Have you ever sat in bad interviews? These happen all the time in our churches. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
As a church, finding the right person to lead your Youth or Children’s Ministry is crucial to the spiritual growth and development of the young members of your congregation. The interview stage is one common area where churches make mistakes in their hiring process. Often it is a hiring team, made up of volunteers with perhaps a staff member or two, that is asked to host quality interviews. And even worse, they are often not prepared with the best questions, understanding of the role they are looking to fulfill, and how to interview in a professional and consistent manner.
We believe conducting effective interviews is a critical step in the hiring process to ensure you select the best candidate for the role. Here are four ideas on how your church can conduct interviews well and make a wise hiring decision.
Four Ways To Better Interviews
Clearly Define the Job Description and Expectations
Before starting the interview process, it’s essential to have a well-defined job description and clear expectations for the role of your church’s Youth or Children’s Minister. This includes outlining the position’s responsibilities, qualifications, and desired skills. Be sure to communicate this information to potential candidates before the interview so they clearly understand what the role entails. During the interview, ask specific questions about the job description to assess the candidate’s suitability for the position.
Assess Cultural Fit and Passion for Ministry
In addition to evaluating the candidate’s qualifications and experience, assessing their cultural fit with your church’s values, mission, and vision is essential. Youth and Children’s Ministers play a vital role in shaping the spiritual lives of young people and their families, so it’s crucial to find someone who shares your church’s beliefs and values.
Ask questions that help you understand the candidate’s personal faith journey, passion for ministry, and alignment with your church’s core values. Assessing cultural fit and passion for ministry will ensure that the candidate is qualified and a good fit for the unique needs of your church’s Youth or Children’s Ministry.
Utilize a Structured Interview Process
Having a structured interview process is crucial to ensure consistency and fairness in evaluating candidates. Develop a list of relevant interview questions that assess the candidate’s skills, experience, and suitability for the role. (We’ve created a free resource with some of the best questions you can ask in your interview.)
Consider including behavioral-based questions that ask the candidate to provide specific examples of how they have handled situations in the past. This can help you assess their problem-solving skills, leadership style, and ability to handle challenging situations that may arise in a Youth or Children’s Ministry setting. Utilize a scoring system or evaluation rubric to assess each candidate’s responses and qualifications objectively. (Did you know we help our Hiring Services clients develop their rubric and teach them to use it effectively? We’d love to help you in your search!)
Involve Multiple Stakeholders in the Interview Process
Involving multiple stakeholders in the interview process can provide a well-rounded perspective on the candidate’s suitability for the role. This can include members of the church leadership team, current Youth or Children’s Ministry volunteers, parents, and other relevant staff members. Each stakeholder can bring a unique perspective and evaluate the candidate based on their specific area of expertise or stage of life. Collaboratively discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate can help your church make a more informed hiring decision.
Conducting interviews for your church’s Youth or Children’s Minister is a critical step in the hiring process. By clearly defining the job description, assessing cultural fit and passion for ministry, utilizing a structured interview process, and involving multiple stakeholders, your church can conduct interviews well and make a wise hiring decision that aligns with your church’s vision and values. Remember to pray for guidance and discernment throughout the process, seeking God’s wisdom in selecting the right person to lead your church’s Youth or Children’s Ministry.