Recruiting & Interns (Part 2)

In my last post, I talked about recruiting and to continue this series, here are a few questions I like to have answered when interviewing for interns:

  • What’s their story? I like to hear how our internship program would fit into the flow of their life story.
  • Are they currently doing what they feel called to do? A student should not be experiencing ministry involvement for the first time on their internship.
  • How do they view themselves? It’s important for them to be able to verbalize what their strengths and weaknesses are.
  • What are their expectations for the internship and how does that fit into their overall life goals? I want to make sure their expectations realistically align with what our internship will offer. If you get this wrong, you’ll have a really frustrated intern.
  • How do they work with others? In our setting, they’ll be working with other interns as well as our pastoral staff. If they don’t work well with others, it’s going to be a long 12 weeks.

The Interview Process (Part 2)

My last post dealt with the process of interviewing for a position. This post will deal with the process of interviewing potential candidates for a ministry opportunity at your church. I’m not going to get into when to hire – that’s for another day – but hopefully these simple tips will help you find the right person for the job!

  • In an interview there are three areas you want to be aware of (This is not original with me – you can thank Andy Stanley for this):
    1. Competence – Do they have the skill-set to fill the role you have available with excellence?
      There is definitely an art to ministry, but it must be matched with skill. This isn’t to say that God doesn’t use the unskilled – He actually does this throughout scripture! But certain people fit better in certain ministry opportunities. Make sure the person you’re interviewing has the passions and skills need to do what you’ll be paying them to do (pretty simple!).
    2. Character – Are they spiritually mature enough to lead others in spiritual growth? Do they have integrity as a person?
      I can’t overstate the importance of this area! I have seen way too many talented ministers fall because of a lack of character. Just because they can play every instrument on your stage doesn’t mean they would make a good minister! Really probe them in this area. Do they walk with integrity? Is prayer an important passion of their life? Where do they stand morally? The last thing you want to happen is for you to bring a new person on your staff only to have them experience a moral failure 6 months in.
    3. Chemistry – How would they fit on your leadership team? How would they fit in your church?
      This aspect is sometimes forgotten, but it is still very important. I have heard it explained as an comparison to marriage. It’s not that you are marrying this new staff member, but if you don’t feel a relational chemistry in the interview – working with them will be tough. Unless you’re looking to hire someone on for a short period of time – chemistry is very important. It’s not that you and this person will be BFF’s but you do want to connect. Remember, you’ll be seeing them everyday in the office

  • Here are some suggested questions to use throughout the interview:o

    Explain your journey to me. What has brought you to this place in your life?
    What is your dream? What would you like to see yourself doing?

    o What are some of your strengths? What are some of your weaknesses?

    o What types of ministries were you involved in when you were in college?

    o Explain to me your personal Leadership Style. How well do you follow?

  • Here are some other things you’ll want to cover in your interview:
    • Explain the culture of your church & the community you are ministering in.
    • Explain the nature/responsibilities of the position there are applying for.
    • Explain your own leadership style.
    • When you finish the interview, just thank the person for their time, pray with them and let him know we will be in contact with him within the next 2-3 weeks

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.

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