The following are questions that any good grant writer worth their weight in Post-It notes will HATE to be asked in an interview — and will respect you for it if you do ask them. That is because these are tough questions with no right or wrong answers. How they answer can only offer deep and clear insight into their writing style and their work philosophy. Each answer makes them list and prioritize what’s important to them, makes them honestly and objectively evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses, tells you how and where they put the blame and whether they can constructively criticize themselves and their team - and put a positive spin on it. For example if they are honest about a shortcoming or a weakness in a grant then quickly follow it with a “But what we learned to never do again was…” that’s fine. Great. Exactly what you want to hear.
But, decide on what you would like to most hear in the answers before you ask the questions. They will reveal as much about your philosophies and priorities as much as they do the candidate’s. So here’s the top three questions I think you should ask:
What questions would you ask a grant writers if you were interviewing grant writing candidates and why?
Describe the team approach/process used in your last grant effort and the role you played in that process.
If we were watching you facilitate a first meeting with a new client and a group of potential partners and collaborators, what would we see?
More questions tomorrow.
Meanwhile, for more about how a grant writer should work as part of a planning team for your grant proposal, please read my new book, RIGHT BEFORE YOU WRITE: THE GROUNDBREAKING PROCESS USED TO WIN MORE THAN $385 MILLION IN COMPETITIVE GRANT FUNDS. Go to www.SandyPointInk.com.