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Alumni Belong on Your Interview Panel: 3 Benefits to Including a Successful Graduate

As your search committee moves through the process of hiring for a leadership position, an interview is a crucial juncture in your search. As you assemble members of your interview panel, alumni are a key constituent to include. Adding an alumnus or alumna enhances your interview panel in the following ways:

  1. Experience. Alumni will be coming from an industry other than academia. Their field experience will broaden your vantage point and garner valuable wisdom from their specialization. This enables you to anticipate pitfalls that otherwise might be blindspots. Diversity is a strength in an interview panel.

  2. Perspective. Alumni have unique insight from both within and without an organization. They will have a robust appreciation for a college’s culture—even in ways staff and faculty may not. At the same time, they have been away from the institution for a number of years, giving them fresh eyes to see the challenges and opportunities facing a school they care about.

  3. Connection. A connected alumni makes a strong college. By utilizing the skills and recognizing the contributions of alumni you facilitate a closer ongoing relationship. This has broad-ranging benefits both for the alumni and the school. An alumna might consider hiring a graduate next time her company needs new talent. An alumnus might be prompted to give to his alma mater. Through ongoing contact with alumni, a college or university will be better able to prepare its graduates for success in the workforce.