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5 Expert Interview Tips for Hiring the Right Person for Your Ministry

Here are five interview tips for hiring the right person to fit your ministry culture.

Finding the best person for a position isn’t an easy task; there’s no tried-and-true recipe for hiring that’ll guarantee you the perfect staff member. Yet an essential ingredient in any hiring process is the interview—it’s your best opportunity to determine whether the person meshes with your culture and the role. These five tips will help you create a successful recipe for hiring competent staff who are a good fit for your culture.

Interview Tip 1: Use open-ended questions.

This style of question allows you to learn more about candidates as they do the majority of the talking. For example, you may need to know whether the candidate’s comfortable traveling for the position. A direct question is, “Are you willing to travel?” which is answered by a yes or no. An open-ended question is, “How much travel are you comfortable with?” The response lets you know whether the candidate is comfortable traveling and also informs you how much travel would be acceptable.

Interview Tip 2: Ask for examples.

Past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior. Questions requiring the candidate to provide examples are a great way to learn how someone behaves or handles a specific situation. Use phrases such as, “Tell me about a time…,” “Describe for me a situation when…,” and “Give me an example of when you….”

Interview Tip 3: Describe real scenarios.

Describe an actual situation that might occur in your ministry, and ask the candidate how he or she would respond. This interview technique allows you to find out how the candidate would handle the situation and how he or she feels about circumstances that are a reality in your culture.

Interview Tip 4: Follow up.

Reflective questions at the close of an interview can provide new insights, clear up confusing examples provided by the candidate, and point out additional strengths and weaknesses. For instance, “So returning to the example you gave me of a difficult situation with a parent, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?”

Interview Tip 5: Don’t say too much.

When asking your interview questions, be careful not to give the candidate the answer. For example, if you’re asking how the candidate feels about teamwork, don’t start the question by explaining how you value teamwork. If a candidate doesn’t fully answer a question or you feel there are loose ends, take notes and continue to probe with additional questions so you can make an accurate assessment.

Tiffany Rogers is a human resource manager at Group with more than 15 years’ experience in interviewing and hiring.

Want more articles for children’s ministry leaders? Check these out.

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