Site team interviews

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Interviewing is the heart of the application and team building process. Objectives of the interview process are:

  • To ensure that the interviewing team adequate knowledge of each candidate’s potential to serve the team.
  • To enable the interviewing team to select team members based on established qualifications and selection criteria (see below).
  • To identify red flags in motive or expectations. Some candidates may be disqualified based on these concerns; and team leaders will use this knowledge to develop a healthy team.
  • To enable to interviewing team to mentor all candidates, whether selected or not, through the interview and selection process.
  • To communicate in advance obligations (time, money, etc.) expected of team members.

Interview team

  • An interview team will conduct interviews and select team members based on selection criteria and the interview.
  • The base interview team is one student leader with international experience and the team’s advisor.
  • The Manager of the Collaboratory often assists with interviews and ensures that necessary information is communicated and difficult questions are asked.
  • Interviews are conducted following guidelines developed for Collaboratory teams.


Collaboratory participants interested in Site Team service are encouraged to develop the following qualifications:

  • Knowledge and prayerful consideration of the attributes of an approved worker and accompanying scripture passages.
  • A record of dedication to the project. Examples of dedication include:
    • faithful participation in Group meetings
    • good record of completing weekly assignments
    • participation in opportunities for personal development, such as the new member orientation, a Collaboratory retreat, prayer meetings, the Leadership Class, and the Leaders Workshop.
  • Testimony of others confirming:
    • evidence of a maturing Christian faith
    • positive and servant attitude
    • enthusiasm for whatever tasks are necessary to complete the project
    • relational maturity
    • emotional stability
  • Preparedness or readiness to develop a working understanding of service, culture, team dynamics, and mission sufficient to handle the stress of serving a cross-cultural missions team.
  • Note that anyone on probation (disciplinary, academic or chapel) cannot become a member of a Site Team.

Forming the Site Team

Selection process

A Collaboratory participant becomes a candidate by participating in the Site Team interviews. The selection process is:

  1. Send a wiki link to this site team interviews page to all persons considering participation. Ask them to study the qualifications, process and criteria for selection before deciding whether or not to interview for the team.
  2. Every Collaboratory participant who wishes to interview shall be provided a reasonable opportunity to be interviewed.
    • The interview team will make available at least two blocks of time, preferably on different days of the week.
    • Candidates are asked to make every effort to adjust your schedule to be interviewed at one of these times, if they are serious about candidacy.
    • If it is impossible for someone to be interviewed at the any of the scheduled times, they may communicate their reasons and request that the interview team to set up another time.
    • The Team Leader and Advisor will determine if the request will be granted.
  3. The interview team will communicate their recommendations to the Manager for review and affirmation before notifying the candidates of the results.
  4. The interview team will communicate results to all candidates by e-mail, whether selected or not.
    • Special attention will be given to those not selected, to encourage their continued participation and give clear instructions on how they may become a successful candidate on a future team.
    • In some cases, one or all members of the interview team may want to meet with unsuccessful candidates to communicate and discuss the decision face-to-face.

Decision criteria

These criteria will be considered to select team members from among the candidates:

  • Christian maturity and personality suitable to team oriented cross-cultural ministry.
  • Scope, longevity and faithfulness of contribution to the project.
  • Attributes, skills and knowledge that will assist the team’s missions in the field.
  • Potential for growth that enables future service or leadership in the Collaboratory.
  • Those who will not have a future opportunity and have not had a past experience on an implementation team.

Secondary criteria

  • Ability to commit to a minimum of 2 years of service, past and future, in the Collaboratory.
  • Potential for growth that leads the candidate to lifelong work or support of work in the candidate's project area.



  1. 30 minutes is an ample time for an interview.
  2. Hints for the interviewer(s).
    • Start out with “chit-chat” to help everyone feel comfortable.
    • Ask open-ended questions, such as those that begin with “describe” or “can you tell me more about”.
  3. Avoid questions that can be answered yes or no.
  4. When you hear a potential red flag pursue it; ask the candidate to say more about the area of your concern. Red Flags are:
    • A know-it-all.
    • Expects to accomplish service tasks more than to learn and grow.
    • Intolerance and/or disrespect for people who are different.
    • Going because someone else is going, particularly if a romantic relationship is in view.
    • In counseling or on medication for mental health.
  5. What you are trying to get at in the interview.
    • Openness to learning from others and new experiences?
    • What does the candidate hope to learn from the experience?
    • How does the candidate relate to people who are different?
    • Is the candidate able to laugh at him or herself?
    • Is the candidate able to fail?
    • Emotional stability: what frustrates, angers, depresses?
    • What does the candidate hope to contribute to the team?


The specific questions asked may vary from team-to-team and person-to-person. The following, however, represent fundamental issues that must be assessed for any candidate and any team.

  1. Purpose
    • Why did you decide to get involved with your Collaboratory project?
    • What do you think are the primary purposes of this trip?
    • What do you hope to accomplish as a team member?
    • Would the participation or non-participation of any other candidate be important to you?
    • Are you romantically involved with any of the candidates?
  2. Christian Faith
    • How did you come to faith in Christ?
    • How do prayer and scripture help you to follow Jesus?
    • Where do you fellowship with other Christians? Talk about your ministry there.
    • How do you understand the great commission and how have you responded?
    • Are you comfortable talking about your faith and sharing the story of how you became a Christian?
    • Talk about someone who has influenced your faith and how?
    • How have your grown in your faith since becoming a Christian?
    • How is God challenging you today as a disciple of Jesus?
  3. Emotional Maturity
    • Which of your personality traits will be an asset to the team? Liabilities?
    • Talk about a time when someone managed to irritate you, and what happened.
    • Describe a stressful or stretching situation and how you handled it? What did you learn?
    • How do you respond to difficult conditions and environments? (Describe the location: lack of privacy, hot/cold, dry/humid, dust/rain, bugs/snakes, etc.)
    • How do you respond when people you have to work with become annoying?
    • Do you have concerns about your relationship with other candidate for this team?
  4. Expectations
    • Have you had any other international travel and/or missions experiences?
    • What are some potential responses that you anticipate from partners and other local people to our presence in their community?
    • Was there ever a time that you tried to help and those you served seem disinterested or ungrateful? How did you respond?
    • How would you feel if a local person befriends you during your visit and asks you for a gift when it is time for you to leave?
    • What would it mean to you if the team was unable to achieve its objectives?
  5. Authority
    • What needs for leadership and authority do you anticipate for the team?
    • Describe a time when someone asked to do/not do something that you thought should be handled differently. What happened?
    • Would your response in the above situation have been different if the leader had been another student?
  6. Team Work
    • What work skills would you bring to the team (technological know-how, administration, language skills, . . .)?
    • Talk about a time when you had to do something important that when unrecognized.
    • Have you ever had to do something important because no one else would? What happened?
    • How will you feel when asked to do work that is not part of your project? What if it is part of another project?
    • What other extra curricular activities and commitments do you have now and through the summer? Places you must be on certain dates? Summer job?
    • What would you do if we come to the end of the semester and the project is not on schedule?
  7. Availability
    • How available will you be to work over the summer (for summer Site Team trips), either as a volunteer or a work-study employee?
    • How long could you be away from home? What would be the ideal trip duration for you?
    • What activities are you involved in? Do you have any significant leadership roles, obligations, work study positions, etc.?
  8. General
  9. Are you on probation (disciplinary, academic or chapel)?
    • It is helpful to ask, "Do you have any concerns about any of the potential questions that you read that were listed on the wiki?"


  1. Do you have any health challenges that we would need to consider in your team assignment.
  2. What other preparations would we need to make or precautions would we need to take to care for you?
  3. Are you taking any medications?
    • Will you be able to bring an adequate supply with you on the trip?
    • Are there any storage requirements (temperature, humidity, etc.) for the medication?
  4. Are you in counseling and/or taking any medications for mental health?

Requirements for participation

Review these matters as they apply to your team with each candidate:

  1. Finances (see the Collaboratory's Site team support raising policy)
    • How much the trip will cost
    • How the team expenses be funded and what each member will be responsible to do to raise funds
    • The amount of the required deposit that will secure a spot on the team, and when this will be due
    • What will happen if a team member does not raise the full amount
  2. Health
    • The requirements for the participant regarding immunizations and prescription medications
      • Opportunities for receiving immunizations and prescription medications
      • How will these be funded
  3. How participants will prepare for cross-cultural service
    • Frequency and duration of team meetings
    • Timing and duration of retreat(s)
    • Reading and other preparations required
  4. Travel window and expectations for team members before and after the trip
  5. Any closing questions or concerns about anything that has been discussed
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