Knowledge Library

Interview suggestions for the experienced interim executive

I remember working back in 2008-2009 supplying Interim Managers and even in the early 90’s when I was supplying temporary labour. These are notable dates as the UK was in recession. I am thinking of these dates as there is a high chance of the UK being in recession again later this year.

What I remember from last time was that the work was still out there, clients had different priorities and the assignments were in pockets rather than a buoyant market overall, but work continued to be commissioned and delivered. 

What I’m saying is that it’s time to refresh your LinkedIn profile, get back in touch with your client network and strengthen the relationships that you have with recruiters. It’s no coincidence that us recruiters place the people whom we know the best.

We are going to work hard through the likely recession, and we have the experience and capability to find the best assignments in a tough market. If you could take a couple of minutes to update your profile with us that would help us to search for your specific skills and check your availability when we are shortlisting for assignments. 

I recently put together a list of Interview tips for Interim Managers as a reminder. It’s not conclusive and if you have a great tip that I have missed please share it with me:

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.