If a board decides to hire a new member the process is usually a formal interview. Board candidates must be prepared to answer questions ranging from what their talents and talents will benefit the organization, to the reasons why they would like to join the board. They must also have a clear sense of how much time they can devote to the role.
Garland McLellan is the founder of Board Ready. A board consulting firm. Boards are looking for strategic thinking, not executive thinking. This means that the interviewer is looking for a candidate who can engage in a high-level conversation and ask the right questions to challenge the company’s thought processes.
A successful board member will be able to share their own views on the business problems and strategies of a potential employer, but also be willing to listen to the views of other interviewers. They must be able to provide fair feedback, even when the company’s performance is not up to scratch.
Interviewers might ask candidates to examine the collegiality and the culture in the boardroom. This is particularly crucial when a company is public, where the board’s relationships with shareholders could be at risk. A board could also ask candidates to reveal any conflicts of interests they may have which could impact their ability to add value. An unearthed conflict of interest could undermine the board’s plans and can have serious legal ramifications in the worst-case scenario. If the answer of a candidate is to be considered as a conflict of interest, they must be prepared to disclose all relevant affiliations and relationships.