How to Interview a Grant Writer

Congratulations, you have chosen to hire a grant writer for your organization. Believe it or not, grant writers who have excellent writing skills and a successful track record can be hard to find.  Above all, the key to any successful organization is having the best people in the correct positions. This is also true when it comes to conducting a grant writer interview. Because of this, interviewing a grant writer can a bit be intimidating. With these thought-provoking questions for interviewing grant writers on hand, you will ensure that you choose the best grant writer for your organization.

What is your experience with researching and identifying grant opportunities?

When you interview a grant writer you want to determine a grant writer’s ability to find viable opportunities for your organization. Grant writers are responsible for researching, identifying, and applying for funds from various organizations, foundations, and corporations. A grant writer must have the necessary skills and experience to help your organization win a grant. How well a grant writer understands the process of researching and writing grants is critical. There is no guarantee of receiving a grant. However, hiring an experienced grant writer does increase the chances of your organization being awarded a grant. The average of winning a grant on your own is a 1 in 7 chance. Grant proposals written by professional grant writers have an increased chance of approval.

What is your grant writing process?

Writing and submitting a successful grant proposal requires more than just filling out the application and submitting it. It requires a great deal of research, planning, and strategy. Grant writing is a specialized industry. The seeker should understand how a writer will approach the entire grant-writing process. When conducting a grant writer interview, probe the writer for an outline of their process from concept to completion. Ask what kind of strategies a potential writer uses to ensure success.  Furthermore, how does a writer decide which grants to apply for and which ones not to?

How do you ensure that the budget proposed in a grant application is achievable?

Grant writing includes presenting a budget that accurately reflects the costs associated with the project or program you’re hoping to fund. It’s important for the grant writer to have an in-depth understanding of the project and the resources needed to complete it. By asking this question, you and your colleagues will be able to determine the grant writer’s attention to detail and their ability to professionally demonstrate your organization’s budgeting process.

How do you handle deadlines for multiple projects?

Writing a grant is a complex task that requires research, and a deep understanding of the organization’s mission and goals. Deadlines are also a reality of grant writing, it is critical to know that the grant writer will be able to manage their time and demonstrate their ability to work under pressure. However, a grant writer must also have the ability to write a compelling narrative, even under a time crunch. For example, Using GrantWatch.com, you can search for grants for your organization that have ongoing deadlines.

How do you handle feedback from funders or seekers after submitting a grant proposal?

Grant writing is a complex process. It is an iterative process and often requires multiple rounds of revisions and feedback from funders. Grant writing requires detailed research and concise writing. To create a successful proposal to be awarded a grant you must be ready for anything. Before hiring, take the time to understand a grant writer’s ability to handle feedback. Furthermore, asking this question during your grant writer interview will set the tone for the grant writer to professionally use any feedback given to refine and improve their writing to create a successful grant proposal.

What challenges have you faced while writing grant proposals?

Writing grants is a complex and extremely competitive process. Many grant writers have faced the challenges that grant funding can involve. As a result, grant writers should be able to articulate the hurdles they have faced and overcome in the past. When interviewing grant writers, seek examples from them to show how they can successfully navigate obstacles while still staying on task. Above all, ensure they have the self-management needed to create compelling grant proposals.

How do you improve your grant writing skills?

Grant writing is an ever-evolving profession that requires staying up-to-date on new regulations and funding opportunities. When you are interviewing a grant writer it is crucial to discover if a grant writer has the tools to research the most recent grant opportunities. Grant writers who are up-to-date discover the best fit for your organization. Make sure that you know that your grant writer can stay on top of changing priorities and regulations.

As you can see, finding an experienced grant writer is a crucial part of applying for grants to support your nonprofit.  Following this guide to interviewing prospective grant writers will ensure that you choose the right candidate for the job. The GranWriterTeam hopes this information has been useful and we wish you well on your grant-funding journey!

About GrantWriterTeam

Are you a nonprofit or small business in need of some help? If you are searching for grants but are feeling overwhelmed, hiring a grant writer may be the perfect choice for you! Grant writers thoughtfully grant opportunities and consider the pros and cons of applying and the chance of success. Consider your writer an extension of your organization. They will coach you throughout the entire process and curate the project to fit your needs. Your grant-seeking success is our priority at GrantWriterTeam.