An interview formal is typically held when a board is recruiting new members. Board members should be prepared to respond to questions ranging from how their skills and qualities will benefit the organization, to the reasons why they would like to join the board. They should also have a solid idea of the time they can devote to the position.

Garland McLellan is the founder of Board Ready. A board consulting firm. Boards are seeking strategic insights rather than executive thinking. That means that the interviewer is looking for someone who can engage in a high-level conversation asking good questions and challenge the thinking process of the company.

A successful board member is willing to share their own view on the issues and strategies of their potential employer, but is willing to hear the viewpoints of the other interviewers. They should be able give an objective and balanced review even if the company’s performance wasn’t up to standards.

The interviewer might also ask candidates to examine the collegiality and culture of the boardroom. This is particularly relevant when a company is public, where the board’s relationships with shareholders may be at risk. A board could also ask candidates to disclose any conflicts of interest they may have that might hinder their ability to add to value. A conflict of interest that is exposed could be detrimental to a board strategy and may have serious legal implications in the event of a worst-case scenario. If candidates are asked to think about this issue, they should be prepared to divulge any relevant relationships or affiliations.