Manpower: People are selected and placed in positions that fit their gifts, passions and callings and that align with the church’s objectives and culture

Become an Expert at Church Staff Interviews

Anecdotal evidence suggests nearly half of the hires in most churches prove to be less than a perfect fit.

This shouldn’t be surprising in light of the fact Ministers are usually not formally trained in how to conduct an interview.

Successful hiring goes beyond just being a “good judge of people.”

Among other things, it involves a plan built around the right questions. For a thorough list of church staff interview questions, be sure to download the report Insure Good Staff Hires with These 200 Interview Questions.

Application: 12 Tips for Conducting Effective Church Staff Interviews

The 12 tips below are foundational suggestions for conducting effective church staff interviews.  By following these suggestions, your comfort and skill as an interviewer will increase. And, more importantly you will consistently make better hires!

  1. Begin by building rapport with the candidate.  “Break the Ice…Chit-chat!”  Your goal is to put the candidate at ease, and get them talking comfortably.

  1. Tell the candidate that you will be using a structured interview guide, and that you’ll be asking a series of questions.  Inform them that you will be taking notes.

  1. Ask open-ended questions.  Use few questions with yes/no/one-word answers.  Remember that the less the candidate says, the less you learn.

  1. Probe for more details on a particular response.  “Tell me more about…”  “Why was that….”  “How did you…”  “Describe how it felt when…”

  1. Echo their comments. Repeat a phrase the candidate has said, and encourage them to elaborate more on the topic.

  1. Employ pregnant pause. Say nothing! Nod…….smile. Your silence will shout, “please, keep talking.”

  1. Probe. Drill down for more details on a particular response. “Tell me more about……..”  “Why was that………”  “How did you……….”  “Describe how it felt when…….”

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions, but be careful to not sound like you’re “challenging” the candidate’s answers.

  1. The candidate should talk 90% of the time…you only talk 10% of the time. Make the candidate the focus, so listen!

  1. Stay in control of the interview.  Don’t let the applicant make this an interview of you!

  1. Offer to answer any questions for the candidate and their spouse.

  1. Close the interview with a prayer for the candidate and the process.

For a thorough list of church staff interview questions, be sure to download Insure Good Staff Hires with These 200 Interview Questions.

Action: What about you? What interview do’s and don’ts would you add to this list?

Posted on August 26, 2014

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5