The interview. We've all been there. And most of us will be there again. It can be a nerve-wracking time, even for the most faithful. But it doesn't have to be. As I see it, the interview is kind of like a dance. Someone leads and someone follows. And, much like dancing, there is a certain rhythm to interviewing. Let's take a closer look . . . Warming UpIf it's been a while since you've shown anyone your moves, you should probably limber up a little. You don't want to pull a muscle.
- Be confident in your calling. How has God prepared you for this opportunity?
- Make a mental list of ministry successes. Like, "I have doubled the size of every group I have led within three years."
- Give your best. Don't worry about getting or not getting the job. You can't control the vote or the outcome. Let God handle that.
Now, let's dance . . . Start With a Nice, Easy WaltzLike a nice waltz, your role is to just go with the flow. Be careful not to step on your partner's toes too early in the dance. Let them lead and you follow. Catch the rhythm (attitudes) of everyone in the room. Some essentials for early on:
- Sharing your testimony. How did you come to know Christ? Sharing how you were called into ministry. Share examples of how God has led you on this journey. Sharing your experience. Be confident that what God has gifted you to do will benefit their youth ministry.
Let's TangoThis is where the dance becomes a little more intimate. By this time you might be feeling good, you know, like Kate Gosselin. No matter, be vulnerable. Throw yourself into it. You're committed, now. No time for pulling back.
- Share your heart and passion for students. Tell them why you are passionate about serving teenagers. Tell stories. When asked a question about previous ministry experience, try not to give only data (we saw these many kids saved, etc.). Share a story about a young person you ministered to. Begin to ask questions yourself. Start out with easy questions "How long has the pastor been here?" "What is the history of the church?" "What is the vision of the church?"
The Big finish: Salsa TimeThe Salsa is all about passion and risk. This is where you decide to go for it. Finish the dance strong by:
- Being honest about your strengths and weakness. Let them know that although you are not as strong in a certain area, you can compensate by gathering others around you who can help with that. Explain how your strengths will help the church.
- Asking the hard questions. "How do you define a successful youth ministry?" "What is the greatest mistake I can make in this organization (barring moral failure or illegal activity)?" "Who would I be accountable to?" "How would you describe your leadership style?"
- Asking if you can close the interview with prayer. If they don't offer to pray, take the lead and ask if it would be OK to close the meeting with prayer. Doing so shows you have put your trust in God rather than men.
Follow these steps and you'll be dancing with the stars (instead of dancing with wolves).
- What interview tips do you have to share? What has worked and what hasn't?
- Have a funny interview story? Had an interview go down in flames? Don't be shy. Share with the group. You're among friends.