In this discussion, we will share how to prepare for an interview with a church. We’ll be talking about how to conduct a proper investigation of the church and preparing to answer the questions that we really don’t want to deal with.

Now Playing: The Pre-Interview Process​

Key Takeaways

After you watch the video above, read through these key takeaways that will help guide and reinforce the main points you just viewed…

The goal of the cover letter:  “look at my resume”

The goal of the resume: “interview me”

And now we enter into the interview phase.

The goal of the first interview: “interview me again”

That's right:  the goal of the first interview is simple.  You want to make a good enough impression that you are asked back for a second interview!

Most of your first interviews will be online using Zoom or a similar platform.

Of course, if you're 'local', your first interview may be in person.

We've prepared a simple check-list for you to consider when you get ready for your first video interview.  

Our word of advice:  Video interviews are REAL interviews.  Don't take them lightly.  Your first video interview will determine whether or not there are additional interviews (which eventually lead to on-site visits and job offers).

  • Your goal is to know everything you can about the church and the position as possible
  • Church Website
  • Google Search
  • Facebook and Social Media Pages
  • Facebook Reviews (/reviews)
  • Sleuth staff members social media posts
  • Stable internet connection
  • Put your phone in silent mode
  • Be engaged (close all other windows and give your full attention)
  • No pets, spouses, or kids (lock your door)
  • No cars or coffee shops
  • Test the video platform in advance (Zoom, Skype, Meet, Teams, WebEx)
  • The camera should be slightly above eye level (point at the forehead)
  • Look at the camera
  • Don’t put your laptop on your lap… ever
  • Clean, clear, professional background
  • No virtual backgrounds
  • Avoid headsets or over-the-ear headphones
  • Lighting and Video need to be well-thought-out

There will most likely be things you KNOW will come up.  If you don’t answer these quickly and concisely, they will derail your interview

  • Why are you leaving your church?
  • Tell me about your divorce.
  • Tell me about the gap in your resume.
  • Why were you fired?
  • How much money do you need?
  • Why our church? Why this position?

For these questions, you need to have a precise answer.

Practice your answer:

  • write it out on a piece of paper
  • practice it in front of a mirror

Additional Resources

We’ve assembled some great supplemental learning tools that will help you in your search for a healthy, long-term fit for your staff team.  All of these exclusive Chemistry Staffing resources are available for free download for you and your search team.

Your Presenters

Todd Rhoades

Todd has invested over 30 years in serving churches, having served as a worship pastor for over 15 years, a church elder for more than a decade, and in various ministry leadership roles in both the business and non-profit sectors. As the original founder and developer of, Todd fundamentally changed the way thousands of churches search for pastors and staff on the internet. Todd served for over a decade as a Director with Leadership Network, providing him exposure to the innovative trends in today’s church and inside knowledge of how healthy churches operate. A graduate of Cedarville University, Todd lives in Bryan, OH with his wife, Dawn.

Matt Steen

Matt has served the local church for over two decades as a youth pastor, church planter, and executive pastor. Originally from Baltimore, Matt currently lives in the Orlando, FL area with his wife Theresa, and has a B.S. in Youth Ministry from Nyack College and an M.Div. and MBA from Baylor University. Certified as an Urban Church Planter Coach by Redeemer City to City and as a StratOp facilitator by the Paterson Center, Matt has made a career of helping churches thrive through intentionality, clarity, and creating healthy cultures. He is convinced that a healthy church is led by a healthy team with great chemistry, and loves partnering with Chemistry’s churches to do great things for the Kingdom.

Need Additional Help With Your Search?

Check out these additional resources from our partners at

Our video critique will take a look at your current resume and give specific recommendations to make drastic improvements. We’ll critique your resume based on our 20 resume benchmarks:

Ministry Stability | Ministry Experience | Current Employment | Employment Consistency | Education Level | Ministry Sustainability | Employment Timeline | Stage of Life | Family Dynamics | Online Presence | Picture Quality | Humbleness Quotient | Resume Presentation | Cover Letter | Video/Work Sample | Grammar and Spelling | Font Treatment | Contact Effectiveness | Resume File Format

We’ll compare your current resume against our 20 resume benchmarks. You’ll gain the knowledge to drastically improve your resume in 24 hours or less.

We’ll go over your Resume Self-Assessment step-by-step in our one-hour call together. We’ll discuss each of our 20 resume benchmarks along with specific recommendations to make your resume better. After you make the suggested edits to your resume, we’ll provided video feedback with any follow-up items

One-on-one mentoring during your transition will make a huge difference. You’ll have a trusted partner and confidant to work with your throughout the search process. We’ll dive into areas that are important to YOU…

Should I Say or Go? | Rediscovering/Clarifying Your Calling | Determining Your Best Fit | Resume Advice | Interview Preparation | Salary Negotiation
On-Site Visit Preparation | Family Health and Relationships | Literally Anything Transition-Related!