9 Replies to “Youthwork interview questions”

  1. What is their main priority: To get more bums on seats in church or to develop the spirituality and faith of the existing young people? Both are, of course, important!
    I’ll keep thinking about more questions!

  2. Ive just been at an interview for a new youth post and some of the youths question were amazing. The youth had been asked to make up some questions the sunday b4. Most were normal, but two did make me laugh.
    1. Are you Gay?
    2. Do you like Cheese?
    Youth have great minds sometimes!!!!

  3. Ian, I’d be interested to find out what you come up with, as I’ll be helping a church to appoint at some stage. I’m not sure how I’d frame the question exactly, but I’d like to find out what they are passionate about.

  4. We were interviewing a potential youthwork trainee this weekend. Two questions stand out. The first was, ‘I told you there was no youthwork going on at present and gave you a blank sheet of paper, what would you do with it?’ and the second was could you give us an example of something you’ve thought about doing but then realised was a really bad idea?
    Oh the correct answer to the first question is make a paper aeroplane.

  5. Taking a slightly lateral thinking approach (and not really answering your question) the issue is not “what are good questions?” but “are the interviewers qualified to interpret the answers?”.
    Broadly speaking, interviewing techniques fall into two camps: One (which has a clever name that I forget) is where you ask fact-based questions which hopefully have a single answer because you’re not as qualified as the person you’re interviewing. HR prelim interviews would fall into this category; as would almost all church interviews in my experience. The problem comes if the question is more complex than it first appears and the interviewer misunderstands the answer (my experience is that almost all child protection questions fall into this category – its best to give the simplest and most conservative answer you can think of).
    The other technique is where the interviewer is better qualified (or equally) than the applicant and the interview forms more of a discussion baseed around past experience, expectations, company ethos, etc. No clever questions, no traps, just broad open questions and an interviewer capable of interpreting the answers. Most professional business interviews fall into this category.
    My 2p: Questions aren’t important. Include a youth specialist on your interview panel (dyo or local yw) and have a chat. Unfortunately, this has only happened to me once in the 15 or so church youth work interviews I’ve had (and was one of the two where I got the job – thanks Ian).

  6. Try to include all the learning styles within an interview, as from my experience, the majority of youth workers are more kinaesthetic than audio. In the Interview for my current job as a church youth worker, one of the vicars chucked a cricket ball at me (he used a tennis ball for the females), not hard of course, but in my direction. I can’t remember but I think I caught it. Apparently, he used to use it at interviews when he was a business manager. Catching the ball shows that a person is willing to get on with the pratical side of things, as well as showing they aren’t afraid. Attempting to catch the ball but dropping it shows that they are bad at catching, but also that they willing to give things a try, although might not succeed every time. Not attempting to catch the ball means that they are not prepared for a challenge, and tend not to show initiative, but would rather be told what to do by the employers.
    I don’t know how effective this is, but it added some fun to the interview process, and i was very confused as he didn’t explain what it meant until after i had been told i had the job.

  7. Joe,
    That’s hilarious. I always thought theat when youth workers saw people threw a lot of stuff in their direction, that they meant metaphorically.
    Good story

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