As a church employee who served in personnel committees and has conducted hundreds of interviews I have seen pretty much everything. If you are a student/pastor and will interview for a position I want to give you some friendly advice I wish someone had given me:
Here are four things NOT to do:
1. Act cocky.
Listen, you might be from Cleveland, but you are not E.E. Neither are you the second coming of H.M. S. Richards or Alejandro Bullon. Be confident, not cocky. No one likes a cocky preacher. Frankly, all it does is reveal some deep seated insecurities. Be yourself. Don’t overdo, you. I once had a interviewee talk non-stop about himself. I couldn’t get a word in.
2. Name dropping.
This is another common one. I hear it all the time. They say, for example: “I know Dr. Carlton Byrd…” My question to that statement is this: “Is Buddy Byrd coming to pastor that 23 member church I am interviewing you for? No? Then why name drop?” Some mention presidents in denominational levels. Why? Name dropping is a dangerous exercise, because it associates you with another’s track record and neglects your own identity. I am hiring for what you can bring to the team. Not ____________________ (fill in blank).
3. Irrelevant statistics.
I don’t need to know you taught, as an assistant, Craddle Roll on a Sabbath 5 years ago. Some go to great lengths to list every ministry act that was ever done. Tell me who you are, some of what your gifts in action are. Categories with a couple of specific occurrences are great. (see #4)
4. Extensive/unimpressive resume*
I have had a resume with cooking grease on it handed to me. Some have showed up without a resume, with an excuse. Several times, I have had a resume of at least 10 pages, single space, put in my hands. This complicates matters. It does not impress the committee, in fact, can work against you (see #3). A picture is always nice. Color is a plus. Go for functional and readability. Don’t overthink it or overdo it.
*Here is a great resume: http://www.slideshare.net/RogerHernandez6/published-resume-33050987
What other ways do potential pastors kill (or at least diminish) their chances? Let me know in the comment section.