So, tell us why you applied for this job?

Yesterday I was interviewing youth workers for a job in Reading! Great time and I enjoyed the informal time with the candidates as well as the formal interviews themselves. I find it a fascinating process!
Can’t really say too much (obviously) but what really impressed me yesterday was the questions that the candidates asked us, these communicated so much. I have often been amazed at lack of preparation from candidates for Church youth ministry jobs which is evident from the ‘token’ question the panel get asked. Not yesterday!
Confession time: I love being interviewed and thrive on the whole ‘game of chess’ that it is as you answer the questions, apply experience and examples AND work out why the question was being asked and respond accordingly. I’m actually sometimes tempted to apply for jobs as it looks like the interview would be fun! (Sometimes a background in Sales messes with your mind eh?)
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So as we are in the twilight zone of the interview …. What’s the best question you’ve been asked? and conversely, what’s the worst?
(Oh and any comical horror moments from interviews that you are willing to share would probably elicit much need chortling from various offices and homes within the readership)

10 Replies to “So, tell us why you applied for this job?”

  1. I was at a party with Doc Sarah the night before one interview. I packed pajamas, and a skirt and tights for the next day but not another top, so ended up wearing the one i’d worn to the party… bright red and skin tight! And I’d left my phone there too!
    Somehow I managed to get the job.

  2. So I’m on a two day visit to a possible parish to become Rector maybe. Day 1 is all about a tour, informal meeting and chatting and everyone is horrid, rude and the house is awful. Spend the night thinking I might pull out but decide to let the interviewers persuade me with the depth of their thinking and clarity of their questions.
    Panel 1. Question 1. Are you still a candidate for this job? Downhill from then on.
    Decide panel 2 may as well be a practice interview.
    Panel 2. Question 1. So, are you still a candidate for this job?
    I’m afraid that when they asked me to elaborate on my guarded ‘I am trying to keep an open mind’ I let rip and told them the truth about their job. May not get another job in that diocese. Ah well.

  3. Steve,
    Really weird too that the 1st question for BOTH panels was whether you were still interested? it’s normally a question at the end. I suppose it would be wrong for me to ask whether they managed to appoint?

  4. i can’t believe people actually enjoy interviews … i get way too nervous. My current job involved a youth group vote, 2 interviews, members presentation etc etc. I was a whole lot younger (and maybe slightly thicker) and in a presentation I had spelt euthanasia ‘youthanasia’so the Rev asked if euthanasia was a particular problem for youth, I didna get the joke so went on for 10 minutes about how youth need to consider the issues of society etc etc. Hugely embarrassing 🙁

  5. I’ve attended an IT support position interview where one of the panel members liked to pose “here’s a random statement. discuss” type questions. Very difficult to answer as the nature of the question suggested he didn’t understand the topic on which he was asking, so I wasn’t sure how detailed an answer to give. Perhaps it was a test in how I would handle speaking to people who are “out of the loop”?

  6. Strangest (big red flags) interview I ever had was one 5 years ago. They asked a series of very one-sided questions where you could not even try to answer from your heart. Then they said…
    you are on a ski trip with jr students and one of them slits her wrists. What do you do?
    So I answered it from the point that the youth had already gone to the hospital. Pray with the youth, get help from pastors or counselors, etc.
    They then piped in and said “No, the first thing you would do is call 911.”
    I said “No, actually I would apply pressure to the wound to try and stop the bleeding and have someone else call 911, because if I take time to call 911, she will have already bled to death.”
    And the even more bizarre part, they still wanted me to come for a face-to-face interview. I ran away very quickly and never turned back.

  7. Thought I’d share my fav’ bit of interview feedback. I’d made it into the final three for a youth work job but one of the panel who I shall Call Maxine Blue to disguise her identity was quite scathing aboout my lack of formal qualification. Her feedback to me was,
    “You have done very well to get this far on enthusiasm alone!”
    Ouch!

  8. I have been very fortunate in youthwork interviews but before my youthwork world I was interviewed for a job in a shipping company. The interview took place in a store cupboard (a large walk in one!!) and we were both sat on boxed paper. Rather humourous and I got the job!

  9. My current job had a big 2 day interview process which all went fine but the part of it that I got very paranoid about was the night before the interview. (in fact the Rectory still likes to snigger about it to this day – 4+ years on…)As I was travelling down from Manchester I arrived the night before and the Church arranged a B&B for me and my (then) Fiance. They booked us 2 rooms – 1 single and 1 double. I got myself convinced that they had secret cameras or the B&B owner watching us to see if we shared a room pre-marriage or if we used different rooms!! I made a big show of loudly going to my own room to sleep and embarrassingly I mentioned it in the interview panel!! Of course they didn’t preplan any such thing, then church had just booked 2 rooms….. or did they… I never did get a straight answer!

  10. I’d just like to congratulate you on your disguising names, I can’t think who you might mean! I thin my worst interview experiences were when I first left school, I was applying to do a YTS with a photographer, one place I had an interview that I felt went well the next day I had a phone call to say the company had gone bust. Another photographer I got on well with but I turned it down as I had been offered another job with a much larger company with a great reputation, this was a mistake because they didn’t give me the job I had wanted and almost 2 years later decided to get rid of me. I had another interview with the same photographer I had turned down before (not recognising the company name to start off with.) however the photographer had remembered me and just wanted to waist my time, to this day in some respects I still wish I had done the YTS with him cos I think I would have benefited much more from that, but them I might not be doing this now so maybe it was all for the best!

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