An interview is a meeting between a leader and one other person. In an interview, the leader asks questions, listens, teaches, and gives counsel to the other person. Interviews provide an opportunity for sharing information or reporting on one’s assignment or calling. They also provide an opportunity for giving instructions and counsel. An interview is a good time for a leader to teach members the doctrines, principles, and practices of the Church, drawing upon the scriptures and teachings of the latter-day prophets.
The branch president interviews children approaching eight years of age to determine their preparedness to be baptized and confirmed members of the Church when at least one parent is a member of the Church and both parents consent to the baptism. (Missionary leaders interview baptismal candidates who are nine or older and eight-year-old children whose parents are both nonmembers to determine the candidates’ worthiness for baptism and confirmation.) The branch president interviews branch members to determine worthiness to receive the priesthood, be advanced in the priesthood, or serve in a Church calling. The branch president and mission president interview branch members to determine worthiness to receive a temple recommend.
The following suggestions will help leaders make interviews more useful and productive.
Choose a quiet place where the interview will not be interrupted.
Inform the person why he or she is being interviewed.
Ask questions in a loving, direct way.
Let the person ask questions and express feelings.
Listen to what the person says.
Give counsel, instructions, and assignments clearly.
Thank and encourage the person and, as impressed by the Spirit, bear testimony, read passages of scripture, and pray together. Help the person leave feeling strengthened and hopeful.
Allow enough time for the interview so the person does not feel rushed.
When interviewing a woman, the branch president should ask a man who holds the priesthood to be in an adjoining room, foyer, or hall, where possible.