Executive Director Search Potential Interview Questions After each
each question are ideas on how to parse the candidate’s responses and prepare
the interviewers for evaluation discussions.
Tell us why you want to
lead Impact Austin.
What are the three or four main
things that struck you about the candidate?
What would you say her brand,
or core message about herself, is? What
does it seem like the candidate want you to remember about her?
What seem to be the
candidate’s core values?
What did you feel during
and after the candidate’s response?
Please offer your
assessment of our programs and services.
Did the candidate do her research? Could she not only talk about Impact Austin’s
programs, but also make an assessment?
Did it seem she looked at the website or did more significant research?
Was the candidate able to
discuss strategic and tactical issues?
Was the candidate’s answer
balanced or all good/bad? How did the
candidate approach discussing a negative she identified? Did the candidate seem open to options and
What do you believe is the
key to successful membership recruitment (or to the ultimate member experience)?
Tell us a story from your experience that represents that.
did the candidate’s shared experience apply to the question?
it comes to recruiting, retaining, and supporting members, what do you think
are the candidate’s three or four core beliefs?
What strategies would you
expect this candidate to champion for member recruitment, retention and
What if anything, did
this candidate say about relationship building?
How will you balance the many
elements of your role?
the candidate seem to understand the many responsibilities of an ED? Did she mention balancing conflicting
the candidate have a plan to manage her time?
What would one of your
direct reports tell us about you?
Did the candidate’s
answer seem genuine and sincere?
Did the candidate’s response
align with the values and needs of the position?
What do you see as the
role of the board in your success as an Executive Director? Can you offer us a
the candidate seem to understand the relationship between the board and the ED? How did she describe interacting with the
board? Did she mention reporting
the candidate address the strategic, managerial and tactical responsibilities of
the ED? What did she say about her responsibilities
to the board? What she needs form the board?
Executive Directors are often
“front and center” at events. What is your approach to this situation?
How did the candidate
interpret “front and center?” What roles
did she seem comfortable with?
Based on the candidate’s
response, how would you describe her to a colleague?
What concrete methods for
interaction did the candidate share?
Tell me about a
professional failure you experienced and what you learned from it.
consequential was the failure described?
did the response tell you about the candidate’s brand?
As an Executive Director,
you will wear the hats of both a leader and a manager. What is your approach to
did the candidate differentiate between leadership and management?
you feel ready to follow the candidate?
Why or why not?
you work for the candidate. Based on the
candidate’s response, what things do you appreciate about your “boss.” What things might be barriers to your
Let’s say we’ve hired you
and six months have passed. How will we
know we made a great decision in hiring you?
you feel the candidate could achieve the goals she mentions in six months?
What tangible and
intangible outcomes did the candidate mention?
How well do the goals
align with Impact Austin’s needs and goals?
What areas of concern did
the candidate touch on, i.e. relationship building, hiring, membership,
operations, endowment, grants, etc.
Is there anything else you would like
to tell us?
What did the candidate’s
response say about her brand?
Did the candidate include
Impact Austin in her response?
How did the candidate’s
response make you feel?
thought for the candidate evaluation:
If you hired
this person what do you imagine you would say about her in her hire