Interview questions

All candidates should be asked the same basic questions. Use follow-up questions to probe further.

Choose questions that draw out:

  • the candidates’ personal motivation for applying to join your board
  • their understanding of your charity and the role of a trustee
  • how they could contribute to your charity, and the ways their skills and experience match the essential and desirable criteria you’re looking for.

Ask candidates for specific examples to demonstrate their experience.  If they haven’t been a trustee before, they may have used similar skills in a different context, which they can describe to show they would be suitable or have the potential to develop.

You can also use real or fictional scenarios facing your charity, to ask candidates how they would respond if they were on the board. This can be particularly useful for assessing candidates with lived experience.

Take notes and give a score for each question. It's difficult to remember all the answers each person has given. This will help you to compare notes with others on the panel, make sure you’re treating each candidate fairly and help you decide if each person has met the criteria you’re looking for.

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Trustee Recruitment Cycle

The Trustee Recruitment Cycle helps boards recruit openly, for diversity of skills and experience. Providing information, tools and examples from real charities, we take you through the whole recruitment process.

Reflect > Prepare > Advertise > Shortlist & interview > Appoint & induct > Evaluate