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How to Interview Candidates for Church Jobs

How to Interview Candidates for Church Jobs

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Are you wondering how to interview candidates for church jobs? Whether you are an experienced interviewer, or if you are new to interviewing, this article will help you think through practical tips for vetting your candidates and finding the right staff member for your team.

We’ll split up the hiring categories into the 4 C’s. Ideally, you would have a good number of questions under each of these four areas. However, some churches may need to adjust the number of questions to reflect the role. For example, you may need to ask more questions to discern the competency of a technical director.

Regardless, use this model to help you make hiring decisions that will boost your team and bring health to your staff over the long haul. Here’s how to interview candidates for church jobs:


This is the most important area you need to consider when making a hire. However, it is often the most challenging area to interview for, because it is difficult to discern if the candidate has high character or not. Add some questions to your interview process like these:

  • What is your testimony?
  • What are a few of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What energizes you in ministry? What drains you?
  • What have you learned in previous jobs? What did you learn the hard way?
  • How are you growing spiritually right now?

Listen closely to see if they are humble in their responses and if they appear to have a growth mindset. If they appear to be prideful or claim to not have any weaknesses, then don’t hire them. There’s a reason why Paul wrote to the Philippians to highlight the importance of humility for Christians (see Phil. 2:1-11). It doesn’t matter how talented the candidate is; if their character is lacking, then they’ll negatively affect your staff team.

“Therefore welcome one another, just as Christ also welcomed you, to the glory of God.” – Psalm 25:21 (CSB)


Also critical to the hiring process is finding a candidate who is a good fit with your team. If they are talented but don’t get along with others, or wouldn’t get along with your specific team, then that is a disaster waiting to happen.

You can ask specific interview questions to discern a chemistry fit, but even more important than that is involving some members of your staff team in the interview process. Your team will be able to tell you if they get along with a candidate. If they aren’t a match, then your team will let you know.

Don’t hire someone who doesn’t click with your team. Strong staff chemistry takes a long time to earn, and it can come a part very quickly. However, if you make a hire that fits great with your team, then you will see staff morale go up and staff productivity go up as well.

“Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice. Therefore welcome one another, just as Christ also welcomed you, to the glory of God.” – Romans 15:5-7 (CSB)


When interviewing candidates, make sure they feel called to serve in the position they are interviewing for. Some people are simply looking for good jobs, or may want to work on your team, but they may not be interested in that specific position.

Your goal is to make sure that you have the right person, in the right seat (the position), on the right bus (your team). Anything short of that means you don’t have the right candidate. Ask some interview questions to discern their calling:

  • Why do you want this position?
  • What makes you qualified for this position?
  • Why do you think God wants to use you for this type of ministry work?
  • How does your gifting make you a good candidate for this position?
  • What previous positions prepared you for a role like this one?

“Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope at your calling— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” – Eph. 4:1-6 (CSB)


Lastly, you will want to hire for competency. This is the easiest area to assess, because you can ask the candidate to prove that they are capable of handling the job, based on their gifting, experience, education, etc. However, if the candidate is a great fit for the other three areas, keep in mind that many candidates can grow most easily in the area of competency.

It’s a whole lot easier to gain a new skill than it is to grow your character. Still, you want to make sure your new hire has the skills needed to succeed in their new role, or they can quickly acquire the needed skills in order to succeed within a short period of time. Ask questions like:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What makes you a good fit for this position?
  • What do you anticipate would be your biggest challenge in the first six months of this role?
  • Give an example of how you excelled with (insert here) type of work in the past.

Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.” – Col. 3:23-24 (CSB)

There you have it! There are four critical areas to consider when planning how to interview candidates for church jobs. Ready to start the search? Then consider this article:

How to Find a New Staff Member For Your Church

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