Interview Strategies


  • Review the job description and peruse the organization’s website prior to your interview.
  • Explore the internet to find any research that might be of importance in reference to the organization and the search committee members.
  • Be able to speak to the needs of the organization and “how you can assist them” in reaching their strategic goals and mission.
  • Check out to look over the organization’s financials, etc.
  • Refrain from bringing up salary or benefits during the first interview.
  • Address areas such as annual goals, visions for the future, volunteerism at the organization, history of the position, and next steps in the search process etc.
  • Be able to communicate why you want this position.


  • Plan to arrive at least ten minutes early for your interview.
  • Have confirmed directions to the interview site. Anticipate possible delays and have alternate routes in mind if traffic backs up.
  • Carry NPPN’s and the organization’s phone number, and alert the appropriate person(s) of your situation ASAP if you do get caught in a traffic jam, etc.


  • Once you’ve arrived, gather your thoughts and check your attire before entering the office/building.
  • Dress professionally and appropriately for the organization. Avoid perfumes and aftershave colognes.
  • Make consistent eye contact.
  • Use experiences and actual numbers (avoid percentages) when discussing your successes.
  • Listen carefully to the questions and answer directly. Keep your answers on topic and succinct.
  • Always send a thank-you note to all interviewers, within two days of the interview.


  • Your demeanor should exude confidence and energy.
  • Taking notes is always appropriate.
  • Prepare convincing answers to:
    1. What do you know about the organization?
    2. Why are you applying for this position?
    3. Why are you the best candidate to hire?
  • Make a strong case for support that sells your candidacy.
  • Prepare for the interview by anticipating questions, especially behavioral questions “what would you do in this situation etc.?” Think about you answers so there is no hesitancy.
  • Keep in mind; thoughtful pauses are more effective than “ums” or rushing your response.
  • Prepare two – three priority questions to ask at the end of the interview. Remember that you are interviewing the organization as much as they are interviewing you.
  • I have worked with Gary Dembs and his team for over 18 years.

    In 2014, the Detroit Medical Center worked with the staff and board at the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit, in the rebuilding of the new House.  We hired NPPN to manage our capital expansion campaign.  All indications point that the $3 million will be raised with Gary’s expertise, leadership, and thoughtful, strategic planning.

    Most recently, NPPN did the executive search for our marketing director.  We secured an extremely capable, talented marketing director, with the help of Gary and his team.

    Gary is extremely well connected in the non-profit community and has brought talent, new funds, excellent marketing strategies and financial guidance to our charity.  We highly recommend NPPN for executive search, strategic planning and capital campaign planning.

    Jennifer Litomisky Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House - Detroit

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