This interview guide is used in conjunction with the sample job description THE SOURCE provides. Each question will correspond to criteria, qualifications and specific tasks in the job description. Just read the questions out loud—don’t read the criteria, qualification or task to which the question corresponds out loud.
Interview Method: This interview uses behavior based questions. These questions are based on the premise that “past performance reflects future results.” Rather than just asking the person to regurgitate personal qualifications, methodology, or what they’d “like to do” … instead we ask them what they’ve done. Most questions will prompt them to recall an experience where they used the qualification or skill we’re investigating.
Note: You’ll notice that this interview is lengthy. In the average preliminary one-hour interview you only have time for about eight to ten questions, each with up to five small follow-up/clarification questions. As you narrow down your choices of candidates, interviews will get longer or might be divided between several interviews (i.e. a search committee, board, youth staff, pastor, etc.)
The following interview guide is exhaustive, offering a number of questions for each qualification, skill, or job area proposed in our sample job description. These are just sample questions that could be asked to find out the individuals attitudes and experience in each area. Add or subtract questions as needed.
Agreement with our church’s vision, goals and statement of faith
1. Have you read our church’s vision, goals and statement of faith? Do you have any questions about any of these? Do you agree with them? (if not, please explain what you disagree with and why)
2. Do you think that this youth ministry should have a vision and goals that are similar to the church? Why or why not?
At least a Bachelor’s degree (B. A.) from four-year college or university (some Bible college or Seminary desired)
3. Tell us how your bachelor’s degree helped your previous youth ministry.
4. What source have you gleaned the most Biblical knowledge from?
At least three years youth ministry experience in a growing youth ministry
5. What was the most exciting part of your last job in youth ministry?
6. Describe how that ministry grew and why.
7. Why did you leave (or are you leaving) that position?
8. How long do you see yourself at your next position in youth ministry?
Experience managing others
9. Share a positive experience building your team of youth ministry volunteers.
10. Share a negative experience managing a volunteer. How did you handle it?
A strong walk with God through a growing personal relationship with Jesus Christ
11. Tell us about your relationship with Christ and how it’s grown recently?
12. What are some areas you need to work on in your relationship with Christ? What are you doing daily/weekly to work on these areas?
Teachable, with a desire to grow in their faith and abilities
13. Do you consider yourself teachable? Give an example of this trait from your last job.
14. What areas do you see a need for growth in your next youth ministry experience?
A self starter—highly motivated
15. Do you consider yourself a self starter, self motivated—or a person that needs to be given daily tasks to accomplish? Give an example of this from your last job.
Has a passion for youth ministry
16. What is your passion?
17. Do you see yourself in youth ministry in 5 years? 10 years?
Understands youth culture today
18. What do you do to stay current with youth culture today?
19. What do you see as some of the biggest problems plaguing youth today? Where do you see this?
20. What is the biggest difference between church kids and unchurched kids?
21. What do church kids and unchurched kids have in common?
Strong verbal and written communication skills
22. How often did you speak in your last ministry?
23. Give an example of a time when you successfully engaged students who didn’t necessarily want to hear a “talk” or a “message.”
24. What training or reading have you gone through to help you with your speaking? Name a few ways that this reading or training helped you.
25. What is the difference between an outreach talk and a spiritual growth talk?
26. Do you enjoy writing? Have you ever had anything published?
27. Have you ever written your own curriculum, discussion questions or training material? Briefly share with us an example of something you wrote/developed and how it was received.
A good role model
28. Did kids look up to you in your last job in youth ministry?
29. Give an example of a positive quality or characteristic that you modeled, and as a result, saw it in the lives of your students.
30. Share an example of a time when you modeled a negative behavior.
Team player with effective relational skills (works well with others)
31. Share a positive experience from your last youth ministry position where you acted as a team player.
32. Share a negative experience with one of your co-workers and how the situation was handled.
Set the vision for the youth ministry with a plan to carry it out.
Create a Biblical purpose statement for the youth group including at least these three elements: evangelism, spiritual growth (which includes fellowship, worship and Biblical teaching), and student leadership.
33. Share the vision you set for your last youth ministry and how it was carried out.
34. Was there a purpose statement? If so, what was it?
35. Is there anything you would adjust in your next youth ministry position?
Teach the vision and purpose statement to all volunteers, staff, and student leaders
36. Tell us how you taught this purpose statement to your staff, volunteers and students.
37. Give an example of one of these people reflecting their knowledge of this purpose statement.
Develop and lead programs according to the vision and purpose of the youth ministry
Create outreach programs, activities and events (evangelism)
38. Give an example of a successful outreach program or event you put together?
39. How did it accomplish the goal of reaching out?
40. How did you follow up with new believers or those that you reached out to?
41. Were you able to plug these kids into your “spiritual growth” programs or events?
42. Give an example of one of your outreach programs or events that didn’t go so well.
Plan spiritual growth programs, activities and events that include opportunities for kids to worship, fellowship with each other, learn Biblical truths and apply them to their lives (spiritual growth)
39. Give an example of programs, activities or events that you created to help kids spiritually grow. What were some of the elements of these programs?
40. How did kids respond to these programs? Give an example of the spiritual growth you saw.
41. How did these programs differ from the outreach programs?
Plan programs, activities or events, developing students who want to reach out and serve others, impacting them with the love of Christ (student leadership)
42. Give an example of how you helped students reach out to others.
43. Give an example of a time you gave students an opportunity to serve.
44. Give an example of how you helped kids find their spiritual gifts and use them.
45. Have you ever launched a student leadership team? If so, what did that look like? How would you change that in your next venture?
Recruit and train volunteer leaders to help you with your purpose
Every student should know an adult who is praying, caring and investing in their lives.
46. Share a little about your last experience recruiting and training volunteers, including how many people you started with, and how many joined your team.
47. What were their responsibilities?
48. Do you think it’s possible to connect every kid with an adult who is investing in their lives? How is this possible?
Meet regularly with your volunteers and staff
49. How often did you meet with your staff and volunteers? What did you do with this time?
Build into your team with consistent training and equipping
50. How did you train and equip your staff and volunteers?
Provide annual training events or conferences for your team
51. Did you ever take your staff and volunteers to conferences or training events? What events do you like the best?
52. What training opportunities do you plan on using in the future?
Build and maintain relationships with kids both churched and unchurched
Meet regularly with kids from the youth group
53. In your last youth ministry job, how much one-on-one time did you spend each week with kids?
54. What fruit did you see from this ministry?
Befriend several unchurched kids with no strings attached
55. Have you ever made an effort to contact “unchurched” kids? If so, tell us about that experience. How did you maintain the relationship?
Seek out opportunities to “hang out” with kids on campus, at sports events, or in the community
56. How often did you meet kids on “their turf?” (on campus, sports events, places in the community)
57. Give us an example of some fruit you saw from this effort.
Build and maintain quality relationships with parents
Clearly share your vision with parents so they understand the purpose of the youth ministry
58. In your past youth ministry experience, how did you share your vision with parents?
59. Have you ever hosted a “parent night” or “parent meeting” where you explained your ministry to parents and made yourself available for questions? Tell us about that experience.
Create avenues of consistent contact with parents (regular e-newsletters, annual parent meetings, etc.)
60. In the Past, what other avenues of contact have you used to connect with parents? Which of these were most effective?
Become aware of the needs of the parents
61. What were the biggest perceived needs you observed out of the parents of the kids you worked with before.
Network with other youth workers in the community
Initiate contact with other youth workers to pray for the community
62. In your past youth ministry position, what kind of effort did you put into networking with other youth workers in the community?
63. What are some good ways to initiate contact with other youth workers in a new community?
Meet regularly with other youth workers, encouraging each other, sharing ideas and experiences
64. In your past position, how often did you meet with other youth workers?
Program or attend area events with other youth ministries annually
65. How often did you attend area events with other youth workers and youth groups?
Set and oversee the youth ministry budget
Set a budget that reflects the values in your vision and purpose
66. How have you gone about setting a budget in your past ministry?
Be prudent with finances, sticking with the budget you set
67. Share some of the ways you made ends meet to stick to your budget.
68. What are your thoughts about fund raisers, sponsorships and scholarships?
Involve students in the ministry of the church as a whole, supporting and participating in the church’s vision, worship services, and activities
69. In your past youth ministry, how did you help students get involved in the church as a whole, not just the youth ministry?
70. How many of your students attended “big church” as well as your Sunday youth group?
71. Are there any ways you have learned that you can be proactive in getting kids involved in the church as a whole?
Attend weekly church staff meeting
72. How was your attendance at required staff meeting and board meetings?
Provide a weekly report to the senior pastor of your goals, accomplishments, prayers and praises
73. Who did you report to in your last youth ministry position? What did you like about that experience?
74. What did you not like?
(taken from http://www.thesource4ym.com)