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Thread: Any advice for my first director-level interview?

  1. #1
    Dec 2007
    West Coast

    Any advice for my first director-level interview?

    An interview for a Director's position is eminent. What can I expect when interviewing for a Director level position? I'm assuming that they will be looking for "fit" and management style over technical abilities? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Oct 2001
    When I interview candidates for that level I am not be looking for over the top technical skills. I want someone with a backbone, a grounding in the do's and don'ts of people and project management and someone who appears to be well-grounded as well as a problem solver. I look for a combination of confidence and introspection.

    Good luck.
    el Guapo is a former 20 year +/- urban planner (just like you) who thought becoming an attorney was a good life choice.

  3. #3
    Nov 2005
    In the Peach State
    Great points El Guapo! You need to be able to think big picture and not get all gobbled up in the small details of things. You have to show that you can lead, both staff and the public. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Good Luck Plan B, I echo the sentiments of the previous. I would imagine more questioning about operational abilities, the big picture if you will. I liken it to keeping the car on the road but not necesarily doing to the steering OR working the pedals, just providing a nice smooth forward motion (that's what she said! )

  5. #5
    First, make sure you want the job. Being a director means you will be in the hot seat most the the time. Second, can you handle the politics of the job. Third, can you move from the more technical side or the profession to the more people side of it. Fouth, relatedly, can you handle people, especially a staff. Fifth, can you handle the stress of being a director. Sixth, can you handle life in a fishbowl. Trust me, they will ask you questions at church, at the grocery, etc.

    Is there going to be 1 interview or two. If there is only going to be one, the there will be the who-you-are-as-a-person type of questions. They are going to directly or indirectly ask why you are interested in the job. They are going to ask your management philosphy. Go to the town/city where you would be working, drive around it and look at sites how the place is growing, potential issues.

    As other have stated, play the part. Act confident without being cocky. Be personable and speak well. Be friendly with everyone. Be relaxed, calm, and show them you can't be rattled.

    Again, make sure you want the job. If they offer, are you willing to accept it. Keep in mind, unless this is a smaller jurisdiction, you will have chosen this path. It is very difficult to go back down the ladder.
    Last edited by Whose Yur Planner; 30 Jan 2008 at 12:41 AM.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    In addition to all the above, a director handles personnel and budget issues.

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