TIPS: For Candidates

Tip 1

Networking/Relationship Building – for uncovering the hidden job market

  • Meet a few well-connected people that you already know who will introduce you to few more well-connected people that you don’t know yet
  • Identify 3 – 4 people who are familiar with your past performance and can speak to your future potential
    1.  Set appointments with these people and ask them to review and provide feedback on your resumé/LinkedIn profile, etc.
    2.  Ask if they would be comfortable referring you to people they know are connected in other organizations
    3.  Ask if they’d be willing to, when the time comes, serve as a reference
    1. If no, find out why, and/or find better first-degree connections
      If yes, get the names of 3 – 4 people and their contact information
    • Research your connection’s connections and ask about specific people
    • Network in reverse – start with an opportunity of interest and find out, using LinkedIn, who you know
    • Gives you a five times better chance of finding a job than if you had just emailed your resumé

Applying directly – for moving to the head of the line and differentiating yourself

    • Use on-line postings as a job lead to connect directly to the hiring manager or someone connected to the hiring manager
    • Gives you a nearly seven times better chance of landing a job than if you simply were depending on your resumé

lnformational Interviews – for gathering information, not applying for a job

    1. How they see chaplaincy in the future
    2. What do you/they look for in an applicant/resumé/interview
    3. Examples of interview questions
    4. Ask permission to leave a resumé


    • Spend no more than 20% of your time applying to on-line postings
    • Get introduced (referral) to an organization wherever possible
    • When responding to an on-line posting, apply directly on the organization’s website


Tip 2

One key to successful interviewing is preparation. Think through and practice how you’ll respond to frequently asked questions, such as:

“Tell me about yourself” and “What is one of your growing edges?”

 It is important to practice responses to these anticipated questions — not to simply memorize your replies, but in order to respond comfortably, easily, confidently, and thoroughly.

In addition to preparing for and practicing your responses to Frequently Asked Questions, you’ll likely be asked a number of behavioral interview questions:

“Tell me about the most difficult…” 


 “Describe a situation in which…” 


“In the past, how have you typically handled…?”


Respond to these questions using the CART Story format:

Circumstance – Specifically, what did you encounter?  Where and when did this happen?  If possible, quantify who and what was involved.

Action – What particular action(s) did you take to respond to and resolve the issue, or to overcome the challenge?  If other people were involved, what interaction did you have with them?  You may even include a description of your thoughts and/or decision making process.

Result – What outcome was achieved?  Think bigger than how you alone were impacted; think about how others (e.g., boss, other staff, and the patient) were impacted.  If the outcome was a “crash and burn” experience, what positive lessons were learned?  You may compare your performance to a common metric where it places you in positive light.

Tie-In – Use a statement or question to apply the CART story to important competencies or experiences that the hiring organization is seeking.  For example:

    • “My manager said I provide a calming presence for others in stressful circumstances.”
    • “How does my story fit with similar situations you’ve experienced here?”

It’s impossible to anticipate every interview question that may be asked. Prepare and practice. Enlist the support of your professional connections to help you with your research.  Ask hiring authorities:

“What are the Top 5 most challenging questions that you ask candidates applying for this sort of position?”

These questions may be about the position or the industry.

Now it’s your turn!

Develop five to six CART stories.  (If more come to mind, go ahead and write them down.  You may also be able to use them when networking or writing your resume.)  Develop stories going back 5-7 years with an emphasis on the last one or two employers.

One thing is fairly certain—under the stress of the interview, you’re much less likely to come up with your best stories to illustrate your capabilities and contributions.

Prepare yourself now, and you will be ready then.

TIPS: For Employers

Plan to hire the right person—because a bad hiring decision can be very costly in terms of time, money, culture, and credibility. As Dr. Stephen R. Covey says:

“Begin with the End in Mind!”

Knowing the result you want will help you create and manage a process that rewards you with the best available match. This may not come easily.  In fact, it will likely require hard work, creativity, perseverance, teamwork, and focus. All while doing your day-to-day work.

Here are 10 steps that work well:

1.     Know who you’re looking for.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But without clarity, hiring managers often fail right here. Don’t forget cultural fit.

2.     Know what you’re recruiting to.
Accurately define the job, the interview process, the final hiring authority, and the total compensation package. If you need any outside help, define that too.

3.     Identify strategic recruiting strategies and resources.
Employ a variety of networking techniques to find prospective candidates. Network directly to identify passive candidates.

4.     Directly share your opportunity with candidates.
Share the history, opportunities, and meaning of the position in alignment with the larger goals of the department and the organization.

5.     Thoroughly screen prospective candidates.
You not only need a good cultural fit. You also need a person who has a history of achieving the outcomes you desire. Screen thoroughly.

6.     Pre-close prospective candidates.
Select candidates who will improve their professional and personal lives by accepting the role. It is also wise to pick ones who possess a real passion for the day-to-day functions and challenges of the job.

7.     Manage a comprehensive and efficient interview process.
Put all decision makers on the same page, and communicate honestly and fully with candidates.  Dig deep and learn who they are. Confirm that you have a match.

8.     Keep in touch.
Maintain communications. Let candidates know you truly remain interested —so they also remain interested. Good candidates will have more than one choice.

9.     Make an offer the candidate can’t refuse.
Make a complete offer that addresses every detail of total compensation.  In addition, it is important to confirm the job title, work week, flexibility of the role, and opportunities for advancement.

10.  Initiate the On-boarding process.
Confirm the offer in writing and complete pre-hire activities.  Then orient your newest employee so that they can quickly transition toward near-term productivity.

Beginning with the end in mind ensures a strong recruitment plan and greater success in hiring the best available spiritual care leader or CPE supervisor for your organization.

For an expanded version of these 10 steps, please contact Thorne Consulting.