The corporate board meeting is an important assessment tool for both the candidate and the company. The process can take months and may involve a number of conversations. Board members will meet with the candidates on a more personal level. Candidates must be prepared to answer questions about their experience, their industry knowledge and the way they can contribute to the board.

The right tone and style is critical to landing the job. While it is important to be personable and likable but it is equally important to demonstrate your ability to pose tough questions, and challenge the status that is in place. Boards do not want cheerleaders but rather incisive serious board members. Insisting on a positive review of the company is a common mistake. This is interpreted by the board as a lack of flattery, and improve board performance will affect your candidature.

Prepare to provide specific examples of your accomplishments and successes, especially at a strategic level. This will show that you have the leadership qualities and experience to add value to the board.

During the interview, it is important to clearly state your board’s values position. You should also explain what you have to offer the company, and how you will be different from other candidates.

Transparency is the key. This is particularly important for VC and PE owned companies, as investment representatives need to reveal their current relationships with portfolio companies to avoid potential legal ramifications in the future, should they be appointed on boards of investments that their firm has an ownership stake in.