Top Tips for Interim Managers and companies that want to hire Interim Managers
Norrie Johnston, one of the leading British Interim Recruiters, shares his best tips for Interim Candidates. This quick checklist should hopefully give you the most answers.
INTERIM MANAGER: these questions, thoughts and hints can be used to prepare the presentation and to plan the initial phase of a mandate.
CUSTOMER: Questions, thoughts and hints on how to prepare for the assignment of an Interim Manager – this part can be found on the seven pages of the PDF (German) for download.
Selling yourself as an interim candidate
Ensure that your CV sells what you are really good at. 3 or 4 pages is normal.
Begin with “Profile” which tells the reader within a few lines who you are and what you are famous for.
Include data on the size of companies that you have worked for, plus data on your responsibilities (number of staff managed, budgets, targets).
You are selling your past experience, not your future aspirations. Eg: a good interim sales director candidate will have been a successful sales director at least 3 times before and ideally will have reached a higher level once before becoming an interim
Include on page one a “Relevant Experience” summary in your CV for a job application. This needs to show why you are exactly the right person for the role and that you have done the same role 2 or 3 times before. Are you a 90% match? against the client brief. At any one time there are lots of good interims chasing a small number of interim roles.
Do not mention “consultant” in your CV. Consultants are advisors. Interims are people of action and doers.
Do not suggest that you can tackle most things. A good interim is not a “jack of all trades”
Register for job alerts with job boards such as: Executivesontheweb
Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is updated and has several strong recommendations from previous bosses/clients
The Client Interview
Usually only 1 interview of 1-hour duration for Interim
Much shorter process than for permanent
Be enthusiastic, energetic and confident
Look and feel the part
Take evidence of similar projects/successes
Don’t talk rates or terms! (refer to the agency)
Agree the Deal
You sell to the agency who marks up and sells on to the client. Back-to-back terms based on the REC’s (the industry trade body) terms.
Agree terms and start date with the agency
Never leave a project until the client says “Great work, well done… you can go now.”
Good interims will usually be extended beyond the initially estimated duration and will frequently be asked if they would like to join as a permanent member of staff
Introductions by the client sponsor
Ensure that the project is fully supported by the client
Sell yourself and win confidence of immediate reports and seniors
Expect it to be twice as bad as indicated in the interview
Keep a log book of meetings, discussions, observations
Weeks One and Two
Meet as many people inside and related to the business as possible. Ask lots of questions.
Re-visit the brief. Confirm the 4 or 5 key issues/tasks.
Daily feedback to client sponsor. Test first impressions.
Be flexible. You are no longer an employee. You are a supplier to the client.
Now that you have got this far you have a 95% chance of succeeding!
During the Assignment
Stay focussed on the 4 or 5 agreed key issues (don’t try to fix everything you find wrong). Fix these and you’ll be a hero
Meet weekly with the project sponsor
Be aware of politics but don’t get involved
Don’t try to tackle stuff that is outside your experience – call for other expert help
Give your expert and impartial advice, even if the news is not always popular