FOODCORPS SERVICE MEMBER INTERVIEW & SELECTION GUIDE

 
FoodCorps Service Member
                 Interview & Selection Guide
 Selecting the FoodCorps service member(s) who will be placed with your organization is an important undertaking. Approximately
 1000 people apply for positions with FoodCorps, making our selection rate highly competitive. It’s important that we evaluate
 candidates for their general fit and readiness for service as well as look at how their specific skills, experiences, and characteristics will
 match the service activities and goals you hope they will accomplish during their service term.

 This guide is designed to assist you in the interview and selection of FoodCorps service members by:
    • Outlining the application, interview and selection process and timeline
    • Providing examples of processes used by state partners for reviewing and distributing applications
    • Listing some general do’s, don’ts and menu of interview questions
    • Providing guidance in what may be lawful and unlawful to ask when interviewing candidates

 Thank you for your role in ensuring that we have an excellent incoming class of service members this year just as we have in previous
 years!

                                                      Service Member Application Process
All candidates interested in applying for FoodCorps service positions are required to submit an application online via FoodCorps’ application portal
or complete a paper version of the application. The application consists of background information about a candidate’s education and professional
or volunteer experience, short essay questions, questions about their service preferences and knowledge/interest in the communities they want to
serve. This year—in an attempt to make the application more accessible to people who aren’t as comfortable with writing—we offered applicants the
opportunity to upload a supplemental file to respond to any of the short answer questions. Examples of supplemental files include short videos,
presentations, excerpts from research projects, and letters of reference.

                                                        Service Member Selection Process
National Application Review: Candidates who are selected for FoodCorps service are evaluated first at a national level. Two members of the
national review team (made up primarily of FoodCorps alumni and a handful of staff) review each applicant’s application and supplemental
materials. Each reviewer gives the candidate a numerical score of up to 30 points based on a scoring rubric that evaluates their experience,
knowledge, motivation, personal story, leadership, and potential to benefit. Please see the rubric on the final three pages of this guide for full details
on each category. Based on these scores, service preferences, and the number of applicants needed for each state to have a robust pool of
applicants, FoodCorps staff determines which state an application will be sent to and/or whether or not an applicant should be removed from
consideration.

State Application Review: In this second round, a cohort of approximately 3-5 candidates for each service position are sent to the state partners
and fellow of each state where FoodCorps seeks to place service members in the upcoming term. Each applicant is only sent to one state for
review. The state partners supervisor(s) and fellow determine and manage the process by which the candidates will be reviewed and distributed to
service sites in each state. Please see the section on “State partner Best Practices for Managing Statewide Interviews and Selection” for suggested
processes that have been developed by FoodCorps state partners. Once service sites have received a pool of candidates for review, service site
supervisors will determine which candidates they would like to interview. Please note that a candidate may receive invitations to interview at more
than one service site in the state, depending on how the state partner has distributed applications.

Interviews: Interviews of service members should last at least a half hour and should be conducted, at a minimum, by the service site supervisor
and one other person at the service site. New service sites are encouraged to include the state’s FoodCorps fellow in the interview process as the
fellow can help to provide insight into qualities that help a service member be successful. Please see the “Interview and Selection Do’s and Don’ts”
as well as the “Sample Interview Questions” or specific recommendations on how to conduct these interviews. FoodCorps recommends that service
sites interview at least 3-5 candidates for each position.

Please note: In your communications with FoodCorps service member candidates, you are acting on behalf of FoodCorps as well as your own
organization. As such, you are required to abide by FoodCorps’ Nondiscrimination Policy with specific regard to our protected classes. The
protected classes in FoodCorps’ policy include race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, ethnicity,
age, disability, marital status, military service status, and any other protected classification. These classes may or may not mirror your own
organization’s policy or local, state, or municipal laws. However, you must ensure that your communication and actions on behalf of FoodCorps are,
at a minimum, in line with this policy.

Ranking: Once all interviews for a service site have been completed, the service site supervisor will send a ranked list of 3-5 candidates for the
position to the state partner supervisor(s) and fellow, preferably using the space available at the bottom of the Interview Notes template. After
FoodCorps receives final word on our AmeriCorps funding and confirms the service position allotments for each state, FoodCorps will offer the
positions to the candidates according to the rankings submitted by the service site supervisor(s). FoodCorps prefers not to have the same candidate
as the top choice for more than one position in a state, so we encourage state partner supervisor(s) to work with service sites to spread the
opportunities around. We understand that this is not always possible when two or more service sites have the same top choice. In these situations,
we have a process in place to simultaneously offer positions at more than one service site to the same candidate, leaving it to the candidate to
select the preferred offer.

Offers: Positions will be offered via email. Top ranked candidates will be sent an offer packet, which consists of a welcome letter general
FoodCorps service member position description, and specific information regarding the service site and service activities as submitted by the
service site. The service site supervisor(s), state partner supervisor(s), and fellow will be cc’d on the email. Candidates will have one week to accept
or decline the position. If the candidate declines, the position will be offered to the next candidate as ranked by the service site. In these instances,
we will reach out to the site supervisor to confirm that they still want us to make the offer to their second choice candidate.
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Please note: All formal written or verbal offers for FoodCorps service member positions must be made by FoodCorps staff in order to maintain our
compliance with AmeriCorps regulations. If there is a situation in which it is important that a candidate knows s/he is the top choice but has not yet
received an offer from FoodCorps, service sites can let that candidate know that “you are a top candidate who has a very good chance of receiving
an offer from FoodCorps once the funding and selection process is complete” and that “FoodCorps will be in touch with you directly as soon as
possible regarding final decisions.”

Communication with candidates not receiving offers: FoodCorps recognizes that candidates want to learn whether they will be offered a
position as soon as possible, especially if they have been interviewed by a service site. Because of the complexity of managing candidates who
may have had multiple interviews and may be on more than one service site’s ranked list, FoodCorps staff will also manage communication with
candidates when it is clear they will not be receiving an offer from any service site. This will be done in as timely a manner as possible. If state
partners and service sites receive inquiries from candidates who have not received offers, please direct them to write to serve@foodcorps.org.

                                                              Special Considerations
Returning Service Members: Service sites where an existing FoodCorps service member has applied to stay for a second term are strongly
encouraged though not required to interview additional candidates. Knowing that individual plans change and other opportunities may emerge,
FoodCorps considers it a best practice to interview other candidates in case the existing service member decides not to stay, which happens even
among highly committed service members. Additionally, we strongly encourage service site supervisors to have a formal conversation with returning
members to discuss their motivations for continuing, goals for a second term, and any questions or concerns.

New Service Sites: Service sites that are pending funding (in most cases, these are sites that have not yet hosted a service member before)
should know that their FoodCorps position is not guaranteed until FoodCorps receives final notification from AmeriCorps in early May. FoodCorps
will remain in close communication with state partners and fellows regarding funding levels and will share information about the confirmation of new
positions as soon as possible. State partners may choose how and when to involve potential new service sites. However, the due date for returning
candidate rankings to FoodCorps is the same as for returning sites: June 5th.

                           State Partner Best Practices for Managing Statewide Interviews and Selection

Following the national review and rating of all service member applicants, FoodCorps will distribute qualified candidates to each state partner based
on the candidates’ state preferences. At this point, it is up to the state partner to determine the best process for reviewing applications, distributing
candidates to the service sites, and ranking candidates for the state. FoodCorps believes each state partner knows what will work best in their
state. We also encourage state partners to learn from each other’s experiences. The following are recommended best practices from experienced
State partners for managing this process.

Establish a clear timeline between April 24th and the end of May that includes dates for reviewing applications, distributing applications to
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service sites, conducting interviews, and receiving rankings from service sites. There is a total of five weeks for this entire process, so establishing
and sticking with deadlines is important. Make sure that all of the people involved clearly understand the timeline.

Determine who will be involved in the preliminary review of the applications for the state. At a bare minimum, the state partner supervisor(s)
and/or current FoodCorps fellow should review the applications and the national ratings. Additionally, some state partners have included other state
partner staff, service site supervisors, and the incoming FoodCorps fellow in the review process. As there are a large number of applications in most
states, it might be more efficient to divide the applications into manageable numbers for each reviewer. It is also beneficial to have at least two
individuals review each application. The end result is that a cohort of people in the state will be familiar with the total pool of applicants and be able
to distribute the candidates to service sites that match their motivations, interest, and qualifications.

Consider both equity and efficiency when distributing candidates to service sites. State partners across the country use different approaches
to distributing candidates. A few are comfortable making the full pool of candidates available to all service sites. Many send a specific number of
pre-selected candidates to each service site. The approach you use should factor in the total number of candidates you have in the state, how many
opportunities you want each candidate to have for interviewing, your own assessment of which candidates best match the needs of specific service
sites, how much time service sites have to review applications and select candidates for interviews, and the perceptions that candidates will have
about the overall organization of the process. As a reminder, FoodCorps strongly prefers to only offer one position to each top candidate, so it is
helpful to spread out the opportunities for interviews among all of the candidates who the State partner believes are qualified.

Monitor the progress of service sites. Ideally, service sites will have their pool of candidates by late April so that they have adequate time to
arrange and conduct interviews, check references, and determine their candidate rankings. As it is very important that FoodCorps receives ranked
lists for the whole state by June 5th, experienced state partners recommend establishing a process for checking in with service sites on a regular
(likely weekly) basis to make sure the whole state remains on track.

Ensure that interviewers are well versed in effective and legal interviewing and selection. The individuals conducting interviews and
reference checks are publicly representing the service site, state partner, and FoodCorps during the process. This guide contains several sections
on the do’s and don’ts of interviewing, sample interview questions, and legal interview questions that all interviewers should read and that interview
teams can use when formulating their interview and reference questions.

Be available for service site questions and support. For service sites, this is their opportunity to select the ideal candidate(s) for their
organization for a year. Many will look for guidance from the state partner, especially those service sites that are new. It is important to be
responsive throughout the month. FoodCorps fellows can also be invited to participate in interviews, especially at new sites.

Help manage the collection of interview questions and notes from each service site. In order to better monitor our interview and selection
process from afar, FoodCorps is requiring service sites to submit a copy of their interview questions as well as to share with us some basic notes
from each interview they conduct. We will supply service sites with a template for the interview notes and they will be asked to submit the completed
document once they have completed their interviews and decided on their candidate rankings. Folders will be created for each state to save these
documents in the FoodCorps Cloud file storage on Box.com.

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Interview & Selection Do’s
DO keep equity at the forefront of your planning process. As part of our commitment to equity, inclusion, & diversity, it is our hope and
expectation that all of our partners will approach the interview & selection process in a way that reflects that commitment. In order to help you do
this, below we have identified some key decision-making opportunities—what are called Equity Choice Points—that often influence the outcome of a
hiring process. As the Applied Research Center writes, “When we’re conscious of choice points and the related impacts, we’re less likely to replicate
implicit bias and the status quo, and we open new possibilities for equitable change.”

DO know in advance what you are looking for in a service member. While all FoodCorps service members share the same basic job description, we
know that how that position itself plays out on the ground looks different from site to site. Here are some important questions to ask yourself in
preparing for the interview:
   • What are the essential requirements of the position?
   • What unique strengths and skills will your service member need in order to be successful in your community and organization?
   • What is your supervisory and organizational capacity to support the service member as he/she develops the necessary professional skills?
   •   Equity Choice Point: Who is involved in deciding what you’re looking for?
   •   Equity Choice Point: Do your “Must Haves” align with the actual function of the service member?
   •   Equity Choice Point: How much are you considering your ideal service member’s familiarity with the culture and history of the
       population they are serving? Does your ideal service member need to demonstrate an ability to navigate differences of class,
       race, and privilege?

DO have a minimum of two people involved in the interview and selection process and make sure that everyone involved is on the same page.
Make sure that there is a shared understanding of what it means to be a FoodCorps service member, common expectations of the role that person
will fill in your organization, and dialogue about what you are looking for in an ideal candidate. In order to minimize bias, it is recommended that a
diverse team participate in the process, including people with different cultural, professional, academic, generational, gender, and backgrounds as
well as personality preferences.
   •   Equity Choice Point: Who is involved in leading the interview? Who helps with the initial screening? Who is involved in making
       the final decision? Is it just one person? If not, are do they have different backgrounds, interests, and perspectives?
   •   Equity Choice Point: Do you talk about implicit bias with your team? The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity
       defines implicit bias as the “attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, & decisions in an unconscious
       manner.” It is different from other forms of bias in the sense that we are less aware of them, but like other forms of bias, they can
       have a cumulative institutional impact that shores up inequality. Everyone has implicit biases. Just by acknowledging this among
       your team, encouraging more awareness, speaking up when you see it effecting a decision, and incorporating equity choice
       points into your process can help minimize the impact.

DO consider involving a departing service member in the interview process if there is no conflict of interest. Current service members can help
candidates understand the role and can provide the interview team with on-the-ground perspective on candidates’ qualifications. Keep in mind,
however, that service members cannot log service hours for being part of interviews, so the service member needs to determine whether the
  additional time commitment is manageable. Returning service members cannot participate in the selection process.
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DO be as consistent as possible with the method and technology that you use to conduct interviews so that all candidates are on equal footing. If
you are interviewing by phone, interview all candidates by phone. If you have candidates who are local and you want to interview them in person, try
to use Google Hangout, Skype or a similar platform for an “in-person” experience with candidates who are distant from your site. Whatever
technology you are using, make sure that everyone has the sign-in information ahead of time and knows how to use it.

DO provide reasonable accommodation for all candidates who request it. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires employers to
provide reasonable accommodations for qualified employees with disabilities, unless such accommodations pose an undue hardship (e.g., too
costly, too extensive, too substantial, too disruptive). FoodCorps will be notifying all 2nd round applicants of their right to request reasonable
accommodations during the interview stage and beyond.

DO ask all candidates the same series of questions, and prepare the questions in writing ahead of time. The best way to evaluate prospective
FoodCorps service members consistently and fairly is to give them an equal opportunity to shine in all of the same ways. To this end, we also
suggest drafting interview questions before reading applications so as to make sure that your questions are related more to the qualifications of the
position rather than your impressions of the candidates.
   •   Equity Choice Point: If giving “simulation” assignments, are you consistent in how you administer and/or prepare candidates for
       the simulation?
   •   Equity Choice Point: To whom do you ask more follow-up questions?
   •   Equity Choice Point: Which applicants do you scrutinize more closely? Who do you assume has the potential to do the job vs.
       not?

DO develop interview questions that will be thought provoking for the candidates and will allow the interview team to assess the candidates against
the criteria that you have established. Check out the “Sample Interview Questions” in this guide for ideas.

DO only ask questions that are necessary to determine qualifications and suitability. Please carefully review the two sections in this guide on “Lawful
vs. Unlawful Questions” and “American with Disabilities Act: Interview Do’s and Don’ts” for detailed information on topics that can be discussed and
how to discuss them legally and professionally.

DO leave adequate time for candidates to ask questions so that they get to know your site as well as possible during the interview. In responding, it
is best to be transparent with candidates about the nature of the activities they will be doing on a day-to-day basis. If a candidate seems more
passionate about one of the three FoodCorps areas of service than the others and your organization does not do much work in that realm, it is
better to let them know now—so that they are making an informed decision—than to have a dissatisfied service member later on.

DO interview at least 3-5 candidates for service member positions. Even if you have your heart set on a single candidate or believe that the first
person you interview is a good fit, it is good practice to have a broader pool and standard against which to compare them in order to know for
certain that you are making an informed decision. There is no certainty that your top choice candidate will ultimately decide to serve with
FoodCorps. If you invite more than one person to interview, it is a professional courtesy to follow through. We want to make sure that all of our
applicants are treated fairly and respectfully. FoodCorps requires you to list your top 3-5 candidates for your position and will offer the position to
  them in the order you ranked should your top candidate decline.
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DO contact references for candidates who you are considering including in your rankings. Candidates list two personal or professional references in
their application. We encourage you to contact both, particularly for your top candidate. Make a note of references contacted and the job-related
feedback they provide, being mindful that any feedback that is irrelevant or may be discriminatory should not be considered or documented.

DO send FoodCorps a copy of your interview questions and the completed Service Member Interview notes template for our records. This allows
both FoodCorps and AmeriCorps to monitor the selection process and ensure that all of our candidates have a relatively uniform and fair interview
experience.

DO send FoodCorps a ranked list of 3-5 candidates that you would enthusiastically support serving at your site for the next 11 months. In order to
ensure that we have positions filled in a timely fashion, it is important that you send the names of multiple candidates. It is not unusual for a top
candidate to turn down the position, so it is important that you would be comfortable with the other candidates.
    •   Equity Choice Point: When do you go with the actual information you’ve collected vs. your gut?
    •   Equity Choice Point: Who do you assume “will just fit with the team” vs. who will do the job best?

                                                          Sample Interview Questions
While the “hands-on skills” of teaching/managing groups of kids, gardening, and relationship-building are essential to the day-to-day success of a
service member, we have found over the last five years that these skills are not—in and of themselves—predictors of whether or not someone will
have a successful FoodCorps term and can be learned and improved with training or by experience over the course of the 11 months. Often, the
qualities that distinguish a successful service member from those who struggle are not usually the hands-on skills, but their attitude toward and
ability to negotiate challenges. Based on our experience, the following skills have the most bearing on service member success:

Dealing With Ambiguity- Can effectively cope with change; can shift gears comfortably; can decide and act without having the total
picture; isn’t upset when things are up in the air; doesn’t have to finish things before moving on; can comfortably handle risk and
uncertainty.

Learning on the Fly- Learns quickly when facing new problems; a relentless and versatile learner; open to change; analyzes both
successes and failures for clues to improvement; experiments and will try anything to find solutions; enjoys the challenge of unfamiliar
tasks; quickly grasps the essence and the underlying structure of anything.

Managing Diversity- Managing relationships with all kinds and classes of people equitably; dealing effectively with all races,
nationalities, cultures, disabilities, ages and both sexes; supports equal and fair treatment and opportunity for all. Deep knowledge of or
genuine and critical curiosity about the history and culture and community they are serving.

Patience- Is tolerant with people and processes; listens and checks before acting; tries to understand the people and the data before
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making judgments and acting; waits for others to catch up before acting; sensitive to due process and proper pacing; follows
established process.

Personal Learning- Picks up on the need to change personal and interpersonal behavior quickly; watches others for their reactions to
his/her attempts to influence and perform, and adjusts; seeks feedback; is sensitive to changing personal demands and requirements
and changes accordingly.

Because our application, to a great extent, has already made it possible for you to identify the concrete skills and experiences an applicant is
bringing to the table, we suggest that you spend most of your interviews exploring the skills above, which are usually the ones that are harder to
train or learn during the course of a service term. Below, you will find a menu of generic questions that correlate to each of these skills. We highly
encourage you to choose at least some of your questions from this menu. Feel free to adapt them to your own needs and unique regional, cultural,
or organizational context.

Dealing With Ambiguity

Option A: Give me an example of how your work habits change when you don’t know exactly what to do.

Option B: Tell me about a time when you had a problem and you didn’t know what to do.

Option C: Tell us about a time when the work you were doing felt uninspiring or lacked impact. What did you do to overcome those feelings?

Learning on the Fly

Option A: Tell me about a time when you had to learn something new very quickly

Option B: Describe a time when you had to read between the lines to fully understand what was going on? How did you learn the real meaning of
what was going on rather than what you were just presented at the surface level.

Option C: Describe a situation when you were pursuing a course of action and had to make a quick and abrupt change.

Managing Diversity

Option A

Tell me about a time you worked with someone whose background, experiences, and way of life were different than yours. What were your
assumptions going in? What were the challenges? What did you learn?

Option B

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Tell me about a time when your actions turned out to be culturally inappropriate or ineffective.

Option C

What do you know about the history and/or culture of the community or population you are applying to serve?

Option D

What ideas do you have for taking into consideration the cultural backgrounds and/or diversity of your students into the lessons you will be teaching
as a FoodCorps service member? How will it shape the way you approach your service?

Patience

Option A: Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a person or group who could only see their side of the issue and was not open to other
views.

Option B: Tell me about a time you had to get along with someone with a very different manner or speed of doing things.

Option C: Sometimes our service members will arrive at their service site excited to get started working on FoodCorps’ areas of service, only to
discover that a key partner is more skeptical of our approach than they expected. If you have ever faced a situation in which you did not receive the
support you expected, how did you handle it? If you have not faced a similar situation, what would you do to ensure that you are successful in
engaging key partners?

Personal Learning

Option A: Tell me about a time you realized things you had done in the past weren’t working anymore.

Option B: Tell me about a time when you were a newcomer into a group or organization and how you learned to fit in.

Option C: Describe a time when you changed something based on feedback

Additional Questions To Consider

In addition to evaluating their soft skills, you might want to add a couple of questions to your interview script that help you to understand the
applicant’s interest in FoodCorps generally and your organization in particular, at what tasks and projects they are most likely to excel, and whether
they will be satisfied with your organizational environment and style as a supervisor.

Motivation
    •   What motivated you to apply for this position?
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•   What most excites you about the organization and its mission and programs?
   •   Please tell us more about your interest in serving in this community?
   •   How does this position fit into your short-term and long-term career goals?
   •   There are many different opportunities to engage in public service and/or food systems work. What is it about FoodCorps versus other public
       service programs and food work that interests you?

Effectiveness
   •   What are the strengths that you believe will serve you best in our organization?
   •   What types of responsibilities or tasks really energize you?

Organizational Fit
   •   What do you value in an organizational environment?
   •   How do you prefer to be supervised?
   •   What is your idea of a satisfying week of service?

A Note on Skills Assessments

When deciding between candidates who are equally matched “on paper”, it might be useful to use a skills assessment to discern who is most ready
to serve. If you choose to use a skills assessment, be sure that each candidate is provided with the exact same instructions ahead of their interview
so that no one is taken by surprise. Some examples of possible skills assessments include:
   •   Enlisting a native-Spanish speaker to help assess a candidate’s level of language fluency
   •   Have finalists deliver a brief lesson as part of their interview
   •   Present a scenario or challenge that a service member is likely to face in the garden or school. Ask them how they would
       address the problem step-by-step.

                                                           Interview & Selection Don’ts

DON’T ask questions that are not related to the position and the candidate’s qualifications for the position and fit with the organization.

DON’T ask questions or impose requirements that may be discriminatory, including questions relating to the following: nationality, race, creed, color,
ancestry, birthplace, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, health/physical or mental conditions, religion, political or personal views
or affiliations, marital status, pregnancy/children. Please carefully review the two sections in this guide on “Lawful vs. Unlawful Questions”
and “American with Disabilities Act: Interview Do’s and Don’ts” for detailed information on topics that can be discussed and how to discuss them.

DON’T make written or verbal offers directly to candidates. Such statements could be legally enforceable as offers under some state laws and could
10create problems if an applicant is not selected.
DON’T make assumptions about where an otherwise qualified candidate will or will not be comfortable serving based on their nationality, race,
creed, color, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, health/physical or mental conditions, religion, political or personal
views, marital and/or parental status. While we encourage you to be proactive about sharing information about the service environment and duties
and it is acceptable to evaluate applicants based on objective qualifications like their experience working in a similar community, please respect
their ability to assess where they will feel comfortable serving and believe themselves able to serve.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before, During and After Interviews:

     •   Is the information I’m thinking of asking for really necessary to judge the applicant's competence or qualifications for the position?

     •   Will the answers to this interview question, if used in making a selection, have a disparate effect in screening out candidates based on
         ethnicity, gender, religion, etc.?

     •   Will the response to this question screen out qualified candidates because of disability before their actual ability to do the job is evaluated?

     •   If later asked, “Why was this person selected and not another?”, will I be able to articulate a reason that is related to the service position?

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Lawful vs. Unlawful Questions

This guide is intended to assist FoodCorps and the sites with which we work in conducting interviews of candidates for service member and staff
positions. The “lawful” questions listed are not ones that you have to ask; they are simply examples of ones that are acceptable under the law. The
“unlawful or inadvisable” questions, on the other hand, should be strictly avoided during the interview and selection process.

Please read through this guide carefully. Making hiring decisions based on the information asked about or referenced in the right-hand column may
be unlawful or discriminatory.

                     LAWFUL QUESTIONS OR                      UNLAWFUL OR INADVISABLE
SUBJECT
                     REQUIREMENTS                             QUESTIONS OR REQUIREMENTS

                                                              Asking applicant to state age or DOB; to
                     Are you 18 or over?                      produce proof of age (birth certificate).
Age
                     (minimum age requirement)                Requirements such as "young," or "recent
                                                              college graduate.”

                                                              Questions regarding color of applicant's skin,
                                                              eyes, hair or other questions directly or
Appearance
                                                              indirectly indicating race or color; applicant's
Height               None
                                                              height or weight (unless based on legitimate
Weight
                                                              position requirement, in which you would need
                                                              to be able to prove that specific need).

                                                              Questions about birthplace of applicant,
                     None                                     or birthplace of applicant’s parent,
Birthplace           (Proof of citizenship may be requested   spouse or relatives. Requirements
                     only after hiring.)                      (prior to hiring) of birth certificate,
                                                              naturalization or baptismal records.

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The requiring of arrest and conviction
                                                                  information has been shown to have a disparate
                                                                  effect on racial minorities and it prohibited in
Criminal Record    None
                                                                  some states; it is unlawful to solicit such
                                                                  information. (Note: FoodCorps applicants have
                                                                  agreed to criminal history checks.)

                                                                  Whether applicant, parents or spouse are US
                   Whether applicant can provide proof of
Citizenship                                                       citizens. Birthplace of applicant, parents or
                   citizenship, via or registration after being
Birthplace                                                        spouse, or request for birth or naturalization
                   hired.
                                                                  papers.

                                                                  Questions regarding the number and ages of
Dependents         None                                           children; what child care arrangements have
                                                                  been made; family planning.

                   Whether applicant is able to perform the       General questions about an applicant's state of
Disability
                   essential functions of the position with or    health, mental state, or the nature and severity
Illness
                   without reasonable accommodation               of a disability.

Driving            Inquire only if driving is necessary to the
Driver’s License   position.

                                                                  Questions regarding the use of legal drugs.
                                                                  Several states prohibit discrimination based on
Drug Use (legal)   None
                                                                  the use of lawful products, including tobacco
                                                                  and alcohol.

                   Questions about academic, professional
                   or vocational schools attended; course of
                                                                  Dates of elementary/high school attendance
                   study, degree or certificate earned.
                                                                  (could be viewed as asking about age).
Education          Whether the applicant has the specific
                                                                  Nationality, racial or religious affiliation of any
                   education or training required for the
                                                                  school attended by the applicant.
                   specific job.

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Whether applicant is single, married, divorced,
                                                               widowed, etc.; Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.; questions
Marital Status    None
                                                               regarding the names and ages of spouses or
                                                               children.

                                                               Inquiries into military experience if not position-
                  Only to the extent it is relevant to the
Military Status                                                related. Questions regarding foreign military
                  position.
                                                               experience or military discharge.

                                                               Questions or comments about the name that
                  Whether the applicant has used another
                                                               would reveal applicant's lineage, national
Name              name (for the purpose of verifying past
                                                               origin, marital status, etc. (e.g., maiden name?
                  work record).
                                                               Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.?)

                                                               Questions regarding: applicant's nationality,
                                                               ancestry, lineage or parentage; nationality of
                  What languages applicant reads, speaks
Nationality                                                    applicant's parents or spouse; maiden name of
                  or writes fluently only if relevant and
Languages                                                      applicant, wife or mother.
                  important to the position.
                                                               Questions regarding languages read/spoken if
                                                               not relevant to position.

                  None
Photos                                                         Requiring before hire for selection.
                  (Use after hire for identification = OK)

                                                               Requiring the name of all organizations, clubs,
                                                               associations to which the applicant belongs,
                  Questions regarding memberships in job-
Associations                                                   particularly those that may indicate race,
                  related clubs and organizations, excluding
Organizations                                                  religion, color, sex, national origin, ancestry of
                  those that may reveal the race, religion,
Clubs                                                          their members.
                  age, sex, disability, etc. of applicant.
                                                               Questions regarding how the applicant spends
                                                               his/her spare time.

                                                                 Questions regarding: applicants' race; color of
                                                                 applicant's skin, eyes, hair or other questions
      Race
                    None                                         directly or indirectly indicating race or color;
      Color
                                                                 applicant's height or weight (unless based on
                                                                 legitimate job need).
 14
None                                          Questions about the location of relatives’ places
                          (Name, address, relationship of person to     of business. Questions to determine if relatives
     Relatives
                          be notified in case of emergency may be       of applicant are or have been employed by
                          requested only after hiring.)                 site/FoodCorps.

                                                                        Questions regarding applicant's religious
                          Questions relating to the position’s normal
                                                                        denomination or affiliation or religious holidays
     Religion             work hours. After hire, questions regarding
                                                                        observed. Any question that would indicate or
                          religious accommodations may be OK.
                                                                        identify religious customs or holidays observed.

                                                                        Questions regarding: applicant's sex; gender
     Sex                                                                identification; Mr., Mrs. Miss, Ms.; if applicant is
                          None
     Gender Identity                                                    expecting, planning a family or used birth
                                                                        control.

                                                                        Any question concerning an applicant's
     Sexual Orientation   None
                                                                        heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.

                                                                        Questions regarding smoking tobacco. Several
     Smoking              None                                          states prohibit discrimination based on the use
                                                                        of lawful products, including tobacco.

                          What do you consider to be a stressful
                          work experience?                              Questions regarding whether the applicant is
                          What do you do to respond to stress?          good at handling stress or how he/she
     Stress
                          How do you manage your time?                  responds to stressful working conditions.
     Time Management
                          Do you have a clear understanding of the      These questions may appear to be designed to
                          requirements and challenges of the            elicit disability information.
                          position?

15
Questions relating to the position’s normal
                    work hours are ok. Although you may want
                    to know about an applicant’s availability to
                    serve on Saturday or Sunday service, you
                    may not be able to consider their answer.
                    Even when an applicant’s religious
                    observance makes him or her unavailable
                    for weekend shifts, this fact cannot be        Any questions about religious
     Weekend
                    used in any selection or hiring decision.      observance.
     Availability
                    Title VII requires employers to make
                    “reasonable accommodation” even for “a
                    prospective employee’s religious
                    observance,” unless it causes “undue
                    hardship.” If you decide to ask, let the
                    applicant know that a reasonable effort will
                    be made to accommodate any religious
                    needs should he or she be hired.

16
Americans with Disabilities Act: Interview Do’s and Don’ts
The following rules apply whenever you interview an applicant for employment or an employee for a promotion, or conduct a reference check, before a person has
been tentatively selected and given a conditional offer of employment. Post-offer inquiries should be conducted in the context of medical entrance examinations.

      DO NOT: Ask “What is your corrected vision?”                YOU MAY: Ask whether the individual needs any
                                                                  reasonable accommodations or assistance during the
      DO NOT: Ask questions about whether the                     hiring or interviewing process.
      individual has a current disability or a past disability.
                                                                  YOU MAY: Ask about the individual’s ability to
      DO NOT: Ask whether the individual has any                  perform essential job functions.
      serious illness (such as AIDS), back problems, a
      history of mental illness or any other physical or          YOU MAY: State the performance standards and
      mental condition.                                           expectations for a particular position.

      DO NOT: Ask whether the applicant has a sexually            YOU MAY: Give a copy of the job description to the
      transmitted disease, such as the HIV virus.                 individual that identifies all essential functions or
                                                                  describe the job and ask whether the individual is
      DO NOT: Ask applicants to list any conditions or            able to perform all of those essential functions with
      diseases for which they have been treated in the            or without reasonable accommodation.
      past.
                                                                  YOU MAY: Ask the individual to explain or demonstrate
      DO NOT: Ask whether the individual has ever been            how he or she can perform the essential functions of
      hospitalized and, if so, for what condition.                the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation.

      DO NOT: Ask whether the individual has ever been            YOU MAY: Ask about the individual’s ability to
      treated by a psychiatrist or psychologist, and, if so,      perform essential job functions.
      for what condition.
                                                                  YOU MAY: Ask about current use of illegal drugs or
                                                                  current (during interview) alcohol use.
     *If the individual has a disability that is obvious to the
     interviewer (such as an applicant that is missing a          YOU MAY: State applicable standards (of site,
     limb or uses a wheelchair):                                  schools, etc.) for on-the-job alcohol consumption.

      DO NOT: Inquire how the individual became                   YOU MAY: State applicable smoking policies (of site,
      disabled or the prognosis for the applicant.                schools, etc.).

      DO NOT: Ask questions about the nature or                   YOU MAY: State applicable standards (of site,
      severity of the applicant’s disability.                     schools, etc.) for attendance, including the availability
                                                                  or lack of availability of leave for newly hires.
17
DO NOT: Comment in any way on the individual’s
     physical condition except as described in the       YOU MAY: Ask whether the applicant has ever been
     opposite column.                                    involved in an accident on-the-job that injured co-
                                                         workers or customers.
     DO NOT: Ask whether an applicant has ever
     requested and/or received assistance or assistive
     devices in performing past jobs.

     DO NOT: Ask whether the individual wears a
     hearing aid.

     DO NOT: Ask whether the applicant has ever been
     treated for drug addiction or alcoholism.

     DO NOT: Ask whether applicants are taking or
     have been taking any prescribed drugs.

     DO NOT: Ask how many days the applicant was
     absent from work last year because of illness.

18
National Review Scoring Rubric
                     FoodCorps service member applicants, 2017-2018
                                  1 (Low)              2 (Basic)            3 (Adequate)             4 (Good)              5 (Excellent)
Experience                      The candidate   The candidate has some      The candidate      The candidate has a      The candidate has
What level of experience does   has no          indirect experience (read   has some           high level of hands-on   served as a FoodCorps
the candidate exhibit in the    experience in   articles, taken a class).   indirect           experience               service member OR
fields of education             these fields.                               experience and     teaching/managing        has had a very similar
(particularly preK-12),                                                     limited direct     groups of kids IN        work, volunteer, or
farming/gardening, public                                                   (hands-on)         ADDITION TO growing      internship experience
health, culinary arts, or                                                   experience in at   or preparing food or     in a school
organizing for community                                                    least some of      organizing a             environment.
change? How rich are their                                                  these fields.      community around a
experiences? Does the                                                                          common cause.
candidate indicate any
experiences with public
service or working in lower-
income communities of need?

  19
Knowledge                        No evidence       Candidate understands        Candidate’s         Candidate’s                Candidate’s responses
How complex is the               that the          our mission, but their       responses reflect   background and             reflect an
applicant’s understanding of     applicant         experiences and              an                  responses reflect an       understanding of how
the food, education, health,     understands       responses do not reflect a   understanding of    understanding of how       food impacts health
and social justice contexts in   our mission or    significant understanding    how food            food and nutrition         and wellness AND the
which FoodCorps service          issues            of the contexts in which     impacts health      impact health and          unique ways that this
members operate?                 FoodCorps is      FoodCorps operates or        and wellness.       wellness AND an            plays out in the
                                 trying to         the issues we’re trying to                       awareness of how race      community they are
                                 address.          address.                                         and class are related to   applying to serve.
                                                                                                    health and wellness in
                                                                                                    the food system.

Motivation/Commitment            Little or no      Motivation not clearly       Some expression     Motivation clearly and     Strong motivation
What level of passion to         evidence of       expressed. Their             of why they         engagingly expressed       expressed in an
participate in FoodCorps does    motivation        articulation of motivation   personally want     with evidence of some      engaging/moving
this candidate express? Is       based on what     amounts to little more       to serve with       prior interest in the      way; demonstrated
there evidence of commitment     they share of     than a summary of our        FoodCorps.          goals of FoodCorps.        pattern of interest in
to the goals and methods of      their personal,   talking points.                                                             and enthusiasm for
FoodCorps, including public      academic,                                                                                     the goals of
service?                         and/or work                                                                                   FoodCorps.
                                 histories and
                                 their
                                 explanation for
                                 why they want
                                 to serve.

  20
Personal Story                  Little or no      Indicates personal history Indicates           Expresses personal,       Clearly expresses
Does this candidate have a      evidence of       or experiences with no     interesting         academic or               powerful personal,
powerful personal history? Or   personal          elaboration.               personal history    educational               academic, or
have they sought out unique     history or                                   or experiences      experiences and           educational
educational, professional, or   impactful                                    with some           elaborates on how they    experiences and
academic experiences that       experiences.                                 elaboration.        have impacted the         clearly connects these
would make them an amazing                                                   Takes advantage     candidate.                experiences to their
FoodCorps member?                                                            of the                                        motivation to serve;
                                                                             supplemental file                             indicates ability to
                                                                             option.                                       draw from these in
                                                                                                                           current situations.

Leadership                      No experience     Basic leadership            Some leadership    Significant leadership    Demonstrated ability
What is the potential for the   in a leadership   experience. (For example,   experience; some   experience—they’ve        to motivate and
candidate to contribute as      role              they’ve held an office or   evidence of        demonstrated their        inspire others through
indicated by their knowledge                      been a                      maturity and       ability to take the       their example; strong
and leadership ability? Does                      management/supervisory      confidence.(For    initiative to create      indication of maturity
this candidate exhibit the                        role.                       example, they      something new or          and confidence.
confidence and maturity                                                       mention a          significantly enhance
necessary to be an effective                                                  specific           something for the
FoodCorps Member?                                                             achievement or     betterment of their
                                                                              reflect            community or school;
                                                                              thoughtfully on    significant evidence of
                                                                              what it means to   maturity and
                                                                              lead and/or        confidence.
                                                                              serve.)

  21
Potential to Benefit                There is no          Limited indication of           Indication of         Strong indication of         Compatible long-
How much will the candidate         indication that      continued work in these         enthusiasm for        continued work. The          range goals; strong
benefit from FoodCorps? Will        this candidate       fields. Candidate               continued work        candidate may or may         indication of
they continue to stay involved      will stay            expresses interest in           in these fields;      not have a lot of prior      continued work;
in these fields after their term    involved. The        related fields, but is not      expressed desire      experience, but there is     specific plans cited for
of service?                         candidate            specific about how              to grow through       compelling evidence of       leveraging FoodCorps
                                    either does not      FoodCorps service will          FoodCorps             potential                    experience.
                                    articulate any       support their goals.            experience.           growth/transformation
                                    related career                                                             through FoodCorps
                                    aspirations or                                                             that is unlikely to
                                    their career                                                               happen through any
                                    aspirations are                                                            other experience.
                                    unrelated to
                                    FoodCorps
                                    fields.

  Please check all that apply to this candidate:
  FoodCorps finds that the experiences and commitments listed below are often indicators of a well-prepared candidate. That said, not having the experiences and
  commitments listed below will not disqualify a candidate from advancing or being selected as a service member.

       ! This candidate indicates experience teaching and/or managing groups of children.
       ! This candidate indicates experience with gardening or growing food.
       ! This candidate indicates experience organizing for community change.
       ! This candidate indicates experience living and/or working in the community in which they are applying to serve and exhibits a
         unique understanding of the dynamics of the community.
       ! This candidate has knowledge of or experience with food systems and/or nutrition education.
       ! This candidate indicates experience working or serving in limited-resource/high-need communities.
       ! This candidate indicates a commitment to volunteering or public service.

  22
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