Thoughts for Interviews

Can you imagine paying $200 + dollars for a ticket to a Broadway play where the actors were “winging it”? That’s like an interview without preparation. Here are some tips for preparing for your interview.

Plan to arrive early. Get a feel for the location, culture, etc. and confirm with the recruiter the person you are to see is in this location.

Attire should be suit, dress versus informal unless otherwise informed. Conservative and sincere are always better than not.

This is an opportunity to do the Lord’s work. It is important to convey what role Faith plays in your decision to apply. Most who work in our Church organization are not here for the money. This shows in their respect, demeanor and adaption to a non-secular culture.

Research the organization, the job, the culture, the problems and this group’s history and opportunities. Be prepared, after listening to the interviewer to articulate how you can add value to what this organization is trying to achieve. After you have decided that this is a position, which you want, sell the conclusion: based on their needs these are the reasons you are uniquely qualified to fill the role. “Based on what we have discussed…I think I faced a similar challenge at this organization and here is how I resolved it…Is that the kind of solution which might work here?”

Be able to articulate and expand on the skills and experiences you have acquired to date, with specific focus on how this applies to this group’s mission and this particular role. Bring samples of your work product (Strategic Plan; Annual report etc.), which you can offer to leave with them or review if they have time. Boasting never flies but a succinct and confident presentation of your unique knowledge, experience and skills makes the connection for the interviewer on why their needs are a match with the tools you bring. Listen, pause after a question and ask to clarify if the question is unclear. Try to stress examples of leadership which directly influenced the achievement of goals, revenue and “stretch” objectives. Talk about how you were able to build, retain and lead a strong team and why people wanted to be part of it. Some level of appropriate humility and humor takes the edge off what would otherwise be perceived as self-centeredness.

Don’t get into the “weeds.” Salary, benefits, vacation, compensation etc. are best handled by the recruiter after the company has decided they can’t live without you. If they bring it up feel free to be open and honest.

Ask questions, which convey knowledge, based on your research, of their strategic issues, but also seek to learn, from their perspective, a deeper level of knowledge of their approach.

Leave on a positive note, expressing the desire for things to work out and looking forward to working with the interviewer. Thank you email and/or letters are highly desirable.

Call the recruiter as soon as possible to give your input and impressions.

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