Clergy Interview Guide

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Search Committee Interview Skills Training
Church Name City, Texas Date, 2011
Trainer: Mary M. MacGregor Director of Leadership Development Episcopal Diocese of Texas
Episcopal Diocese of Texas Mission
We are one Church reconciled by Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, called by God through worship, witness, and ministry, building the Kingdom of God together.

Prayer for a New Rector
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on Name ofChurch
and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Book of Common Prayer, p. 81
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City, TX Date, 2011

S.T.A.R. Training for Search Committee


Opening Prayer 1:00 – 1:30 p .m.

Discuss the following questions: What are this congregation’s core values? What is this congregation’s mission? What is this congregation’s vision for the future? What is this congregation looking for in a rector? What is the rector profile? How does this profile reflect particular behaviors?

1:30 – 1:45 p.m. Clergy Interview Guide and Key Background Review

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Focus Areas for Interviewing & Behavioral Dimensions Review Focus Areas What are behavioral dimensions? Review

Small Group Work Each group selects focus areas and behavioral dimensions from those assigned to the group that align with the church’s need

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. BREAK

3:00 – 3:20 p.m. Small Group Reports Each group reports chosen dimensions and focus areas that become the initial areas the group will use for developing questions

3:20 – 4:00 p.m.

Asking questions based on the S.T.A.R. method Guide for Creating Behavioral Questions Elements of a STAR False STARs Vague Answers Follow Up Questions to Build Complete STARs Rating Individual Team Member’s Sample Dimension Question Sheet After Interview Communication/Impact Assessment Team Rating Final Record After Team Visit Reaching Consensus as a Team Whole Search Committee Discussion After 2 Team Visits


4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Homework for Search Committee members, Search Committee work to develop an Interview Guide, Q&A, Search Process Review

Closing Prayer

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The Episcopal Diocese of Texas is committed to assisting its congregations in being prepared to undertake the most productive searches possible for new rectors. The work of a search committee is simply to find the best candidate to be the next rector of their church. This candidate should be a good fit for the culture and need of the church at the time of the search. This training method will assist search committee members to do this work well.
Prior to search committee training, it is very important that churches have clearly defined their identity through core value and mission statements. In addition, leaders of a church should be able to articulate clearly the vision for the near future of the congregation. This information informs a future rector profile which should define the characteristics, demonstrated behaviors and accomplishments of the optimum candidate for the position. Once a church has completed this work it is time to gather a committed and capable search committee who will actually do the interviewing and recommendation of a final candidate to the vestry.
The STAR method of interview skills training helps members of a search committee focus on the specific criteria for a rector. In addition, it provides a method whereby the committee members can hone their ability to interview and gain relevant and extremely important information which can ultimately inform their evaluation of the candidates.
The STAR method was derived from a secular human resources interview skills training program. However, it has been completely overhauled and adapted to meet the life of a congregation. It is based on the premise that future performance can be predicted by past behavior.
The contents of this notebook can be edited and changed to address the specific needs, culture, and vision for a church. It has many questions which can be used verbatim or edited to best fit the need of the congregation. In addition, it focuses on the multiple areas in which questions can be created using the STAR method. It is best utilized as a framework for a search committee’s interviewing, discernment and evaluation process.
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3 Parts
1. Opening, informal, background, casual intro into more formal questions Passion question
2. STAR QUESTIONS – highly structured portion of the interview
3. Candidates time for questions of his/her choice
Interviews often last 4-5 hours, including a meal at the beginning or at the end. Make sure to invite the spouse, if there is one, in advance for the meal. The search committee should pay for any costs incurred in this visit. (of course these costs should be supported by the search committee’s budget). The interview should be held at a neutral location. Follow up should be made to the interviewee as soon as the whole search committee has had a chance to discuss the results of the interview session. The candidate should be told if they will remain on the list, or be thanked for their time and told that they will not be under further consideration.
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BEFORE THE INTERVIEW (pre-interview preparation)  Each team member review:  The candidate’s information
 Pre-selected questions, dimension definitions and key actions
 Tailor the questions to the candidate’s experience  Appoint respective jobs for the team, including the opener, note taker, etc.

Part 1
OPENING (5 minutes)  Greet the candidate
 Start with prayer.  Each person introduces him/herself.  State that the team appreciates the candidate’s interest in the church and the rector’s position.  Complement the candidate on his/her experience and accomplishments.  Thank the candidate for adjusting his/her schedule for the interview.
 Explain the interview’s purpose:
 To get acquainted.  Learn more about the candidate’s background and experience.  Help the candidate understand the particulars of the position and the uniqueness of the church.

KEY 

BACKGROUND INFORMAL REVIEW (20-30 minutes – see p.6-considered informal time) Ask about the candidate’s submitted materials
 Review candidate’s materials (resume, advance information sent to the search committee) and ask any questions, note highlights and note relevance to this church’s position opening.
Jobs and experience
 Review information about the candidate’s prior work.  Note any background that is unclear or areas for which you would like more information.
 If there are gaps in the candidate’s employment or educational history, make a note to discuss them during this background review.
Passion Question
 An open-ended question about the interviewee’s passion around their ministry/work

Part 2
THE FORMAL INTERVIEW (up to 2 hours)  Describe the interview structure by explaining that you will:
 Review the candidate’s jobs and ministry experiences, ask for specific examples of actions he/she has taken in these jobs/experiences and results from these actions.
 Ask the candidate’s theological and philosophical positions pertaining to the church and ministry.  Answer any questions about the church and the rector’s position without getting into any
financial considerations for the position.  Take notes during the interview.
 PLANNED S.T.A.R. QUESTIONS (7-10 minutes per dimension or focus area)  OTHER QUESTIONS

Part 3
(letter or phone call)

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Team Member Sheet
CANDIDATE:___________________________________________________________ MOST RECENT POSITION/LOCATION:___________________________________________________ What (are/were) your major responsibilities in your (current/most recent) position?
(Do/Did) you supervise anyone? How many? What were their positions? What about volunteer positions?
What interests you the most about this possible new opportunity?
What gives you pause about the possibility of this new opportunity?
Why (do/did) you want to leave?
What aspects of ministry are you most passionate about and why? Communication Rating:________________ Impact Rating: _______________________
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(The Passion Questions)
The following 2 questions are open ended, leaving the interviewee to select the situation they are probably most proud of doing. The answer will give the interviewers a great deal of information on which to dig deeper and reveal actions and results. It will speak to the motivation behind the actions rather than the skill set as is discerned through behavioral dimension questions. They are good opening questions, focusing the individual on accomplishments and usually positive feelings.
1. Situation, Task
Tell us something that you have accomplished in your career about which you are most proud.
Specifically, how did you accomplish it?
What has been the result of this work?
2. Situation, Task
Share with us something that you accomplished in ministry that was an important achievement for you?
Situation, Task
What were some of the specific actions you had to take in order to do this? Result What were some of the results of this work?
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The following focus areas cover most aspects of the work of a rector. Questions could be designed around as many areas as deemed appropriate. The questions are best designed with STAR components and decided in advance of interviews. Those areas noted with ( ) are defined behavioral dimensions and are included in this notebook.
Personal Life Prayer/Devotional Life and Self Care Family Life-Balance of Work and Home Life Stress Tolerance (S) Personal Mission Statement
Theology Demonstrating Personal Theology (P) Episcopal Church/National Policy Ministry of the Priest Ministry of the Laity Abortion, Birth, Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Divorce, Death
Spiritual Gifts Personal Giftedness Giftedness of Others and Empowerment for Utilization Personal Passion for Particular Ministry Actions Motivated by Spiritual Gifts (G)
Leadership Style Leading through Values, Mission and Vision (V) Initiating Action (A) Building Trust (T) Gaining Commitment (C) Delegating Responsibility/Setting Boundaries/Expectations (D) Work Standards and Expectations of Others Building Parishioner - Staff Loyalty/Listening/Acknowledging/Building Relationships (L) Coaching/Contributing to Team Success (CC)
Management Style Communication (CM) Decision Making Building Strategic Working Relationships Managing Conflict Team Building
Organizational Development Meeting Leadership/Small Group Development (M) Organizational Design/Restructuring to Address Mission, Vision Vestry Development Small Group Development
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Worship/Liturgy Preferences Preaching (PR) Experience with Different Styles Openness/Opinion of Diversity in Liturgy Control/Delegation/Involvement Expanding Worship Opportunities beyond Sunday
Pastoral Care Decisions About When to get Involved in Parishioner’s Pastoral Needs Overseeing Comprehensive Ways to Cover Congregation’s Pastoral Needs Training/Deployment of Others to do Pastoral Care
Christian Formation Experience/Value Placed on Christian Education for Children, Adults, Bible Study/Vacation Bible School, etc. Personal Involvement in Teaching Experience with Programs for Christian Formation (DOCC, EFM, etc.) Involvement/promotion of Spiritual Development Opportunities
(Cursillo, EFM, Faith Alive, Discovery, Alpha, spiritual direction, etc.)
Evangelism Personal Involvement in Inviting Others into a Congregation Training Parishioners for Inviting Others into a Congregation Oversight/Involvement of Systematic Invitation, Welcome, Assimilation of Newcomers Experience with Setting and Achieving Objectives in Evangelism
Stewardship Experience/degree of Personal Involvement in Annual Campaigns Experience with Capital Campaigns/building New Facilities
Day Schools Experience with Day Schools on Church Premises Mother’s Day Out Programs
Youth Ministry Experience with Development of a Youth Ministry Degree of Personal Involvement with Youth Ministry Selection/Oversight of Youth Ministry Staff
Outreach Ministries Experience/degree of Personal Involvement Developing Outreach Opportunities Foreign and Domestic Missionary Work
Living in a Community With Changing Demographics Experience living in a community where demographics are changing Experience as an ordained person/leader of a church in a changing community Needs/Expectations for self and family living in a community such as the one the church is located
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Clergy Interview Guide