5 Essential Topics for Interviews at Nonprofits

Nonprofit Executive Search Tips

As many of you know, we conduct executive searches for nonprofit organizations. Our goal is to find candidates who will help the agency achieve its goals and excel for years to come. If a candidate does not work out within the first year, we offer to find the nonprofit a more suitable candidate. This doesn’t happen often, and there is a reason for that. We also prepare the interviewees to ensure they understand the position that they are taking on.

Here are 5 essential topics for interviews at nonprofits.

  1. Staffing – from structure to support, personalities to personal development, make sure you understand the parameters.
  2. Board – considerations include size, relationship with staff, expectations, and history. The more you know, the easier it is to succeed.
  3. Job Description – What percentage of the description was based on the previous person’s job? Are there added responsibilities? If so, was anything reassigned? Looking at the roles piece by piece – are there in depth questions you should ask about previous successes or failures?
  4. Goals –The industry average for tenure for a development professional may be eighteen months, but hopefully your plan is to last longer than that. Are there realistic goals for the first year while you are learning the donors and organization?
  5. Donors/Donations – understanding the current statistics as well as the predictions based on your expertise will help you know if you can do well at the job at hand.

In other words, when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, use that time to learn whether this is the right position for you. Each and every hire should be mutually beneficial to the employee and the nonprofit.

And, for those of you who are on the other side of the table, interviewing a prospective candidate, you need to be prepared to answer these questions with transparency and authority.

Please email David if you have an open position in which you would like to have Mersky, Jaffe & Associates’ expertise.

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