5 Essential Board Member Interview Questions

  • By: Josh Palmer
  • August 11, 2022
Reading Time: 3 minutes

To conduct an effective board member interview and recruit the right person, ask these five essential board member interview questions.

A board of directors has a responsibility to ensure business operations align with an organization’s goals. Because this responsibility is vital to success, choosing the most suitable board members proves crucial. 

Before breaking out the board member welcome template, you’ll need to interview candidates with carefully considered board member interview questions. This helps ensure you recruit people who fit the organization’s needs. Read on to learn the top five board member interview questions to ask.

How Effective Interviews Benefit the Board

Conducting effective board member interviews offers the following benefits:

  • Provides insight into candidates’ skills and how they can help the board achieve its goals
  • Finds experienced and knowledgeable recruitees, which saves time and money on training
  • Allows prospective board members to learn what would be expected of them as a board member
  • Ensures the board recruits individuals who embody the company’s mission and vision
Board Meeting

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Essential Board Interview Questions

Conduct an effective interview using the following 5 questions.

1. What Do You Know About Our Organization? 

Prospective board members should come to the interview prepared, and this means having conducted research on your organization. The type of person who prepares for an interview will likely also prepare for board meetings. Knowing about the organization and its goals also shows the interviewee has an actual interest in joining your board. 

2. Why Is Joining Our Board Important to You? 

Candidates with specific reasons for wanting to be a part of the organization make great board members. This question ensures you recruit people who strongly believe in the organization’s mission and cause. Those who are passionate about the organization’s cause typically are willing to go the extra mile needed to take the company to the next level. 

3. What Role Do You Hope to Play on the Board? 

Suitable candidates should be clear on their contribution to the board’s success. They should have reflected on how their skills add value to the board. 

Just saying, “I can serve as the board’s secretary” isn’t enough. Candidates should demonstrate what interests them about a particular role and why they are the best option. This could be through sharing their achievements, the problem they could help solve if assigned a specific role, or how their experience makes them suitable for a particular position. 

4. How Much Time Can You Commit to the Board? 

In an ideal world, board members would be able to spend all their time solely serving your organization. But that is unrealistic. Board members have families to take care of, day jobs to attend to, and social lives to maintain. 

Since time is limited, it’s essential to know the availability of a candidate before recruiting them to your board. You want someone who will be available for board meetings, fundraising events, and other major board activities. The most suitable potential candidates should be able to devote sufficient time to accomplish their responsibilities if they become board members. 

5. What Are Your Qualifications? 

When recruiting new board members, look for someone who fills current skill gaps. For example, maybe you lack board members with grant writing experience. Hiring someone who has worked in that role with various nonprofits brings a new skill to your board. In addition, make sure previous experience is relevant and sets a potential board member up for success in the role. 

Effective Governance Starts with Board Management Software

Board members are the engine that powers an organization’s mission and cause. During the interview and selection process, do effective due diligence to find members who are passionate about the organization’s cause and are sufficiently qualified to serve on your board. 

Set your new board members up for success with a purpose-built solution to drive board effectiveness and governance. OnBoard’s board management platform provides board tools — like agenda builder, analytics, skills tracking, and secure messenger — to help boards work smarter, faster, and achieve more for their organizations.


September 21 at 2:00 PM ET. August 17 at 2:00 PM ET. Leading this session will be Donna Hamlin, Ph.D. Dr. Hamlin is a corporate governance executive with thirty years of corporate governance and strategy consulting experience.

Ready to supercharge your board’s effectiveness? Request a free trial of OnBoard today.

About The Author

Josh Palmer
Josh Palmer
Josh Palmer serves as OnBoard's Head of Content. An experienced content creator, his previous roles have spanned numerous industries including B2C and B2B home improvement, healthcare, and software-as-a-service (SaaS). An Indianapolis native and graduate of Indiana University, Palmer currently resides in Fishers, Ind.