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Trusty Guidelines for Interviewing with a Board of Trustees

When interviewing with an organization you will interface with a number of stakeholders. Much preparation is focused on meetings with search committees or hiring managers and the other meetings can get overlooked. Every group you meet is important. What things should you keep in mind when interviewing with a board of trustees?

Each trustee approaches the organization from a unique vantage point. A strong board is composed of a diversity of perspectives. The same things that make a robust board of trustees can also make them challenging for a candidate. Here are three principles to guide your interview with a board:

  1. Understand where they are coming from. Each trustee will be considering a different aspect of the organization’s function. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification and background. The trustees will appreciate your attentiveness and nuance.

  2. Have a conversation. Don’t view questions from the trustees as a test to pass, but an opportunity for connection. They bring valuable knowledge of the organization and insight. Ask questions and seek input from the trustees.

  3. Be consistent. You should present a unified picture of yourself with each group you meet. Though your message will be contextualized differently, there should be continuity in its substance. Each group should know your strengths as a candidate and what makes you a good fit for this organization.