Preparing For Board Interviews - Sarah Dodds Brown

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The thought of board service interviews can sound very intimidating to many. But, it does not have to be, as long as you leverage your experiences and your transferable skills properly. I recently had the opportunity to be featured on Direct Women’s webinar Gateway to Corporate Board Service: Demystifying the Experience.

“I definitely to understand all of the public filings; what’s the journey the company is on, where have they been, where are they going, what are the unanswered questions that I have, where do I think the gaps are or sort of the things that trouble me about what I’m seeing or what i’m reading, or that I would want more information on.

“I also tried to understand the management team, like how long have they been in place. My company had an almost all new senior executive management team when I was interviewing, so understanding who else is on the board, what their backgrounds are, where they came from, how they are interrelated and do they know each other, are they on other boards together. So that was kind of interesting to me to kind of map out and understand how these relationships do work and really just getting into that.

“The last thing I would say is to ask yourself: how do my skills or how do my experiences translate into this particular business or industry? In my experience, I happen to have three young children so I’m very familiar with Party City and their offerings. I am a regular consumer, so I had that perspective to aid me but I also work in a very customer oriented business. So, even though I don’t have retail experience or that type of background, if you’re talking about customer orientation and brand positioning, that’s something that I do have background in. I also have experience in risk management and leadership as well, so as I thought about the transformation they were undergoing, making the connection between the experiences that I’ve had and the exposures that I’ve had and what I can bring to bear in terms of this business and the journey that it’s on.”

About Sarah Dodds-Brown: Sarah is a legal strategist who uses her field of expertise to influence business. She strives to thoughtfully challenge status quo thinking and widen the pipeline of professional talent to include more diverse and underrepresented candidates. Currently, she works as the Executive Vice President & Managing Counsel for Global Enterprise Services & U.S. Market at American Express.

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