How to Ace a Corporate Board Seat Interview

An official interview is usually held when a board is recruiting new members. Candidates for board positions should be prepared to respond to questions that range from how their talents or attributes benefit the organization to why it is crucial for them to be a part of the Board. They should also have a clear understanding of how much time they are willing to dedicate to the position.

Garland McLellan is the founder of Board Ready. A board consulting firm. Boards are seeking strategic insights rather than executive thinking. That means that the interviewer is looking for a candidate who can engage in a conversation at a high level, ask good questions and challenge the company’s thought processes.

A good board candidate is willing to share their personal perspective on the challenges and strategies of the potential employer but will also be open to hearing the perspectives of the interviewers. They should be able give balanced feedback even if a company’s performance wasn’t up to standards.

Interviewers may ask candidates examine the collegiality and the culture within the boardroom. This is especially important when a company is public, where the board’s relationships with shareholders may be at stake. A board could also ask candidates to declare any conflicts of interest they may have which could impact their ability to add the value. A conflict of interest that is revealed could harm the strategy of a board and could may have legal implications in the worst case. If a candidate’s answer is to be considered as a conflict of interest, they must be prepared to disclose all relevant relationships and affiliations.

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