The Right Amount Of Transparency In Interviews

“I love my family and church too much to enter into a process that’s anything less than transparent. The stakes are too high for us.”


This is the statement I made to my interviewer during his second call in the selection process. The process would mean leaving my church, and joining the staff of another one.

I could only speak for myself, but during that call I also knew much was at stake for the church I was talking to.

Prior to our conversation, I’d determined I couldn’t, with good conscience, misrepresent or conceal things about myself – even things that might steer them away from me as a candidate.

I’ve learned when you conceal things in an interview process, you’re just postponing the inevitable…everyone eventually finds out the fit isn’t so great, and there can be detrimental fall-out.

I think every minister and church seeking a future together has this goal of offering transparency in all things, but carrying it out through the whole selection process can be difficult.

Dealing with things on the front end is worth it. When you are called by God to serve in vocational ministry, it’s imperative you stay honest with those seeking to minister with you.

After I made that comment in the interview process, I began to do what I said I would. All my shortcomings, all their bad church experiences, needed to be on the table.

Now, you can’t rely on either the interviewer or yourself to speak total truth about the situation. You have a skewed view and see things from your perspective – and so do they. That’s why personality assessments and resumes with helpful references are key (two topics I’ve posted on previously).

I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive for good first impressions or that you should share every childhood sin – but withholding relevant information or part of your personality will only hinder the relationship.

God made you who you are. God has a plan for your life. When we try to manipulate appearances in order to get what we think we want, it hurts us and the churches involved.

My suggested practical takeaway if you’re taking to a church or a church in the hiring process: commit to God and each other, to be resolved to be transparent throughout the process. Agree that the stakes are too high to do anything less.



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