An executive director wants to make sure that the board members are top quality, but it’s not always easy to figure out who has that quality and who does not. In addition, you also want to make sure they will fit in with the group. Your board needs to be able to work together to be successful. Otherwise, you’ll end up with that one irritating board member who always gets in the way. In order to prevent this from happening, make sure to ask good questions during the interviewing process. Don’t just sell your organization. Make sure the candidate is a good fit.
Here are some questions that you should ask during an interview:
- Why are you interested in our organization?
- What do you know about us? You want to make sure they know what they’re getting into.
- What experience do you have that is related to our mission? What will drive them? What is the source of their passion?
- What fundraising experience do you have? This is huge, but it often goes unasked. You want people who are comfortable with fundraising. If this question scares them off, then they probably weren’t going to be much help to you anyway.
- What connections or contacts can you contribute? Who do they know that could contribute to the organization?
- How much time will you be able to contribute? Don’t just assume that they’ll make time for your organization. Get a clear time commitment.
- What other resources can you contribute? This could be money, assets, property, etc.
- What qualities make a great board member? How well does the candidate understand the position? This is a good way to figure out if they will fill their role well.
- What personal qualities can you bring to the board? What would make them a good board member? This will also give you some insight into how well they’ll mesh with the rest of the group.
- What experience do you have that will be of value to our organization?
- What do you expect from the organization? How do you think you’ll be treated?
- What factors in your life might limit your ability to serve?
- How do you feel about performance evaluations? When it comes time to review their work, will they be comfortable with it?
- What motivates you as an individual? What keeps them going? Can you provide that motivation?
- What role do you think you would play on the board? How well do they play with others? Specifically, how well would they play with the board members already in place?
It is important to be straightforward throughout the interview. If not, you might end up taking on someone who really won’t help the organization at all.