Presenting to Boards; practical skills for corporate presentations | Extract

Interviewing for a directorship

Standard practice for board interviews is still evolving and some boards have not yet developed rigorous processes with interviews for board candidates.

In the boards where interviews are performed there is a wide variety of different styles of interview used. Boards may choose to have the Chairman or a consultant conduct preliminary interviews, to select a panel from among the existing board members, to allow shareholders to participate in the selection process, to use the nominations committee members, to meet in formal or social surroundings, to interview on a site visit, or any combination of these techniques.

For a board interview you must display good director behaviours; listening, asking open questions, and engaging with the interviewer. This is not the time to talk of your achievements. Your CV and/or reference checking before the interview should have provided that information. Now is the time to demonstrate how you would fit in with and complement the other board members. Your interpersonal skills, personal style and speed of information uptake will be assessed.

Preparation is very important. You should also have done enough homework to be confident that you can identify some of the strategies being implemented and talk about how you might assist in their governance.

This is also the time to demonstrate some keenness for the job in prospect as boards want directors who are passionate about the company. Your personal values will assist and you should seek to demonstrate these with practical examples.

Small things, such as politeness, respect and gratitude for the opportunity will make a good impression. Interruptions, distractions, inappropriate dress or mannerisms will count against you. Read the chapter on preparing to present for more detailed information on preparation.