Behavioral Interview Questions for Nonprofit Careers

Behavioral interview questions are a good tool to assess a job candidate for the specific skills required in a nonprofit.  This makes these questions common in interviews with nonprofit organizations.

Preparing for a behavioral interview is essential for success.  You need to be able to discuss very specific examples from your background.  Without adequate preparation, your performance will suffer.  To prepare, look at each of the questions below and develop a 2 to 3 minute story from your background to answer the question.  Then, practice the stories.  Once you know stories inside and out, try to apply them to other questions.  This will help you learn how to answer questions you don’t expect.  As you get better, complete a few mock interviews.  The more practice you get, the better you will preform.  Unfortunately, most job seekers improve their interview skills by going on a lot of interviews.  They use their failures to teach them.  A better way is to work with a coach and complete mock interviews so that you improve prior to a real interview.

Below is a selection of questions you may encounter:

Fundraising

  • Tell me about a time when you led a successful fundraising campaign.

  • Tell me about a time when you missed a fundraising goal.

  • Tell me about a time when you tried a new approach to fundraising.

  • Tell me about your most successful fundraising effort.

  • Tell me about the most innovative fundraising activity you have utilized.

  • Tell me about the most challenging target group you have approached for fundraising.

  • Tell me about the biggest donation you have ever obtained.

  • Tell me about a time when you recognized the contributions of donors.

  • Tell me about a time when you wrote a grant proposal.

Marketing

  • Tell me about a time when raised community awareness for your organization.

  • Tell me about a time when you developed a marketing plan.

  • Tell me about a time when you expanded the client base you served.

  • Tell me about a time when you increase public support for your organization.

  • Tell me about a time when you lobbied a government entity.

  • Tell me about a time when you recruited new volunteers.

  • Tell me about a time when you improved volunteer retention.

  • Tell me about a time when you recruited new board members.

  • Tell me about a time when you managed a community outreach effort.

Operations

  • Tell me about a time when you cut costs.

  • Tell me about a time when you developed a budget.

  • Tell me about a time when you had a budget shortfall.

  • Tell me about a time when you improved the efficiency of the organization.

  • Tell me about a time when you changed a process.

  • Tell me about a time when you made a significant change in policy.

  • Tell me about a time when you implemented a new technology.

Virtually any work situation can be assessed with a behavioral question.  This makes preparation essential.  You need specific examples from your experience that you can discuss and adapt to a wide range of questions.  Use the behavioral interview questions above to help identify examples you can talk about in an interview.

Get our book on behavioral interviewing.

Other Great Books to help you prepare for Behavioral Interviews:

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