Share a story about a memorable job interview…
Over 20 years ago, as I interviewed for what would be my second call as an ordained pastor, I sat around a table in an old roadhouse-style restaurant with members of the call committee.
Some groundwork had been laid for this new ministry – the senior pastor of the congregation had known me as a colleague for over 3 years, and believed that I was the person that he wanted as to serve as associate pastor there. The committee knew this, and those who had talked with me previous to this evening were fully supportive of my candidacy there.
As the conversation proceeded, I was asked to tell them about my family. I told them about my mother and father, both career educators turned bed-and-breakfast proprietors. And I told them about my brother, who had recently taken a job in the area, and was living with me temporarily.
The minute I uttered those words about my brother, an audible sigh could be heard from more than a few people around the table.
I stopped, wondering exactly what had just happened. But before I could ask, the head of the call committee said something to the effect of:
“Oh, am I glad to hear that! When I called your home and a young man answered the phone twice in two days, I was starting to think that you were living with a boyfriend or something.”
It was clear from the reactions of others around the table that the chairperson of the committee had told others on the committee of his concern.
Before I could utter a word in response, I blushed – no, I turned beet-red! People started to chuckle. And the senior pastor commented:
“I knew the guy answering the phone was her brother. I just figured that her reaction to our clarifying this would reveal something of of her moral character.”
I knew at that moment I would be recommended for the call…and I also knew that I would never quite be sure of the motivations of the person who would soon be my colleague in ministry.