Sample interview questions

By Jim LaDoux
One of the most important leadership roles is to equip the right people for the right positions where they can thrive and produce transformational ministry. Selecting the right people is crucial and one of the key elements is to interview potential candidates to see if they're the right  fit for your organization and the specific ministry they'd contribute to. Listed below are sample questions to ask potential candidates to better understand and determine each individuals' competencies, character, and chemistry.


  • What interests you in this position?
  • Tell us a little about your background, interests, and training.
  • Tell us about your own faith journey. 
  • What are your plans for your own personal/spiritual development?
  • In what ways do you practice your faith on a daily/weekly basis?
  • What are the things you are proud of in your current ministry setting?
  • What challenges have you experienced?
  • How do you balance the demands of ministry with your personal needs?
  • What are the theological or philosophical underpinnings that guide your ministry efforts?
  • How comfortable are you with the theological/doctrinal positions of our congregation/denomination?
  • If you were selected for this position, describe how your ministry might unfold here over the next 1-2 years.
  • Assuming you were hired, what would you want people from this congregation to remember you for?
  • What would you do the first 90 days of your ministry?
  • What do you look for in a volunteer leader?
  • How would you equip and support your ministry team leaders?
  • If you found that a volunteer leader was not a good fit, or behaved inappropriately, what would you do?
  • Describe some of the methods you use to involve others in ministry.
  • Tell us about a project or ministry program that you planned and successfully implemented.
  • What experience have you had leading . . . (Bible studies, small groups, retreats, etc.)?
  • Would you say that you are more "people-oriented" or "task-oriented"?
  • What do you see as your personal strengths? What are your weaknesses?
  • How do you handle conflict? Unfounded criticism? Ministry failure or disappointment?
  • How do you manage unrealistic expectations? Church politics? Triangulation?
  • How would you describe your leadership style? Your learning style?
  • In what areas of ministry do you feel that you could benefit from additional training?
  • How would you equip parents and grandparents to be faith-shapers for their children and grandchildren?
  • Share your perspective on our denomination’s/congregational stance on . . .  (list issues).
  • What do you need from the members of this congregation to do your best work?
  • What aspects of congregational ministry are life-draining for you? 
  • What would cause you to leave this type of ministry setting?
  • Share your hopes for this congregation.
  • Describe a time when you have used your creativity to make a difference.
  • If you were selected for this position, when could you start?
  • What questions do you have related to our church and this position?

The interview process provides an opportunity to determine if the candidate is a “good fit” for all parties involved.  Before interviewing, consider which skills and qualities are most critical to the role you are seeking to fill.  Consider ways that you might rank each based on their competencies, character, and chemistry.


  1. Which skills or traits for most important for this position and how will they be weighted during the interview process?
  2. What information would we like to gather from candidates before the interview process.
  3. Who will be part of the interview process?  With whom will this information be shared?
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