Being a youth pastor is one of the best jobs you can have. It’s a rewarding position because you get to make an impact in the lives of youth who are energetic. Plus, you’re not tied to a desk all day.
It’s also a tough job to get. If you’re applying to work in youth ministry, it’s important to be aware of potential youth pastor interview questions.
Youth pastor interview questions may seem straightforward, however, you’re likely to get a few curveballs in your interview (especially if interviewing pastors have a good sense of humor). Make sure you’re prepared by reviewing this article and all the potential questions you’ll receive.
Remember, not all interviews are the same. The human resource department at your church will have procedures that are slightly different than another.
You’re bound to have board members, fellow pastors, and active members of the church interview you during the hiring process.
Do your best to anticipate what might occur during the interview, but don’t respond with scripted answers. Respond honestly, with confidence and you’ll do great.
What Your Interviewer Will Look For
If you’re being interviewed for a youth pastor position, understand that there are other people being interviewed as well. It’s essential that you do the following:
- Arrive early
- Look the part (professional)
- Be respectful
These tips listed above are useful at every interview, but being a youth pastor isn’t like every other interview. Expect your interviewers to look for traits that will make you a successful youth pastor.
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These characteristics include but are not limited to:
- Energy (after all, you’re working with kids)
- Enthusiasm for the subject matter
- Ideas (fresh ideas are important and great for kids)
- Someone who values the church’s objectives
- Willing to take direction and get’s along with others
- Knowledge of the Word and the ability to convey it to others
In some interviews, being serious is expected. As a youth pastor you’ll need to know when to be serious and when to have fun. In general, a jovial and energetic personality are likely great characteristics of a youth pastor.
32 Youth Pastor Interview Questions (Comprehensive)
Questions about the church
Every hiring committee will want to learn about you. What you know about their church is just as important. Trust me, there is nothing worse than walking into an interview and not knowing much about the organization (church in this case) that’s hiring.
In many cases, a youth pastor will be applying for a job at the church they are currently attending. This is a big advantage.
If not, make sure you’ve researched the church. Look at their website, talk to members of the congregation, and attend church services before your interview. A church website should include the leadership and include the specific mission of the church.
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The more research you’ve done in advance of the interview, the better chance you’ll have of appearing prepared for the interview.
- Share a few of the core values of this church and why they are important to you.
- Of all the churches, why does this church interest you?
- Have you attended this church before and what are your general thoughts?
- What is your favorite scripture and why?
Personal Questions and Opinions
Personal questions are a part of every interview. Your hiring committee will want to know if you’re qualified for the position. This usually includes prior employment, volunteer experience, and education.
Your background will likely demonstrate an interest in being a youth pastor (teaching, volunteering experience). Make sure to share all your achievements without coming across prideful.
Also, share how your prior experiences make you the perfect candidate for their youth pastor position. Sell yourself, but not like a salesman. Be confident and mention your skills and abilities that relate directly to what was published in the job description.
- Tell me a little about yourself
- When did you realize you wanted to be a youth pastor?
- Why did you leave your previous job as a youth pastor?
- Can you share your relationship with God and how you were saved?
- Can you describe the qualities of a good youth pastor and how they apply to you?
- Share your experience with an influential youth pastor and how he/she affected your life?
- What are activities that you enjoy and how can you incorporate them into your work?
- Do you have experience with leading youth? If so, in what ways?
- Do you have experience teaching, please explain?
- What are your two biggest strengths and two biggest weakness (explain)?
- Did you ever drift away from God? What brought you back?
- What youth ages do you connect with the most?
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
- What areas of the church would you be willing to help out above and beyond your position (additional skills or interests)?
- What’s your opinion on tithing?
- What are your questions for me?
- Do you have experience organizing mission retreats or trips for youth?
Situational questions are among the most important questions of an interview. How you handle a certain situation will tell a lot about the type of leader you are.
Will you call the head pastor if there is a small problem in your youth group or will you be able to handle the problem yourself?
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Will you get in an argument and make a scene if a parent complains about your leadership?
Your hiring committee will be looking for a leader who takes decisive action when times are tough. Patience, understanding, and flexibility are some of the key characteristics (a lot of patience with youth).
As a youth pastor you’ll definitely run into your share of challenges. Being able to adapt, and solve them quickly are key to your success.
Use words like patience, adaptability, creativity, 1-1 meetings, communication, and flexibility during your interview!
- How would you handle a child that routinely interrupts a youth group and won’t listen to authority?
- How do you motivate kids (strategies)?
- What would you do if a parent came to you to complain about youth group?
- How would you handle a bullying situation in a youth group?
- What are the most effective ways to teach youth in church?
- Do you prefer meeting as a group in the morning or evening and why?
- Ideally, how often would to have youth group meetings?
- How important are outreach opportunities and mission work and how would you incorporate it into your work as a youth pastor?
- Do you have experience in leading music groups or bible study?
- Are you willing to work nights and weekends if there are youth activities?
- What would you do if you found out a member of the youth group was using drugs or alcohol?
An interview for a youth pastor position has similarities of many other jobs. You’ll need to be prepared. Always be professional, on-time, and dressed the part.
There will also be differences. A youth pastor will be expected to have energy, motivation, and the patience to work with kids.
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It may seem like the perfect job, but it’s not without challenges. Rowdy kids, overbearing parents, and mishaps (like kids accidently breaking windows) will all occur and you need to be prepared to address them.
Youth pastor interview questions won’t be easy. The hiring committee will ask about your personal walk with God. They will want to know how you live according to God’s will. They will also ask when you accepted God into your heart.
The church will also want to know how much you know about them. Make sure to research the church. Understand their mission and know the leadership. After all, you’ll want to know who you’re talking to when you arrive for the interview.
Lastly, the church will want to know how you handle specific situations. It’s easy to say you want to be a youth pastor, but do you have the ability and skills to be one? Many youth pastors studied their trade in school.
Most have experience volunteering for church youth groups or working at summer camps. All youth pastors should have some experience and a desire to work with kids and help them grow.
Prior to your interview practice answering these youth pastor interview questions. Go through each one and explain your answer in a clear and concise manner. Obviously, every question that we shared won’t be part of your interview, however, there’s no such thing as “too much preparation”.
With a little preparation and practice, you’ll ace the interview and be offered a new job as the youth pastor. Good luck in your interview!