6 Ways To Stand Out And Ace Your Next Interview
By: Kendal Drinkwine August 15, 2018
Interviews can be nerve racking. Candidates naturally want to make a good impression, showcase their personality, and demonstrate their professional value.
Here at Vanderbloemen, we have conducted thousands of interviews. Inevitably, certain candidates differentiate themselves and prove they are a cut above the rest.
Here are six ways to stand out and ace your next interview.
1. Be Prepared
Depending on the type of role you are applying for, it can be helpful to bring examples of your past work to your interview. Don’t hesitate to brag a bit about your accomplishments. For example, Youth Pastors should be prepared to talk about a successful event they led. Worship Pastors should bring worship samples or creative art pieces they’ve directed. Come with a portfolio of projects that you can reference when appropriate. That tangible evidence goes a long way toward establishing credibility during an interview.
2. Be Confident
There is a difference between arrogance and confidence. Arrogance is a result of pride – it’s not a trait leaders want on their team. It leaves little room for learning and constructive criticism. Instead, leaders and teams desire someone who is confident and can respond positively to criticism. Someone with confidence will hit the ground running and be able to contribute immediately.
You have probably done things that are worth talking about – so share them. Gain confidence from knowing that the employer asked you to interview out of a pool of qualified candidates.
"Instead, teams desire someone who is confident and can take criticism when needed. Someone with confidence will jump on board with the team and hit the ground running."
From the perspective of the interviewer, one of the most frustrating things candidates can do in an interview is answer with curt, one-sentence responses. If individuals ask about your ministry and your story, they want to hear more than just a brief statement.
Talk about your ministry philosophy, your daily tasks, your team, and your accomplishments. Talk about problems you’ve solved or things you’ve done that have brought people to the church from your community. Be careful not to overshare, but avoid being too curt.
4. Read the Room
Sometimes ministry leaders love to talk; sometimes they don’t know when to stop. Become skilled at reading the room and the interviewer. Do they look like they are getting bored or trying to respond, but you just won’t stop talking? There is a lot to cover in an interview, so while interviewers want to hear more than a sentence response, it's important to note the amount that you are talking versus the amount of questions the interviewer has been able to ask.
5. Do Your Research
Get to know the church or organization with which you are interviewing. Watch a few sermons or listen to them in the car. Read the church's mission and vision statements. Are they doing a sermon series right now? Look at the staff page and read the bios. Learn as much about the team and the church as you possibly can so you can communicate to the interviewer why you want to work there and why you would be a good fit.
"Learn as much about the team and the church as you possibly can so you can communicate to the interviewer why you want to work there and why you would be a good fit with the team."
6. Ask Questions
Interviewers tend to leave a portion of their interviews for the candidate to ask any questions they may have about the process, the church, or the community. A major frustration from the perspective of the interviewer is if the candidate fails to ask any questions at all.
There is a lot you can learn about a church through the website or job description, but there are likely many unanswered questions. Is this a new role? Where is the church hoping to be in the next 3-5 years? Asking questions lets the church know you aren’t just looking for any job, but that you are thinking about what a future in that role may look like for you.
Interviews can be stressful, but if you properly prepare and follow these six suggestions, you'll set yourself up to ace your next interview.
How can you improve your interview skills to stand out as an ideal candidate?