Ekin Tug

Mar 06, 2019

Chairing Interview 101

How to know if chairing is for you?

PIMUN 2017


Chairing is a complicated and hard job. You are in charge of a whole committee with your co-chair and it demands seriousness and professionalism. A chair is not allowed to be late or miss a committee session, a chair also needs to know the topic discussed very well. And most importantly, a chair needs to know the rules of procedure by heart. To become a chair, you first need to apply, be selected, and then pass an interview with the secretariat of the conference.  

This article is the first part of a three-part series about chairing interview process. The first part will discuss the different set of skills between a chair and a delegate. So in this article, we will be asking who is eligible to chair a committee? What are the requirements?  

And the question of the day: Is it necessary to be a great delegate in order to be a great chair? 

It is often thought that chairing is the last phase, top of the hierarchy in a MUN conference. Yes, of course, chairing demands a previous experience as a delegate. But being a chair and a delegate are completely opposite things. And you don’t necessarily need to be a perfect delegate that wins many awards and sponsors many resolutions in order to become a chair. Because these two positions require different set of skills. I will separate this article into two parts: 

What is the same set of skills about these two positions?  

-The skill of public speaking and not being afraid to speak up: the skills you have advanced as a delegate will help you enormously as a chair. It’s important to have authority while chairing, you need to be able to bring in order the committee whenever it needs to be and not have any doubts while speaking. A chair needs to speak clearly and express him/herself in the best way possible in order for the delegates to understand everything that is going on. Often times, a chair’s duty is to repeat a point or motion that is not understood well during the session. It’s also to explain the rules of procedure many times during the conference.
-Rules of procedure: the second set of skills that will come handy from your days as a delegate. You will not only be familiar with the rules of procedure, but you should know them by heart and read them before each conference because every conference has different rules of procedure. 

What is the new set of skills chairing requires? 
-Attentiveness/Concentration: Being a chair isn’t an easy job, it demands your full concentration at all times. As a delegate, it’s not a big deal if you zoom out of the debate for a few moments, but as a chair, this is not acceptable. You constantly need to update the GSL, count the votes, find the most disruptive motion… the list goes on but a chair needs to be attentive and on alert 100% of the time.
-Seriousness in all times: What do I mean by this? There is a very fine line between being a fun chair that everyone loves and being a silly chair that no one respects. As a delegate, your reputation during the socials doesn’t really affect your performance or if you are picked as the best delegate or not. BUT as a chair it does. Your delegates won’t respect you if you had a bit too much to drink during a social and did stupid things and come completely hangover to the next morning session. 
-Patience: You will be repeating the same sentences for the eternity of the session. As a chair, you need to have patience because you’ll repeat sentences, such as <<are there as point or motions on the floor?>> countless times. Believe me, after some time you will repeat these sentences even in your sleep. 

PIMUN 2017


To summarize my point, chairing isn’t for the best delegates that love to interact and to argue. Because as a chair your place is behind the dais and you are not allowed to share your opinions on the topic which can be annoying and frustrating for delegates that love to participate and be active in all times.  

But chairing is rather for very organized MUNers that love to manage and be in control.  My point being, chairing doesn’t require being the best delegate. Of course, your background as a delegate will help you because you will know what is expected from a good chair. But don’t think that chairing is the last and best step of a MUN journey but rather think chairing as a different path of a MUN journey.