I was lucky. On October 8th, 2015, just a little over a week after I submitted my application, I was placed under consideration for the Philippines. This time around, there were no extra forms to fill out, not a whole lot of information. The email said plainly, “You will be contacted in the coming months if you are selected for an interview and if any additional information is needed.”
So, this felt like a small victory, but really didn’t give me much more to go on. Being placed under consideration (or UC) means that they think you have the basic requirements to be considered. But, it’s by no means a sure thing. I’ve heard of people get placed UC and then not hearing anything else for months, only to be told right at the know by date that they were not being offered an invitation at this point in time.
Again, I was lucky. I received a request for more information another week later on October 16th. This told me that they were at least actively reviewing application. Then, one more week later on October 22nd, I received my interview request. This was when I started to really get my hopes up. I was given a link to a doodle poll to select my slot, given an idea of what would be covered in the interview, and sent a few documents going over the position for which I had applied, core expectations, and common challenges for my review.
I scheduled my interview (to be conducted on Skype) for November 10th– just 3 weeks away. I then received confirmation of my interview slot and was told that my references would be contacted by email with links to submit the recommendations. I was sent the alcohol & drug and the legal policies for review, which I would be asked about during my interview. At this stage, I started digging deep into the Peace Corps subreddit and looked for more information on the interview and experiences of past applicants. Also, I began to really imagine myself in the position. I read all the blogs I could find from current and past CRM volunteers. I read whatever I could find about the country and started listening to Tagalog lessons on Youtube. I even watched the entire Survivor: Philippines season. My goal was that by the interview, I wanted to be able to convey to the interviewer that not only did I want and deserve an invitation, but that I had already started to see myself in the Philippines as a PCV and had done my due diligence to prepare on my own.