I do a lot of interviews. Over the years I have worked at a number of large churches and it often feels like I’m always in the midst of interviewing someone. What tends to impress me the most are candidates who obviously have done prep work to know something about the church. I am always looking for candidates who know our programs and the names of staff members who can also ask solid questions about how things work and fit together. It’s fairly easy to tell also those who have simply gone to the website and memorized a few programs verses those who looked to try and understand what the church was all about. You will do so much better in an interview process if you are “informed” about the church that is interviewing you. What you don’t want to have happen is to have the interviewers feel like they are having to explain everything to you. You will be a step above other candidates if you show you have done your homework. Plus they will be talking more than you. You want to be talking.
Here’s a couple ways to do this:
1. Explore the website: It may not be good but it is your first resource.
2. Familiarize yourself with programs: This helps you see connections and ask questions.
3. Know Names: At my church we have four main staff people all names Scott. It’s helpful to our interview team if you know that and have done a little work to show that you know what each of them does.
4. Read everything: Many churches have a monthly newsletter or magazine. Read the past years so you can see what things have been important or are big areas they want to highlight. Also read bulletins and if you are in a large denomination if they minutes of any meetings. This will give you great knowledge.
5. Ask Others: One thing I like to do is just ask people what they know about the church. Hopefully you are doing some networking and have found some people in the area you can talk to. Ask them what they think.
There are potentially a whole bunch of other ways to get information about churches. You can check facebook, google the name, read the local paper, check with seminaries and Christian colleges. Ask questions on social media. Bottom line is any info you get will just help you be more informed than the next candidate and that’s what you want. This will take some effort but honestly that’s what we want to see anyways when we are interviewing you.
Finding a Job series:
4. Prep Work (be the most informed candidate they have)
5. Resumes, video introductions, cover letters and applications
6. Interviews: Presenting yourself well
7. Interviews: How to get a second one
8. Face to face to face to face. What to do when they bring you in for a weekend?
9. Negotiating 101
10. Negotiating 201
11. Seeking Discernment: Praying, asking friends, checking with family.