The Interview Process (Part 1)

One of the responsibilities with my job is to help find staff for openings at any of our church plants and partnership churches. In that role, I have interviewed a number of candidates for different openings and over the next couple posts I am going to share some tips for both the interviewer and the interviewee (not sure that’s a real word!). This is geared specifically toward those interviewing for a ministry position, but many of the tips are applicable across the board. First, I’ll start with the interviewee.

When interviewing for a position here’s a few simple tips in no particular order:

  • Dress for Success. This doesn’t necessarily mean you come in a full suit. You need to evaluate what is most appropriate for the position you are interviewing for. If I’m interviewing someone for an internship and they come in a full suit, I’d be a little freaked out. But in the same respect, if it looks like you just woke up and threw on whatever was on the floor, you just wasted the always valuable first impression.
  • Have a Clean Resumé. Resumés can be a tricky thing. Some people run the error of including their entire life story in their resumé, rather than being a document showing why they are a perfect fit for a particular position. Remember, a resumé should not be an outline for your ‘Soon-to-be-Released Autobiography’! A good resume is informational, yet simple. Only include info that is applicable to the position you are applying for. Let me give you an example. If you are applying for a Children’s Pastor position. The fact that you worked at Taco Bell for three years probably isn’t going to put you over the top as a candidate! However, including your involvement at a Boys & Girls Club for the last two years would be something of interest to a potential boss. (On a side note, if you are looking for a classy, simple resumé – I do design resumés – check out more info here.

  • Questions Should Be a Two-Way Street. In a quality interview, you will be asked numerous questions. The person interviewing you is striving to get a feel for who you are and how you work in this brief meeting. They might ask about your past experiences, your skill-set, and even your family. As important as this is for an interviewer to explore you as a fit to their organization, you as the interviewee should ask questions as well. It’s equally important that you feel comfortable with the setting you might be going into yourself. One question many are hesitant to ask at this point, especially in ministry, is regarding finances. There is no ‘clean-cut’ answer to when you bring up finances, but it’s best feel out the interview. If it feels like things are going well, bring it up with tact. This should never be your driving force, but it is an important issue, especially if you have a family.

  • Pray. Pray. Pray. Don’t remove God from the equation. Your desire as a minister is ultimately to be where God desires you to be – not the church with the biggest salary package, or with the coolest student facility. All those things will lose their ‘wow’ factor real quick. Knowing your in the will of God is far more important. As you go into an interview ask God to make His will known throughout the interview. As you leave, take valuable time to consider what God is speaking to you.


This morning in our youth Sunday School class I shared some insights on transitions and just thought I’d share them with you.

Acts 1:9-26

As Jesus ascended to heaven, we can learn a lot about what his disciples did in His physical absence.

1. They came together. With many of the Jewish sects or religions that were popping during the time of Christ’s ministry even up to today, when the leader of a group is gone, the followers often scatter. But we see initially that rather than scattering, Christ’s follower came together in His absence.
-They did not return to their former lives, but took what had been taught to them and applied it – going to the upper room in obedience.
-If they had scattered and returned to their old lives of fishing, tax collecting, or something like that, that would have made the previous three years with Christ completely pointless and meaningless.
-Those times with Christ only took meaning as they applied them to their lives.

2. They depended upon the power of God through prayer.
Rather than slacking off spiritually in Christ’s absence, they took things to another level. Spending days in the upper room seeking the Holy Spirit.
-When a leader leaves us, it is very easy to become complacent spiritually. But rather than slacking off, we need to take things to the next level. Spend more time in prayer and Bible study.
-As we depend on the power of God, He prepares us for the next principle we see in this passage.

3. Certain disciples stepped into leadership roles they previously did not possess. In Christ’s absence, certain people had to step into roles that were stretching in order for the movement to continue.
-In Acts 2, we see a multitude of people gathering outside the upper room in Jerusalem. In days and months past, Jesus would have stood before this multitude to challenge them in their faith, but with Him gone, another had to step up. That man, of course, was Peter. A man that possessed leadership qualities that even Jesus had recognized, but had never really been exercised.
-In the absence of a leader, individuals are given opportunity to step up, and usually it is in a role that is new and stretching, but the future of a movement is dependent upon these individuals like Peter, to step up.

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