How to Ace a Corporate Board Seat Interview

An official interview is usually carried out when a board hires new members. Candidates for the board should be prepared to answer questions ranging from how their skills and qualities will benefit the organization and the reasons why they would like to join the board. They should also have a clear sense of how much time they can devote to the job.

Garland McLellan is the founder of Board Ready. A board consulting firm. Boards are looking for strategic insights rather than executive thinking. The interviewer will be looking for someone who can engage in a high-level discussion, ask intelligent questions, and challenge the company’s thinking processes.

A good board candidate will offer their own perspective on the business problems and strategies of a potential employer, but also be open to hearing the perspectives of other interviewers. They should be able to give fair feedback, even if a company’s performance wasn’t up to par.

The interviewer could also ask candidates to examine the co-legiality and culture of the boardroom. This is particularly important in a public company, where the board’s relationship with shareholders could be at stake. A board could also ask candidates to disclose any conflicts of interest they may have that could affect their ability to add the value. Undiscovered conflicts of interest could undermine a board’s plan and could have significant legal implications in the worst-case scenario. If the candidate’s answer is to be evaluated to be considered, they must be prepared to declare all relevant affiliations and relationships.

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