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Interview Guidelines - Guidelines and Suggestions

By Jesse Russell,2014-05-16 01:56
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The following interview process has been successful in a variety of settings:When planning for an interview, consider the following suggestions:

    Guidelines and

    Suggestions

    for Interviewing

    First-Placement

    Candidates

    into

    Educational Ministries

     of

    The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

    2003

    Table of Contents

I. Introduction ................................................................................ 3

    II. Background ................................................................................. 3

    III. Suggested Procedures .................................................................. 4

    Starting the Process: .......................................................................... 4

    Planning the interview: ........................................................................ 4

    Phase I ......................................................................................... 4

    Phase II ....................................................................................... 5

    Interview Questions: ........................................................................... 6

    Personal Background....................................................................... 6

    Professional Training and Experience ................................................. 6

    Understanding of Mission and Ministry ............................................... 7

    Philosophy of Education ................................................................... 7

    Classroom Scenarios ....................................................................... 7

    Educational Goals ........................................................................... 7

    Local Questions ............................................................................. 7

    Additional Interview Guidelines: ....................................................... 8

    Follow-Through: ............................................................................. 9 IV. Terms ......................................................................................... 9

    V. Colleges and Universities of the Lutheran ChurchMO Synod .......... 10

    VI. Teacher Education Programs at Synodical Colleges and Universities .. 11

    Baccalaureate .................................................................................. 11

    Graduate........................ Error! Bookmark not defined.

    2

I. Introduction

    Your congregation is seeking a graduate of one of the colleges or universities of The

    Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod. You are seeking a candidate who has been trained and

    certified for an educational ministry of the church. This document provides you with

    background information about the educational ministries, suggested procedures for securing

    candidates, and interview questions and guidelines.

    The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod has a long and rich history of providing Christian education for the members of the congregations and communities served. From the very

    beginning the Saxon Lutherans recognized the need to educate young people in the Word of

    God and the doctrines of the church, providing the knowledge necessary to be educated

    citizens.

    Included in the educational process was recognition of the need to educate those who would

    teach children and young people. To that end, colleges were established to prepare

    teachers to teach in the schools that have been such a significant part of the history of The

    Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod. The development and maintenance of a comprehensive

    system of colleges and universities has most certainly enabled Lutheran preschools,

    elementary, and secondary schools to develop and expand. While other Lutheran church

    bodies in America established parochial schools, without the support system of training

    institutions to supply the schools with teachers prepared to teach in Lutheran schools, the

    parochial schools simply faded into history.

    The colleges and universities of The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod continue to recruit

    and prepare women and men to serve as teachers and administrators in Lutheran

    educational ministries. This document is for leaders of congregations and schools who look

    to the colleges and universities of the Concordia University System for graduates.

    II. Background

    Reflecting on our rich heritage of Christian education helps us to make important

    connections of where we have been, to know where we are today and to determine where

    we will need to be in the years and decades to come. Changes in Lutheran schools have

    been both subtle and dramatic. The most recent decades have brought about a variety of

    significant changes that have influenced and continue to influence what Lutheran schools

    are to their congregations and communities. Recent changes and trends include the

    declining percentage of Lutheran student enrollment, growing diversity within Lutheran

    schools, the establishment of many preschool and day care programs, and an expansion of

    curricular offerings and the manner in which schools are staffed.

    This document seeks to assist school leaders with the appropriate procedures for staffing

    schools of The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod with graduates of synodical colleges and universities. The process has changed over the past two decades in order to provide better

    assistance for congregations, schools and the candidates to be placed. Students,

    congregational leaders and leaders of other educational agencies are much more involved in

    the initial placement process. For the sake of good order, it is essential that leaders follow

    clearly established guidelines for placing teachers.

    It is important that school leaders use this document along with the document entitled

    Rubrics Governing Call and Placement Procedures for Ministers of Religion

    Commissioned, Adopted April 2002. This document can be found on the website at:

    http://higher-ed.lcms.org/200-church-voc.asp This document provides information about

    the appropriate procedures for calling and placing teachers, along with a glossary of terms.

    Please note the section, Calling Procedures for First Placement Candidates, found on pages

    eight and nine of the Rubrics Bulletin.

    3

This document is an expansion of those guidelines with the goal of enhancing the ministry of

    the Lutheran teacher graduate, especially through improved communications in the

    interview process. The calling body (congregation or school) should notify the District

    Education Executive that it will be placing a call. The District Ed. Exec. will give you the

    information about the Concordia Placement Website and the password needed. This website

    is designed to give the congregation preliminary information on available candidates from

    each of the ten campuses. The calling bodies can then contact the Placement directors on

    the campuses that have candidates who fit their needs to find out more information about

    them. Calling bodies then have the opportunity to contact the candidate by phone, e-mail,

    personally on campus or on site. The following information is provided for school leaders so

    that the contacts might be productive and beneficial for both the calling body and the

    candidate.

    III. Suggested Procedures Starting the Process:

    1. Prayerfully consider the specific aspects of ministry the congregation wishes to have

    filled by the candidate. Contact your District Education Executive for assistance with

    identification of needs in your setting.

    2. Develop a position description along with a list of qualifications. 3. Make decisions about salary and benefits, housing, and other significant details of the

    Call.

    4. Contact one or more college/university Placement Directors, share the above

    information and ask for professional credentials of qualified candidates along with

    guidelines for using the names(s) which the Placement Directors recommend. The

    institution contact information and the programs available are included on pages 11-12. 5. Review the professional credentials in relation to numbers one and two above. 6. When a decision has been made to interview a candidate, contact the appropriate

    Placement Director for assurance that the candidate is still available for placement. 7. Prepare interview questions based on the suggestions found in this booklet and the

    specific needs of your educational ministry.

    8. Contact the candidates selected for interviews. Establish interview times and other

    arrangements.

    9. Conduct interviews; make decision.

    10. Follow the procedures for Designation for a Call outlined in the Rubrics Bulletin, pages

    eight and nine.

    Planning the interview:

    It is important that planning the interview be done professionally and with dignity. The

    colleges and universities prepare the graduates for interviews. The actual interview

    provides the candidate with the opportunity to share educational philosophies, attitudes and

    experiences in ways that will not likely be shared on paper. Careful planning and

    appropriate questions will enhance the process for all concerned.

    The following interview process has been successful in a variety of settings:

    Phase I

    Screening interview - for the purpose of narrowing the field of candidates.

    Selection interview - for the purpose of selecting the person to fill the position.

    During this phase the focus is on the skills and abilities of the candidate for the position that is available. A focus on promoting the local situation can cause confusion about the reason

    for the interview and the role of the candidate in the process.

    4

Phase II

    Promoting the position to the candidate. During this phase the committee will seek to

    share the reasons for which a candidate will want to be part of the ministry of the

    congregation and school. Care should be taken not to mix Phase II into the process of

    Phase I.

    When planning for an interview, consider the following suggestions:

    1. Determine if the interview will be a phone interview or a personal interview. In either

    case, be certain that the candidate has advance notice; that the time for the interview is

    convenient for the candidate and the interviewer(s); and that the candidate has some

    advance information about the position, the school, the congregation and the community.

    All costs for a personal interview including transportation, lodging and meals are the

    responsibility of the congregation/educational agency.

    2. If a phone interview is conducted, plan the details carefully.

    a. Time (be aware of time zones). A carefully planned interview, 45-60 minutes in

    length, is sufficient.

    b. Number of interviewers.

    c. A conference call is an effective way to conduct an interview, especially when the

    candidate is not available for a personal interview. Consider assigning one member

    of the interview committee to ask the prepared questions. Too many voices can be

    confusing to the candidate. All members of the committee should have the

    opportunity to ask questions after the prepared questions are completed.

    At the beginning of the session, advise the interviewee of the categories of questions

    that will be asked professional training, educational experiences, philosophy,

    classroom management, etc. Helping the candidate to be at ease will enhance the

    quality of the interview.

    d. Those participating in the interview should clearly identify themselves at the

    beginning of the interview and when asking questions. When there is one questioner,

    the candidate should be aware that there are others listening to the interview. The

    candidate should also be told if the interview is being taped.

    e. If more than one candidate is being interviewed for a position, it is helpful to ask the

    same questions of all candidates so that comparisons can be made. In addition,

    there may be questions specific to the individual.

    f. As you seek to identify a teacher who will serve in the ministry of the Lutheran

    school in your setting, the following format for the interview is suggested:

    i. Opening Prayer

    ii. Introductions

    iii. Prepared Questions

    iv. Clarification

    v. Closing Prayer

    g. Use a prepared list of questions for all candidates. However, it may be necessary to

    ask clarifying questions during the interview. When using one person to ask

    questions, select that person who has a good ―phone voice‖ and who can best

    conduct a professional interview.

    3. If a personal interview is conducted, the guidelines above are also appropriate. The

    additional considerations for such an interview include:

    a. Comfortable room furnishings

    b. Appropriate number of people (too many interviewers may be intimidating)

    c. Maintaining eye contact while taking notes.

    5

4. At the conclusion of either the phone or personal interview, indicate:

    a. How long interviewing of candidates will continue.

    b. The time-table for making a decision

    c. When and how the committee will notify the placement officer and the candidate. It

    is important that each candidate interviewed be notified promptly when a decision is

    made. This will help to put the candidate at ease and promote positive

    communications.

    Interview Questions:

    Planning interview questions is important for a successful interview. What you will ask of a

    candidate will be a bit different from what you ask an experienced educator. Do not expect

    the same level of sophistication and confidence that you would from one who has been in a

    classroom for several years. Plan questions that will enable the candidate to respond based

    on his or her level of experience.

    One purpose of the interview is to relate questions to the position and the ministry in your

    setting. It is essential when developing questions to be sensitive to the candidate by not

    asking those questions which are inappropriate both legally and ethically. Consider

    developing questions around the following themes:

    ? Personal background

    ? Professional training and experience

    ? Understanding of mission and ministry

    ? Gifts as a person and an educator

    ? Nature of teaching/learning process

    ? Reaction to real classroom scenarios

    ? Educational goals

    ? Specific questions related to your local situation

    The following are examples of questions that you may wish to include in an interview.

    These are not inclusive nor should all be used. Be selective. Ask only those questions

    which help to achieve your objective(s) for conducting an interview.

    Personal Background

    ? Briefly summarize your personal history. Tell us about your family and early growth

    experiences.

    ? Where did you attend elementary and high school?

    ? What were your activities at school and in your home congregation?

    ? What are your hobbies? How do you relax?

    ? Who or what influenced you to become a Lutheran teacher? Professional Training and Experience

    ? What led you to choose the college/university that you chose?

    ? How did your college/university education prepare you to serve in a Lutheran school?

    ? What experiences other than college courses were influential in your preparation as a

    teacher?

    ? Describe your student teaching experience(s). What did you learn?

    ? How did student teaching help you to make a decision about the grade level that you

    would like to teach? Why do you want to work with children?

    ? In what grade level(s) do you feel most qualified to teach? Why?

    ? Share your strengths and limitations.

    6

Understanding of Mission and Ministry

    ? How is being a part of the Lutheran teaching ministry unique?

    ? What is your understanding of the role of the Lutheran school today? What is unique

    about the Lutheran school?

    ? What is your view of the relationship of the church and the school?

    ? How would Law and Gospel be part of your classroom?

    ? How would you enable and encourage students to put into practice what is learned in

    the study of religion?

    ? What special skills and interests do you bring to this school and congregation? Philosophy of Education

    ? Describe your philosophy of educating a child for living in the world today and the

    years to come. Share your understanding of how ______________ is an important

    part of modern education in America. (Select current trends and programs that are

    used or may be used in your setting.)

    ? What is the role of the family in the education of children today?

    ? How will you develop a successful classroom? Include thoughts on discipline,

    classroom management, dealing with ―administrivia,‖ dealing with parents, meeting

    the needs of special students. How will you affirm students?

    ? List three goals for your classroom next year.

    Classroom Scenarios

    ? Develop classroom scenarios dealing with real issues of your school and community.

    Consider topics such as relating to parents, staff relationships, a disruptive student,

    helping two arguing students. Ask for an identification of the issues and possible

    solutions and what action should be taken if the plan does not work. Educational Goals

    ? What activities do you feel are important for your professional growth?

    ? Are you considering enrolling in an advanced degree program? In what area of

    education are you interested in pursuing an advanced degree?

    ? What would you like to be doing in five years?

    Local Questions

    Develop several questions that deal specifically with your school, the position for which the

    candidate is being interviewed, and the skills for extra duties along with any other questions

    unique to your setting.

    It is always a good idea to ask the candidate if he/she has any questions of you, so that

    he/she will have the necessary information and background for consideration of a possible

    future Call. The following are examples of questions that candidates have asked:

    ? What assistance will I receive in helping me to become a better teaching minister?

    ? How will my service be evaluated?

    ? How are texts selected and what is currently used?

    ? What is the philosophy of the various curriculum courses, the programs of the school

    and discipline?

    ? What worship styles are available to enrich me in the Lord’s ministry?

    ? Will you interview other candidates? What is your schedule or process for selecting a

    candidate?

    ? What is the housing situation in the community? What is the benefit package? (They

    shouldn’t ask about salary, but you can indicate the salary if you wish.)

    7

    Additional Interview Guidelines:

    It is important that questions asked in an interview not violate acceptable legal questions.

    Questions should not only be appropriate but also be phrased correctly to follow guidelines.

    The guidelines below are for those concerns most frequently addressed by interviewers and

    leaders.

    ? Age A person can be asked for proof of age if hired, but it is unacceptable to ask

    age, birth date, dates of attendance or completion of elementary or high school, and

    questions which tend to identify a candidate over age forty.

    ? Birthplace/citizenship A candidate can be told that proof of a legal right to work

    in the United States may be required after employment. However, candidates

    should not be asked about birthplace of parents or other relatives, if they are U.S.

    citizens, or to furnish naturalization papers.

    ? Natural Origin A candidate can be asked about languages read, spoken, or written

    but should not be asked about nationality, lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent

    or parentage of candidate or of parents and spouse. The candidate should not be

    asked how foreign language skills were acquired.

    ? Sex, Marital Status, Family You can share a policy statement about workers who

    are related. Avoid questions about the candidate’s sex, marital status, number

    and/or ages of children or dependents, provisions for child care, questions regarding

    pregnancy, child bearing or birth control, or asking about with whom the candidate

    resides.

    ? Race, Color The candidate may be told that a photograph may be required after

    employment. Questions about the candidate’s race or color and questions regarding

    candidate’s complexion or color of skin, eyes or hair are unacceptable.

    ? Physical Condition, Handicap If there is a policy that requires individuals to pass

    a job-related physical, you should inform the candidate. You can ask, ―Do you have

    any physical condition or handicap which may limit your ability to perform in this

    position? If yes, what can be done to accommodate your limitations?‖ Do not ask

    questions about a candidate’s general medical condition or state of health, regarding

    receipt of Workers’ Compensation, or directly asking if the candidate has any

    physical disabilities or handicaps.

    ? Arrest, Criminal Record Questions can be asked about convictions of a felony or

    misdemeanor (specify period of time) which resulted in imprisonment. A candidate

    should be informed that a conviction will not necessarily disqualify him or her. The

    candidate should not be asked for an arrest record or ―Have you ever been

    arrested?‖

    ? Military Service A candidate can be asked about skills which may have been

    acquired in military service, but should not be asked general questions about service

    such as dates and type of discharge.

    ? Economic Status Do not ask questions about candidate’s current or past assets or

    liabilities or credit rating.

    ? Organizations, Activities It is acceptable to ask a candidate to list job-related

    organizations, clubs, professional societies or other associations. A candidate does

    not have to list those that would indicate race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex or

    age.

    ? References You may ask for the names of individuals who would provide character

    or professional references. Avoid questions about former employers or questions

    which would elicit specific information about race, color, names, creed, national

    origin, ancestry, physical handicap, medical condition, marital status, age or sex.

    8

Follow-Through:

    1. Compare notes taken during the interview. Identify any questions or issues that need

    additional attention.

    2. Contact the Placement Director if additional information will help in the decision-making

    process.

    3. Contact the candidate when more information is needed.

    4. When a candidate is selected, follow the guidelines for Designation for a Call in the

    booklet, Rubrics Governing Call and Placement Procedures. This booklet can be viewed

    or downloaded on the higher education website: http://higher-ed.lcms.org/200-church-

    voc.asp

    5. If more than one candidate was interviewed, inform each person interviewed that

    another has been selected and express appreciation for being part of the interview

    process.

    6. Immediately inform the individual Placement Director with the name of the candidate to

    be designated for a Call. Also, return the credentials of those not selected.

    IV. Terms

    ? A Candidate is an individual who has been declared qualified for a first Call and who is

    assigned a first Call in accordance with the bylaws of the Synod. He/she has

    successfully completed a degree program and has a synodical college’s/university’s

    approval for his/her respective ministry. (Bylaw 2.09, a-c) The commissioning of

    ministers of religion occurs prior to first placement installation in accordance with forms

    and practices developed by the Synod for that purpose.

    (The term Candidate can also refer to a member of the Synod who is eligible to

    perform the duties of any of the offices of ministry as specified in Bylaw 2.15 but who is

    not currently an active member or an emeritus member.)

    ? Designated Call a call extended by a calling body to a specific first-placement

    candidate.

    ? Open Call describes the specifications of the position to which a candidate is being

    called, but it does not identify a preferred or specific candidate.

    ? Assignment or First-Placement is the result of the action of the Board of Assignments

    working together with the placement directors of the colleges/universities of the

    Concordia University System, individual District Presidents (and/or their designees), and

    calling entities in placing candidates in their initial position in an educational or other

    ministry of the church. (Bylaw 2.11, a)

    ? The Placement Director is the official of a college/university in the Concordia

    University System responsible for recommending candidates to the Board of

    Assignments and for assisting candidates to complete the Call process for assignment or

    first placement satisfactorily. (Bylaw 2.11, b)

    ? The District Education Executive is usually the individual delegated and appointed by

    the District President and/or the District’s Board of Directors to assist the District

    President in administering the Call process for Ministers of ReligionCommissioned in

    his District. District Presidents normally exercise their responsibilities in the Call process

    through District Education Executives. The specific title given to a District Education

    Executive will vary from District to District.

    ? Ministers of ReligionCommissioned includes Teachers (and School Administrators),

    Directors of Christian Education, Directors of Christian Outreach, Deaconesses, Parish

    Assistants, and Certified Lay Ministers and Directors of Parish Music. (Bylaw 2.07, a) All

    commissioned ministers on the roster of the Synod who serve a legitimate calling entity

    are considered by the Synod and the Internal Revenue Service to be called and self-

    employed, regardless of the terminology used.

    9

    V. Colleges and Universities of the Lutheran ChurchMO Synod Concordia University Concordia University 4090 Geddes Rd. 2811 NE Holman St.

    Ann Arbor, MI 48105 Portland, OR 97211 800-253-0680 800-321-9371

    734-995-4628 Placement office 503-493-6232 Placement office

    www.cuaa.edu www.cu-portland.edu

    Concordia University Concordia University 3400 I-35 N 7400 Augusta St.

    Austin, TX 78705 River Forest, IL 60305 800-865-4282 800-285-2668

    ext. 1236 Placement office 708-209-3031 Placement office

    www.concordia.edu www.curf.edu

    Concordia College Concordia University 171 White Plains Rd. 275 N Syndicate St.

    Bronxville, NY 10708 St. Paul, MN 55104 800-937-2655 800-333-4705

    914-337-9300 Placement office 612-641-8212 Placement office

    www.concordia-ny.edu www.csp.edu

Concordia University Concordia College

    1530 Concordia W 1804 Green St

    Irvine, CA 92612 Selma, AL 36701 800-229-1200 334-874-5700

    ext. 1765 Placement office 334-874-7143 Placement office

    www.cui.edu www.concordiaselma.edu

    Concordia University Concordia University 12800 N Lake Shore Dr. 800 N Columbia Ave

    Mequon, WI 53097 Seward, NE 68434 888-628-9472 800-535-5494

    262-243-4342 Placement office 402-643-7209 Placement office

    www.cuw.edu www.cune.edu

    10

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