How to Ace the Corporate Board Seat Interview

The interview for the corporate board seat is a critical point of evaluation for both the candidate and the company. The process could last for months and involve multiple meetings, as well as board members getting acquainted with candidates at a deep level. Candidates should be prepared to answer questions regarding their work experience, knowledge of the industry and how they can contribute to the board.

It is vital to use the right tone and approach for securing the job. While it is essential to be likable and personable and approachable, it is equally crucial to demonstrate your ability to pose tough questions and challenge the status quo. Boards don’t require cheerleaders but rather sharp serious board members. One of the most frequently-repeated gaffes is over-enthusing about the company. This could be taken as flattery without merit and could have a negative impact on your candidacy.

Prepare to give specific examples of your achievements and successes, particularly at a strategical level. This will show that you have the leadership capabilities and expertise to add value to the board.

Be clear about your board’s value position in the interview, and explain what you have to offer the organization and how this will distinguish you from other applicants.

Transparency is essential. This is particularly crucial for VC or PE backed companies where investment representatives are required to declare their current relationship with portfolio companies. This will allow them to avoid any legal implications should they are on the boards of investments in which their company has a stake.

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