How to ace your nonprofit job interview | India Development Review
September 24, 2018

How to ace your nonprofit job interview

Job interviews can be nerve wracking, particularly if you're unsure of what to expect. But we've got you covered—here are some tips to keep in mind before that next job interview. 

2 min read
1. Make sure you put a spin on your STEM degree so it doesn’t hold you back.

That course you took on artificial intelligence is now ‘a pedagogical understanding of the intersection of technology and humanity’.

2. Don’t mention how you could earn more working for a corporate—everyone knows that.

In all probability, at least one of the people interviewing you switched over from the corporate sector after realising that they’ve made all the money they’ll ever need and ran out of ways to spend it.

Related article: Jargon-ing your way through life

3. Don’t bring up your on-ground experience unless you’re sure it was in fact, legitimate fieldwork.

No, the food drive you helped organise in college doesn’t count.

4. Keep in mind that if you have never physically been in the field, you are more likely to say something inappropriate.

Remember, grassroots is not the same as wheatgrass, or any other vegan superfood for that matter.

5. Keep up the facade of being a saint who wants to help people.

Never mind the fact that you know this job will give you brownie points while applying for a masters abroad.

6. Make the panel believe that you were put on this earth to solve the social problems that the organisation is working on.

You’ve been passionate about *insert appropriate social issue here* since way before it was trendy to care about said issue.

7. If you are wealthy, tread carefully.

You must be wealthy enough for your parents to be able to make donations to the organisation, but not so wealthy that you alienate people when you talk about your 7BHK and personal chauffeur. Stay humble—or pretend to, at least.

8. Make sure you ditch the expensive formal wear you wore to your other interviews.

You need an outfit that shows you’re a professional, but doesn’t scream ‘I-would-sell-my-soul-for-this-job’.


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Saahil Kejriwal Profile
Saahil Kejriwal

Saahil is a programme associate at Centre for Effective Governance of Indian States (CEGIS). Previously, he was an associate at IDR, and worked as an instructional designer at NIIT Ltd before that. Saahil has completed the Young India Fellowship, a postgraduate diploma in liberal studies, from Ashoka University, and holds a BA in economics from Hansraj College, University of Delhi. He spent his early years in Guwahati, Assam.

Ayesha Marfatia Profile
Ayesha Marfatia

Ayesha Marfatia was previously an editorial associate at India Development Review. At IDR, in addition to writing, editing, and handling research-driven reports, she also supported the team with website management and digital marketing. Her work has been featured on The Wire,, and Quartz India. Ayesha holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.