario that makes it clear the description should be concise. An example of a scenario used in past programs follows:
Imagine you are at J.F.K. airport waiting to board your flight to go overseas. You and the other trainees are having a lively discussion about O. niloticus, and you notice a gentleman has been moving closer to your group and appears to be listening to your discussion. Suddenly, he gets up, comes over to you and says "Excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing that you were talking about O. niloticus. I have been raising catfish for years, but I've been hearing a lot about this O. niloticus lately and I'm interested in trying to raise them." Just then, your flight is called over the intercom and you have one minute before you must board your plane. In that one minute, tell this farmer the most basic, simple plan he could follow to raise O. niloticus. Since he already has some aquaculture experience, be sure you emphasize the points that are especially important in light of the characteristics and potential problems with this particular fish.
· If a trainee is unable to answer either or both of the questions in this second part of the interview, the staff must use their judgement about how to handle it. Sometimes, a few follow up questions from the staff will trigger the trainee's memory and he/she will be able to proceed. Another recommendation is to ask whether the trainee remembers discussing these issues before. If the response is yes, the staff may stop the interview, ask the trainee to go review his/her notes and collect his/her thoughts, and set a time to resume the interview.
· As mentioned in the notes on the Personal Interview in Week Nine, the feedback that is provided during part five of the final interview should emphasize the positive. There should be no unpleasant surprises in the final interview, and except for very special circumstances, this part of the interview should serve to emphasize the trainee's strengths and achievements, and boost his/her confidence. Difficult or sensitive areas should have been discussed at the Week Nine interview.