We are seeing a lot of Executive Director positions open up as the Baby Boomers retire. Here are some potential questions for the interview, and a few tips as well.

Interview Questions for candidates for Executive Director

  • Tell us a little about yourself and why you feel you would like this position.
  • How did you learn about this job opening?
  • Why are you leaving your current employer? (Or why did you leave?)
  • What do you know about this organization, and what would you like to know?
  • What are three words that describe your ideal working environment?
  • Tell us why you think you would be a good match for this organization.
  • What is your personal experience with disability? (If they do not have a visible disability and do not bring up having a disability, you can’t ask more at this point.)
  • Describe your experience with promoting human rights.
  • What professional achievement are you most proud of?
  • What is one area of weakness and how are you addressing it?
  • What is your experience supervising staff? What do you find is the most difficult part of being a supervisor?
  • Have you ever had to lay staff off? What did you do and what do you wish you had done?
  • Tell us about your strategic or long-range planning efforts with organizations where you’ve worked. What is your approach? Who is involved?
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • If you get this job, what is the first thing you will do?
  • What financial records would/do you provide to the board and how often?
  • Have you ever had to investigate a complaint against a staff member? What was your process and how did you feel about the resolution?
  • A board member is quoted in the newspaper saying something inaccurate about your organization. What do you do?
  • What is the best/most effective community partnership that you developed in your professional life?
  • What excites you about this position?
  • What questions do you have for us?

Tips for your interview process:

  • Allow at least an hour for each interview. Ninety minutes might be better. That gives you a little time to make notes and discuss impressions before the next candidate arrives.
  • Introduce the interviewers to the candidate and shake hands all around. (If the board members aren’t aware, it is appropriate to shake hands even when the candidate has limited use of them.)
  • Make sure the candidate has water or coffee.
  • Provide the board committee with the printed questions and room to jot down the candidate’s comments and to make their own observations.
  • Don’t try to fill in silence or finish sentences. Let the candidate say all they want to say about the question.  If they don’t say enough, follow up with, “Can you tell us about a time when you applied what you just said?”
  • Ask followup questions if you are unclear about the meaning of a statement.
  • It is nice when several people take turn asking the questions.

What are some interview questions for candidates for the Executive Director position?

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