I recently sat in on an interview for a potential new board member. I was more impressed with the interviewee than I was with the board members asking the questions. That’s because the interviewee had questions of her own and showed that she had prepared well. These are some of the questions she asked. And it is important for those interviewing the candidate to be equally prepared to answer.
* Why are you interested in me as a board member?
* What role do you see me playing on the board?
* What do you feel is unique about your board?
* What are the major issues the board is facing?
* What weaknesses does the board have working together?
* How well does the board work with staff?
* If I were to join the board, what would you expect me to do my first year?
It is a good idea for those interviewing a potential candidate to meet beforehand and to review these questions so they are on the same page and have thought through the responses. They should also be prepared to give the candidate a timeline so she/he knows when to expect an answer.
Selecting the appropriate candidate in the beginning is far more effective than making a mistake and dealing with the fallout later, even if it takes a little more time.