Here are 15 questions to ask a grant professional you are considering for a job:
1) What is your grant writing success rate? The best way to determine a success rate is to divide the number of approved grants by the number of submissions.
2) What are some examples of grants you have received?
3) How much money have you received in grants?
4) What is your primary area of grant writing expertise?
5) What is the main type of funders you have approached? For example, have you mainly approached private corporations and foundations or public government agencies on a federal, state or local level?
6) What has been the main focus of your grants… like education, health, human services, arts and culture, environment?
7) What types of expenses have you gotten funding for… like seed money, curriculum development, and travel?
8) What experience do you have in the area of grant seeking? What experience do you have in how to research and find funders to meet our agency’s needs?
9) What experience do you have in program design and development? What kind of strategies would you use to design and develop programs in our agency? What ideas do you have to get input from stakeholders and build partnerships?
10) What experience do you have in writing proposals? What training or experience do you have in crafting an effective grant application and writing a convincing case for funding? What training or experience do you have in analyzing requests for proposal (RFP’s), including elements of standard proposals (e.g., problem statements, action plans, timelines, evaluation, etc.), and making a persuasive argument?
11) What experience do you have in grant management? What experience do you have in completing reports accurately and timely, ensuring regulatory compliance, and facilitating completions of activities outlined in the grant’s activity timeline and evaluation plan?
12) What is your preferred mode of communication? Find out how they prefer to communicate (i.e., by phone, email, text messaging, instant messaging, social media, etc.).
13) What’s your response rate for emails or phone calls? Find out up front, how quickly they will respond to emails or phone calls (My response rate is typically 20 minutes. However, I mention up front that I have a 24-hour response policy), how often they will update you on status, timelines for completion, and deadlines.
14) How do you address problems that might arise? Asking this question up front will give you an idea about how the candidate will approach solving problems. Ask for a specific example of how they have addressed a problem in the past.
15) What are your expectations?