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How to Ace a Corporate Board Seat Interview

A formal interview is generally held when a board is recruiting new members. Candidates for board positions should be prepared to answer questions ranging from how their skills, attributes and experience will be beneficial to the organization and why it is important to the candidate to be a part of the Board. They should also have a solid idea of the time they are willing to dedicate to the role.

Boards typically look for strategic insights, not executive thinking, according to Garland McLellan, founder of Board Ready, a board consulting firm. The interviewer will want someone who is able to engage in high-level discussion, ask intelligent questions, and challenge the company’s thought processes.

A good board candidate can share their personal views regarding the business challenges and strategies of an potential employer, but should also be open to the views of other interviewers. They should be able to provide constructive feedback even when a company’s performance was not to standards.

The interviewer could also ask candidates to evaluate the culture and collegiality of the boardroom. This is particularly crucial when a company is publicly traded, where the board’s relationship with shareholders could be at risk. Additionally the board may require candidates to think about whether they have conflicts of interest that could affect their ability to contribute value. A conflict of interest that is revealed can be detrimental to the board’s strategy and could may have serious legal implications in the worst case scenario. If a candidate is asked to think about this issue it is important for them to disclose any relevant relationships and affiliations.


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