interviewing staffScreening and interviewing prospective staff for hire in your ministry is a big responsibility. You want to make the very best choice possible. So what kind of a procedure can you use?  Below I outline the 10-step screening and interviewing process I recommend.

  1. Identify essential qualities and skills. Before you even begin looking at potential candidates, think through what strengths will be needed for this particular ministry assignment. The central question is not: “What can this or that candidate do or not do?” It is, rather, “What are the strengths each possesses and are these the right strengths for the assignment?” Weaknesses may eliminate a person, but start by looking at the strengths needed for this particular assignment.
  2. Decide how you will evaluate candidates. Use pre-screening application form—something that will help you assess a person’s past performance in the key strengths needed for this position.
  3. Pre-think areas to probe and questions to ask during interviews. Carefully plan interviews. The process needs to be structured so you can conduct a comprehensive evaluation of all of the areas you want to address.
  4. Look at a number of potentially qualified people. Do not start with one person in mind and then make them fit the position. Carefully evaluate a number of possible candidates so you have some point of comparison.
  5. Gather data through appropriate questions. Take notes during the interviews and don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions, especially for specific examples.
  6. Go over position description to clarify expectations. Make sure that not only are you clear on what the expectations are, but the candidates are also.
  7. Provide opportunity for candidates to ask questions. Sometimes the questions they choose to ask or not ask can give you additional information about how they are viewing the position.
  8. Inform candidates of what happens next. This should include a time frame of when they can expect to hear back from you.
  9. Conduct second interviews with promising candidates. After you have narrowed the field to approximately three candidates, bring in some additional people to sit in on the second interviews so you can gather additional perspectives and impressions.
  10. Engage in prayer and discernment. Although you’ve no doubt been in prayer throughout the process, the final decision needs to be especially prayerful. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. See what others on your team are sensing. Take some time in silence to let God speak to you.

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