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What to expect

What happens at an Assessment Day?

The day will be made up of an individual interview and a range of group activities.

It is important for you to know that you will not be in competition with, or assessed against any of the other candidates, but rather against a set of personal qualities

The day is fairly informal and we aim to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The purpose of each activity on the day will be explained beforehand. The Assessment Day is designed to help us explore whether you are ready to settle into living and working in another culture at this particular time in your life.

What qualities are we looking for?

  • Building and sustaining effective relationships: Can build appropriate and lasting relationships with all stakeholders (VSO staff, partners, counterparts, community members, host families etc.)
  • Commitment to learning: Sharing knowledge to learn and improve.
  • Open minded and respectful: Demonstrating an inclusive and non-judgemental approach, valuing and respecting diversity.
  • Resilience: Working in environments of uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
  • Problem Solving: Using limited resources creatively to achieve best outcomes.
  • Commitment to VSO: Commitment to VSO’s mission, values and ways of working.

How can you prepare?

We are looking for young people who are going to be able to make a positive contribution to a community, and enjoy the experience of living and volunteering effectively.

We are not looking for people with loads of qualifications, nor do we expect you to have a wealth of travel experience. We are looking for volunteers who have the right attitude and resilience to volunteer in a community.

To demonstrate the qualities mentioned above, you will be asked to reflect on previous examples. This could be professional (school, college, university, volunteering, work) or personal (hobbies, clubs, friends and family).

It is a good idea to start thinking about this before you arrive. If you have any questions, please contact us


If you have any questions, please contact your Candidate Manager - details of which will have been emailed to you. 

If you cannot find your Candidate Manager's contact details, please use our general contact details;

Tel: +44 (0)20 8780 7400



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Funded by the UK Government.

ICS is funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which projects the UK as a force for good in the world, including reducing poverty and tackling global challenges.

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