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New Student Interviewer


Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust






All Towns

Over 1 in 10 New Zealanders struggle to read and write. Living with low literacy impacts so many aspects of life including health, finances, employment opportunities, wellbeing and self-esteem. By providing access to improving literacy through 1:1 in person and online coaching to those who need it, Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust (RYALT) changes lives and makes a real and lasting difference in each student's life.

Any new students are usually quite anxious. It’s a huge step for them to seek help for something they might be ashamed of or may have been shamed for. When students build up the courage to contact RYALT, it is important that the initial conversation is with a kind and patient interviewer who can put them at ease. Join the small but dedicated team of volunteer student interviewers at RYALT, and give the students a warm welcome and provide information which helps personalise their learning and match them to a volunteer literacy coach.

Interviewing students is a two-step process.

  • The first call is to fill out the student interview form and chat, to build rapport, get information and make them feel relaxed about the whole process.
  • The second call is to conduct a running record once the student has received the reading material in the mail.

The process:

  • New students’ details are posted on a noticeboard.
  • If you are available to interview that student, you put your hand up.
  • It is really important to get the students interviewed as quickly as possible, so there is a small team of interviewers (3-4) working together. This helps to ensure that there is no pressure on volunteer interviewers and keeps the time commitments flexible.
  • You post the progress on the noticeboard (eg. If you have got hold of them, when the first interview is, etc. )
  • Students range from teenagers to adults. If you have a preference – or develop one over time, you are encouraged to let RYALT know.
  • You will be provided with a phone app that you can put on your mobile phone so that the interview calls won’t cost you anything.
  • Messaging with the team is mainly done via Slack, an easy to use messaging app similar to whatsapp/facebook messenger.

You will be provided with a full training and induction on all of the above processes, and will be supported in your role by other volunteers and supervisors from RYALT.

This is a profoundly fulfilling role. One of the interviewers said, ‘I quickly became interested in the back stories of new learners and how they had slipped through the education system for many different reasons, and realised that I enjoyed the interactions and conversations that I had with them along the way.'


  • Experience teaching reading and writing.
  • Basic skills with technology – able to use Zoom and our messaging service, Slack. (If you can use facebook messenger or whatsapp, you will have no trouble with Slack.)
  • Warm and friendly approach.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and communication manners.
  • Reliable and committed
  • Good confident telephone manner
  • Good understanding and pronunciation of English.

Time commitment

  • Flexible hours- you can take on interviews as per your availability
  • Each call takes around an hour.
  • This role is long-term and not suitable for people seeking employment. Please see the RYALT profile for other roles available.

Getting started

The first step is to express your interest by filling out the form below. We will then put you in touch directly with the organisation for more information on the role and how to proceed.

Ref: 2510

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