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How to prepare for the Non Executive Director Interview

I share practical tips to help you increase your chances of landing and being successful in an interview for a NED or Non Executive Director position. This is also available as a webinar with Q&A on BrightTalk

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How to prepare for the Non Executive Director Interview

  2. 2. WHAT WE’LL COVER TODAY • Your mind-set • What is the interviewer looking for? • Why conduct research into the company and how to do it • Making first contact • How to write a covering letter that will make you stand out from the crowd • Tips for preparing the questions you will ask at interview • Questions you can expect to be asked in interview • Extra resources SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW
  3. 3. RICHARD DAVIES SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW • Executive Coach with In Touch • 25 year corporate career with Kellogg’s and Shell • Was Head of Learning & Development at Shell • Built own portfolio career since end of 2016 • Been involved with hundreds of interviews
  7. 7. THE PURPOSE OF NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The non-executive director (NED) is, essentially, a creature of corporate governance • NEDs essentially perform a supervisory and advisory function • NEDs support the board in instilling the appropriate culture and values • NEDs are there to bring balance and hold the executives to account SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW
  8. 8. EXCEPTIONAL NED – KORNFERRY INSTITUTE REPORT • Objective and independent thought processes • Ability to challenge in a supportive way • Effective communication and influencing style • Established experience of current or future business of the company • Diverse but in-depth business experience, able to learn and understand company business quickly • Financial literacy, able to understand business models • Risk understanding • Technology as business models become inextricably intertwined with technology and digital strategies SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW
  10. 10. MIND-SET : EQUAL BUSINESS STATURE “It’s just as much a case of you checking to see if this organisation is right for YOU - as it is for them to try to discover if you are right for THEM” SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW
  11. 11. MIND-SET : EQUAL BUSINESS STATURE SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW The interview is your opportunity to demonstrate what it will be like to have you on their board e.g. • Evidence of having done your homework • Share strategic insights • The right behaviours – challenge with diplomacy
  12. 12. STEP 1 – RESEARCH • Research the hiring company or organisation • Initial due diligence. Is this a company or organisation that you’d like to join? • Research informs your high quality questions for interview SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW
  13. 13. RESEARCH SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW Public Image • Research the company’s reputation online via rating agencies and search out any articles or news stories the company has appeared in. Similarly, you can learn a lot from the company’s own website, especially in terms of commercial and regulatory statements and the public image it portrays. • Download and read the annual report
  14. 14. RESEARCH SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW What do customers say about the company? • Trustpilot company check is the largest source of data on UK companies and attracts over a million visitors each month carrying out due diligence https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/companych eck.co.uk
  15. 15. RESEARCH – COMPANIES HOUSE https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-a-company SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW
  16. 16. RESEARCH SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW What do employees say about the company? • GlassDoor has a database of 8+million company reviews, leadership/management ratings, salary reports, job interview tips, employee benefits reports, and workplace insights generated by employees. • Whilst this is a useful source – there is likely to be some biased reviews from disgruntled employees. Take the research insights from this as just one of many inputs. https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews
  17. 17. STEP 2 – CONTACT THE COMPANY SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW First Contact • If details have not been provided in the job posting, call In Touch, or the recruitment agency that has posted the role. Ask for help. • Explain that you’d appreciate the chance to talk to one of the interview panel • When you do manage to fix up a call. Be professional, ask questions e.g • Why are they looking to recruit a NED now? • What are the key challenges ahead for the organisation? • What skills, experience and attributes are they really looking for in a NED?
  18. 18. STEP 2 – CONTACT THE CHAIR OR A CURRENT NED SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW Ask • Ask the interview panel member if you can chat to one of the existing NEDs • Look at the company website, are there links that will help you get in contact with the NEDS? • Search LinkedIn and send a request to connect • Personalise the invitation and explain that you will be applying for a NED role and would appreciate a chat
  19. 19. WHY HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS? SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW Stand out from the crowd • Gain valuable information you can add to your application covering letter • Be memorable - if you have spoken to a panel member this increases the likelihood of being called for interview • When it comes to interview, demonstrate your diligence and refer to insights from your conversations
  20. 20. SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW STEP 3 - WRITE A WINNING COVERING LETTER Recruiters spend between 6-40 seconds scanning a cover letter • It is important to stand out • Name the people with whom you have already spoken: ‘ It was fascinating to learn more about your organisation and its plans when I was speaking to . . . <insert name of person / people you have spoken to>’ • Find out more tips for your cover letter by listening to the In Touch webinar on this topic. How to Craft a Winning Cover Letter by Brendan Gurrie, March 21st 2019. Available on BrightTALK
  21. 21. SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW STEP 4 - PREPARE YOUR QUESTIONS From research, prepare questions that demonstrate your commercial acumen, using the Three Dimension model of Value from Axiometrics • System questions (Thinking and the Why) – about Vision and Purpose, Their Point B, challenges and growth opportunities, longer term strategy, market disruption, compliance, new legislation or relevant trends in technology • Task questions (Doing and the How) - about current financial performance, cash, liabilities, immediate priorities and the competition, sales & marketing, operations. How they are going from Point A, their current position, to Point B • People questions – (Feeling) about employee engagement levels, customer satisfaction, supplier relationships, key partnerships, and the team dynamics on the board and engagement with all relevant stakeholders • http://www.axiometricspartners.com/
  22. 22. SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW STEP 5 - QUESTIONS YOU COULD BE ASKED No guarantee you’ll be asked but it’s better to be prepared • What is it that attracted you to this non-executive position? • What is your previous experience and how do you believe it could be valuable to this board? • How would you describe your style and how would you tailor your approach as a non-executive director? • What mistakes have you made in previous roles and what did you learn from them? • What do you believe our clients and stakeholders expect from us and how can we deliver on this as a board?
  23. 23. SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS YOU COULD BE ASKED No guarantee you’ll be asked but it’s better to be prepared • Can you outline 3 key challenges that may affect businesses in our sector over the next 10 years? • Do you have any previous examples of where you have helped a business achieve their financial goals and unlock new commercial opportunities? • What do you believe your role will involve as a Non-Executive on this board?
  24. 24. SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW • Members can go to the portal, look under ‘Learning Hub’ and you’ll find four-module CPD accredited courses ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  25. 25. SUCCEEDING AT INTERVIEW • Members can go to the portal, look under ‘My Downloads’ and you’ll find a checklist and useful worksheet ADDITIONAL RESOURCES