The Meenister’s Log

When I was interviewed for my present job in March 1999, One of the first questions asked was “You haven’t been in your present charge very long?”  It was actually a year.

“I replied that I didn’t think ministry should consist of lounging about swimming pools, going to cocktail parties and drinking tea will old women…. of both sexes”  (it was a “plum” charge)

Mouths opened, jaws dropped and we moved on……

I’m still in post 13 years later


When being interviewed (jointly!) by the then Overseas Council for the post of minister in Trinidad, my late wife was asked by one of the search committee why she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring! (answer, because she had a swollen finger at the time)

Suspicious lot

I got the job.


In 1973/4  applying for my first charge, several vacancy committees asked “what would you do to bring young people into the Church?  They’re still asking the same question at similar interviews almost forty years later.



A friend was asked “If you didn’t want to be a minister, what would you like to do?”  (odd question, admittedly)

“I’d like to play for Hibs”

“Oh, so you’re a keen footballer then?”

“No, I’ve two left feet and am totally uncoordinated, but you asked me what I would like to do!”

(I don’t think that he got the post)


To another friend: “I notice that you wear your watch on your right wrist. Why is that?”

“Because I’m left handed”



“What would you say would be your greatest achievement?”

“Being Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland”

“But……you….. excuse me?”

“That would be my greatest achievement, but it hasn’t happened and is unlikely ever to happen”

I didn’t get that one either


Some tips –  hope for “closed” questions which simply require a “yes/no” answer; rather than something like “what are your views on…..?”

Watch out for body language : crossed arms indicates being defensive; touching your mouth: not telling the truth – and so on.

If a male applicant is wearing a red tie, it could suggest aggressiveness or at least he thinks he’s in control.

If he or she maintains permanent eye-contact, it’s not necessarily good as they may have read the tricks of the trade.

Try too to “echo” the questioner’s  body language (I do this) to put the interviewer at ease.

Use some of the words – or similar words – used in the question, when answering – it shows a kind of bond.

Where possible, try to remember the names of members of the interviewing panel and use them as often as possible when giving answers

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Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

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