Interview planning worksheet
It’s essential to come into candidate interviews with a solid plan. That ensures the search team and the candidates get the information they need and that both parties put their best feet forward.
In advance of the interview
- Clearly communicate with candidate about interview day, time (taking time zone differences into account), and means.
- Establish goals for the interview.
- Outline questions that will contribute to meeting these goals and decide who will ask what.
- Discuss what the search team is trying to accomplish with each question.
- Consider whether the search team would ask this kind of question of every candidate. (If not, don’t ask it!)
- Designate a facilitator who will guide the conversation and manage the time.
- Practice interviewing. For example, invite a local minister to role play the interviewee and give feedback to the search team.
- Ensure the search team knows how to work the equipment/software/app to be used (if applicable).
On the day of the interview
- Choose an interview space conducive to comfort and confidentiality (even if using phone or internet for the interview).
- Set up the space for hospitality.
- Make sure the technology is working properly (if applicable).
- Get centered individually and collectively.
- Review the candidate’s materials.
- Make sure each search team member has a copy and a good grasp of the interview plan.
In the interview
- Warmly welcome the candidate.
- Explain the interview format and goals to the candidate.
- Start with the lowest-risk questions and move to more involved queries.
- Leave ample time for the candidate to ask questions.
- Provide as much information as possible on the next steps in process and a timetable for contact.
After the interview
- Spend time individually recording thoughts immediately after the interview.
- Discuss candidates as a group after all interviews for that round have been completed.
- What excites us about each candidate?
- What questions do we have about each candidate?
- How does each candidate match the criteria we named for a minister who would lead us toward God’s vision for our church?
- How does each candidate challenge us?
- In what areas does each candidate have the necessary skills to lead our church, even if the candidate does not yet have the experience?
- How essential is prior experience, and in what ways might our church be able to provide that experience?
- What do our heads, hearts, and guts tell us about each candidate?
- Considering all of these factors, with which candidates do we want to continue conversation?