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Interview Questions

Know what you're going to ask them.

Get your youth ministry committee together (should consist of adults and young people, staff and volunteers) to interview your top candidates. Below are some samples of good questions to ask, as well as questions that are illegal to ask. 

Behavioral-Based Questions

Some examples:

  • Please share with us a time in your ministry experience where you ministered in a multicultural setting. What was the biggest challenge in that situation? How did you respond to it? What did you learn? 

  • How would young people and adult volunteers you've worked with in the past describe your leadership style? 

  • Please name one example that summarizes your leadership style and your effectiveness as a leader.

  • Tell us about a situation in which you made a decision that made you unpopular with parents or with youth. How did you handle it? Was the conflict resolved? How? 

  • Our diocese has a rule that young people under the age of 18 cannot drive their own cars to youth events; yet an event is about to take place and you are short of adult drivers. What do you do? 

  • How would you handle the situation of catching a young person smoking at a parish youth retreat? 

  • Tell us about a job experience in which you felt compelled to speak up so that other people knew what you were thinking or how you felt. Was that difficult or easy? Did you get the results you were seeking?

  • Why do you think you'd be a good fit here?

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

  • What do you value in a workplace environment?

  • What gets you up in the morning?

Illegal Question You Should NEVER Ask

Some examples:

  • What is your race or color?

  • What is your lineage, ancestry, nationality, or parentage?

  • How old are you? What is your date of birth?

  • What is your marital status?

  • What is you maiden name?

  • Where is your birthplace?

  • Would you please provide a photograph?

  • What is your height, weight, eye color, or hair color?

  • To which clubs, societies, and lodges do you belong?

  • Have you been arrested?

  • Who are your relatives?

  • Would you tell me about your military discharge?

  • Where does your spouse work?

  • How many children do you have?

  • How old are your children? Have you taken care of day care provisions?

Tips for Interviewing Candidates

PRO-TIP:

Ask them at their interview if they can complete the fingerprinting process and safe environment training one week in advance of the anticipated first day. 

  • Be prepared.

  • Be sure to read each resume BEFORE the interview.

  • Make the candidate comfortable.

  • Be consistent with your questions for each candidate.

  • Make it less like an interview and more like a conversation.

  • Ask open-ended questions.

  • Don't send questions in advance. 

  • Be flexible.

  • Be natural.

  • Work on your listening skills.

  • Don't worry about a little silence.

  • Know what questions you're going to ask and those you should NOT ask (see above).

  • Don't make the interview about you.

  • Don't ask a prepared question if the candidate already answered it in a previous reply.

  • Make the candidate curious about the job and your parish.

  • Look for non-verbal language or cues.

  • Follow-up quickly and courteously with the candidate.