My most recent blog post relayed my six go-to initial interview questions. The post included discovery questions we utilize early on in our selection process for church staff. But even those questions follow the “cultural” interview which I described in a previous post titled, “Key Interview Component: the Cultural Call.”
Below are five of the regular interview questions used when moving from discovery phase to the drill down phase. These five questions will allow a deep dive, and are solid questions we use to begin that process. They can be used for any kind of staff role in our church, but most often are used with ministerial positions, and/or supervisor positions.
I hope these can help you in your hiring process – and next week on the blog I’ll share my go-to spiritual-depth interview questions.
- Describe the most persistent/entrenched problem in your current ministry/position. What are the key factors contributing to the continuation of this problem? What ideas do you have for alleviating the problem?
- Describe yourself in terms of emotional control. What sorts of things irritate you the most, or get you down in your ministry/position? How do you handle yourself under stress and pressure?
- What are the biggest risks you have taken in recent years? Include one risk that worked out well… and one risk that did not work out so well.
- To what extent do you solicit ideas and input from others? Give an example of a time where ideas from others helped you. How do you adapt your communication style to fit the needs or personalities of others?
- What deadlines do you typically face in your current position? How do you go about prioritizing your work? What situations or problems do you have the greatest sense of urgency about?
P.S. on credit — I’m grateful to a church and its staff and volunteer leadership teams who have worked hard to create a comprehensive Selection Toolkit, which most of this material comes from.
Whether interviewing a candidate for a teaching pastor position or an administrative support position, these are my go-to questions that continue to give me insight into the person during my initial interviews. Maybe they can help you in your selection process…
- You have several strengths (and I would name some), but tell me what the “shadow side” to these are. Tell me about how you’ve seen a strength of yours come out as a negative in certain settings.
- Which of the nine “fruit of the Spirit” is most evident in your life currently, and which “fruit” is least evident in this season of your life?
- When you’ve had a hard day or a hard month, how do you typically re-energize?
- Thinking about supervisors you’ve had in the past, tell me a supervising-characteristic one of them had that really was good for you to work under. Next, tell me a supervising-characteristic that really bugged you at times.
- What does self-development look like for you? If you have intentional practices, please describe.
- What is the greatest joy and greatest challenge in your current position?
These aren’t original. They don’t always provide significant insight. But for me, more often than not, I learn something valuable from the person’s response.
In the selection process for my church, we have a robust Selection Tool Kit (this is where some of the above questions came from). And these six questions represent a small fraction of the questions we ask. These six are typically asked in the first couple of interviews (discovery phase), and as we move along, they get more in depth. But as I’ve written about before, you need to model transparency in your interviewing exchange, and when possible, ask open-ended questions that provide an opportunity for you to see them in reality and not in an aspirational version of themselves.
In the first quarter of 2017, I’m calendaring an in-person consulting time for a church. I will do these at zero cost* for the church I select (I’m grateful for serving a church who wants to serve other churches and allows for this).
If you’re interested for your church…
Consider the “practical takeaways for everyday church leadership” topics I’ve blogged about at Brian Dodridge.com, and if you feel I may helpful to you as a church leader, to your leadership team, or perhaps to a larger group within your church—I’d be honored to consider a day long or day and half long trip to your church.
My selection of the churches to consult will be based on:
- Your preferred date of consulting time working on my calendar
- My assessment of whether I can be of help to you in your ministry context
- Perhaps geography (I’m open to long U.S. travel if I believe it’s a good use of time)
- And there will be preference given to those who subscribe to my weekly blog
If you’d like to submit a request that would occur January-April in 2017, email me and respond to the following:
Who: (church/organization and website if you have one)
What: (preferred topic[s])
When: preferred dates
Why: (Why you feel you could use the help/outside perspective—just an idea is fine, it doesn’t need to be lengthy)
I’ll follow-up with all who submit a request within three weeks.
*If I agree to serve you in this way, there will be no financial cost to you, nor will it be accepted.