How to Prepare for a Corporate Board Seat Interview

The board of a company must be convinced that a new employee is a suitable fit for the company before they will approve the hire. This is why the interview process is a critical part of the procedure.

Board members want to hear candidates speak about their relevant capabilities and experiences that make them well qualified for the position, with particular attention to the value they can bring. Interviewers will often ask questions to check the candidate’s understanding of the complex and difficult issues that a board member may face.

They will also want an understanding of how the candidate handles conflicts and how can effectively interact with other board members with respect. Boards frequently inquire about how candidates would deal with specific issues like shareholder engagement and potential conflicts of interests. They also want to know whether the candidate is ethical and accountable.

Often, companies provide an array of pre-read material for applicants to read prior to the interview. It takes more than just a quick glance to gain a greater understanding of the company and its current C-suite and board of directors executives, industry dynamics, and the most important risks. Deb DeHaas is a two-term board member of a public company and chief executive officer of Corporate Leadership Center. She believes that listening to CEOs’ discussions with investors and analysts is the best method to prepare. She says candidates should be able explain why they are interested in the company, their product, or its issues, and how they can solve these issues.


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