Saturday, September 15, 2018

Hey Fletch … Hey I have a first interview for a position on Friday. Any tips? What kind of preparation should I do? What questions should I ask them?

DRF—Before I drafted my thoughts, I did a web search on “first impressions.” There is a ton of good material on the subject. I especially liked that the Dale Carnegie course said: “Never underestimate the value of a smile. The first time you come face to face not only sets the tone for that meeting, it determines the success of all future interactions.” This is good advice. Leave your cares at home and come with a positive attitude and a smile. Who wants to hire a grumpy person? I have hired scores and scores of church staff … being honest and positive is essential.

For preparation before the interview: Do research on the church. Get to know them, watch videos of worship. Understand the vision and values of the church. Look at recent sermons to see if you will gel with the preaching style and content. Subscribe to the church’s e-newsletter. Understand their current concerns and issues. See where their vision is taking them.

Concerning questions you may ask during the interview: Compile a written list of questions to ask. You may not want to ask each one but having a list puts you in the driver’s seat with options. Write down what questions they may ask you. You may want to write your answers as well. This will help you give a complete picture of who you are.

Know your strengths. Be able to articulate them. Have a story from your life about how God has used each of your strengths. People remember stories. 

In the interview, don’t accept their questions at face value. Clarify what they mean with a question. Don’t assume that everyone in the interview has the same understanding of terms and ideas. 

Finally, don’t speak badly of others. Even if you disagreed with someone in a prior church, count it all as a positive learning experience.