“I am preparing for a 2nd round interview with my Board of Trustees for the director’s position. I have spent most of my time in middle management and need to impress the Board that my ‘on the floor’ rapport with staff and patrons can translate into being a great director. What should I focus on for my next interview?”
Play to your strengths. Be sure to think and talk big picture (because that’s what they’re going to be worried about—Is she a “good librarian” or can she make the leap to “leader/manager/director”) but also stay grounded and provide real world, “on the floor” examples. For example, when you talk about setting policy, outreach, budgets, etc., put a face to those concepts—talk about your experience with patrons, boards, citizens of the community, and how those experiences and interactions will better inform your decisions as a director.
What you have over other candidates is current/real-life/library/in-the-trenches experience, and you need to make that an asset. But be sure to also impress them with your ability to raise the level of knowledge to the bigger picture and to prove that you’re able to make the big and important decisions. Can you do “the job” AND see the big picture? Can you serve the client, while also managing budgets, setting priorities and leading a staff? In short, think big picture, drawing on your experience locally to illustrate your ideas and outcomes. Best of luck with the interview!!!