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Interview Tips for Interim Managers

Over the last 10 years Williams Bain has asked experienced interim managers for their interview tips - the best ones are below. If you have any great interview tips please share them with us for our next interview article via our contact form, we value your experience.

Do your research

  • Companies House
  • Website
  • Investor section on website
  • Learn how to Boolean search google – it’s a life hack !
  • View LinkedIn stats – who has left the company recently
  • LinkedIn search the interviewer
  • Google news

Dress appropriately

  • Most clients like to see interviewees in a shirt/suit – even on a video call.
  • CFOs often like to see interviewees in a tie.
  • In the interview, if they are casual, ask if the day to day dress code is casual and explain that you always wear a shirt/suit to an interview because it’s respectful.
  • Look at the interviewers LinkedIn profile and website to see what they wear (still wear smart/formal).


  • Think of the interviewer and their situation today, they may be late or not prepared – it happens.
  • If there are two people ensure that the ultimate decision maker is engaged at all times.
  • Have a 30 second pitch ready for the ‘stupid’ question – tell me about your career to date.
  • Follow the 30 second pitch with “can you tell me about your business please” or “can you tell me about your business issue that I am here to help with”
  • Don’t interrupt – the more the interviewer talks the more they like you.
  • Write down key points to use as prompts for later.
  • If appropriate interject with anecdotal examples of where you have fixed this problem before. If not appropriate to interject then use your written prompts at the end to give anecdotal examples
  • Remember to explain what is possible, clients don’t normally get this type of forward thinking solution from people inside the business
  • Establish what are the consequences of not fixing the business issue.


  • Reassure the interviewer that you have done this before, “it’s not easy but can be fixed”.
  • Playback the key issues using your prompts to ensure the client knows that you have listened.
  • Ask them if they are convinced that you understand the issue.
  • Ask them if they are confident that you can help.
  • Explain how long it will be typically before they start to see results.
  • Ask when you can expect to hear from them, if it’s an urgent business issue then playback the consequences of not fixing the issue and explain that you are available today but the interim market moves fast so they will need to move fast.
  • Ask if they have any reservations in hiring you.
  • Cover these reservations to reassure them.