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You are an executive director of a non-profit agency that provides service to people who are homeless in the Buffalo area. You also sit on the board of a different non-profit agency (that is, not an agency like yoursâ€”the other agency has nothing to do with the homeless [that would be a conflict of interest])â€”of which you will decide what service the agency* is addressing. We will call this agency â€œX.â€ The board chair of agency â€œXâ€ has named you chair of the search committee to hire the executive director position (the previous exec at agency â€œXâ€™ recently retired).
You are charged with developing 10 questions that you and your search committee will ask the candidates. You will also need to develop two answers for each question (and, frankly, this is the part you will principally be graded on for SSC 390â€™s final project): one with the IDEAL answer and one with an ACCEPTABLE answer.
Here is an example interview question (which you CANNOT use!), â€œWho should handle the fiduciary responsibilities for the agency?â€
IDEALANSWER: â€œWell, the exec is ultimately responsible on a day-to-day basis for all levels of funding and budgets. This includes, fundraising, seeking and securing additional funding, opening new programs, closing down programs and monitoring quite closelyâ€”that is, more than on a monthly levelâ€”the revenues and expenditures for all programs. Now I would work very closely with the CFO and his/her staff to insure that I am getting appropriate, accurate and timely information. I will then report to the finance committee and the board, as a whole, on a monthly basis. So, to reiterate, the exec is responsible, but information must be made available to me by the business office.â€
ACCEPTABLEANSWER: â€œWell, um, I guess it would be me as exec. But I may decide to simply delegate this to the business office. I would look over every expenditure to make sure the bills are paid on time. This will be time consuming and will take a lot of my energy, but the budgets and expenditures oversight, I guess, is mine. I donâ€™t know, Iâ€™d talk to the CFO and see what he/she says.â€
Now, you do see the difference, right? â€œAcceptableâ€ means just that. That answer would work, but look at the â€œidealâ€ answer. That is what the hiring committee should be looking for.
My suggestion, for the development of your questions, is to look at the topics/content of each lecture I have sent you and to look at what Lewis and Carver has presented to you in the texts. I would also draft the questions, look them over for a bit of time (a day or two) and then go back to see if these questions â€œworkâ€ for you as you finish your final project.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
*The agency can be â€œrealâ€ or it can be made up, but you should pick an agency that you are interested in. Why? Because the questions you develop will be more â€œrealâ€ and more reliant. I want you to describe your agency in at least two pages: what is the mission?; how big is the agency?; who are the clientele?; what geographic area(s) does the agency serve?; how is it funded?; etc. I want you to do more than just â€œcutting and pastingâ€ from the internet. Make this as real as possible, because your questions will be better. For example, say you are interested in an agency for the developmentally disabled. Well, some of the questions would revolve around this topic (but not all of your questions; remember, you are hiring an administrator!). So, I should NOT see any questions about the inner mechanics of how a four-cylinder car is tuned up, ya dig?
The total final projectâ€”including your two page description of your agencyâ€”should be between 10-12 pages, double spaced.
Good luck with this.