The Right Style of Interviewing for Your Organization


If you’ve been responsible for hiring for any length of time, you know the right questions to ask when interviewing a candidate. Have you ever wondered if there was something more to help you learn about the nuances that don’t always appear in someone’s answer? The style of your interview can allow you to gain further understanding and hopefully assist you in making the best hire possible.

Cultural Interviewing
Before determining which style is best for your organization, it’s important to first establish the culture of your organization and allow that to paint a broad stroke across the interviewing style you choose. Is your organization fast-paced? Keep the interview moving and maybe even get the ministry candidate out and moving as part of the tour. Can they keep up conversation? Perhaps your organization is more formal in nature. Ensure the conversation stays formal and observe how your candidate responds, regardless of the style you choose.

Relaxed Interviewing
Conversation will flow comfortably in a relaxed setting. Try and meet in a setting outside of the typical interview in a conference room or office where tables and desks often separate you from the candidate and fluorescent lights hum overhead. Is there a quiet café or lobby with comfortable chairs nearby? Is the weather nice enough to meet outside? Keep the tone casual and stay engaged in what the candidate is saying. He or she will feel relaxed and likely offer more off-the-cuff answers.

Friend Interviewing
Who will the ministry candidate be working with if he or she is hired? Have these potential coworkers spend some intentional conversation time with them. It’s important not to set these up as formal interviews but rather peer-to-peer inquiries. Any façade the candidate may be putting on for you, the manager, will likely drop when he or she meets an equal. Have your employees report back any red flags they may have picked up on during their interaction with the ministry candidate.

Panel Interviewing
Even if the candidate won’t be working with everyone on the panel, assemble a group of diverse team members. Before the interview, make sure your panel has a general road map of what questions need to be covered, and let the conversation flow freely outside of that parameter. You’ll be able to determine how a ministry candidate responds to different personalities and gain insight from the panel after the interview concludes.

It’s important to note that although these styles are strategic and intentional, they’re never meant to manipulate or intimidate a candidate; in fact, using manipulation or intimidation is a sure-fire way to begin an interview on the wrong foot. It’s important that you gather as much information as possible about potential hires, and by setting up an interview style, or even combining styles that fit your culture, will help you collect additional information about each candidate, allowing you to make the best hiring decision possible.