How to Prepare for a Nonprofit Job Interview

You’ve worked tirelessly on the perfect cover letter that describes your passion for your nonprofit dream job. Your resume highlights your experience and education, which perfectly aligns with the opening’s requirements. You also may have screamed with excitement when you got the call for an interview with the Executive Director. Now it’s time to prep for your interview!

Questions to Ask:

  • What are the objectives that I will be evaluated on and how will those be measured?
  • What is the sustainability of the position and program? Is it grant funded?
  • Can you describe your organizational culture?
  • May I have a program/facility tour and meet potential peers?
  • Would you be interested in receiving additional samples of my work?

Questions NOT to Ask:

  • What is the salary? Now, this is a common question but don’t ask it in a first interview, but it’s better to broadly ask about an overall compensation package that includes non-monetary benefits too.
  • What does the organization do? This research should be done prior to the interview.
  • Closed-ended questions. Keep the conversation by engaging your interviewer with questions that allow you to get to know each other.

The question portion of the interview can secure your fate with the nonprofit. Be sure to keep your questions and overall conversation extremely positive. Practice builds confidence so seek a friend to help you do a mock interview. 

Interested in searching nonprofit jobs in Knoxville and the surrounding areas? Check out the online ABN Career Center!

Nonprofit Job Search

385 Elle Benson is the Director of Capacity Building for the Alliance for Better Nonprofits (ABN), East Tennessee’s nonprofit resource center. She oversees the educational development and consulting practices at ABN. Elle brought ten years of nonprofit and business consulting experience into assisting in the creation of ABN. Her nonprofit experience includes fundraising, nonprofit program development, nonprofit and corporate marketing, human resources, board governance, and strategic planning. She holds a certification in board governance from BoardSource, a global network advancing board governance practices. She also has a certificate in group facilitation. She earned a business degree from the Haslam College of Business, and she completed her MBA in leadership and organizational change at Tiffin University. She currently teaches nonprofit management for the University of Tennessee Non-Credit Programs. Elle enjoys being involved in the community, having served on eight nonprofit boards. She is currently serving on boards and committees for the Association of Infant Mental Health in Tennessee, Friends of Literacy, United Way of Greater Knoxville, and Young Professionals of Knoxville.