Every imam candidate has one great khutbah and weekend halaqah.
Heck, if I went to a community I’m pretty sure I could pull off one great khutbah and halaqah. Anyone who has given a few over the years can.
It’s a wonder then, why communities will make a hiring decision after just one such visit. They get wow’ed and move to hire. Having someone full time in your community is not about that wow factor they get when they first show up. It’s whether they’re still delivering an effective message on their 40th khutbah or 50th halaqah.
Sure they won’t be that exciting (no one can sustain that, not even the greatest speakers YouTube has to offer), but can they still deliver an effective message?
To interview someone as an Imam candidate requires multiple visits. There should also be a 90 day provision in the contract where either party can walk away within the first 90 days without any penalties. This gives a legitimate (and paid) trial period to make sure both sides are satisfied.
Do your homework, check references, and make istikharah before hiring someone to lead your community.