What it takes to be a successful Interim Manager

February 12th 2023 | Posted by Phil Scott

As demand for interim managers increases, more and more people are looking into it as a viable career path. But many professionals may question whether they have the skills and experience to be successful.

Ultimately, anyone thinking of starting out in the interim industry needs to have a good level of expertise to offer hiring companies. After all, perhaps more than most jobs, interim assignments are all about delivering to KPIs within set time limits. So you need to have the experience to be able to confidently tackle the pressures this kind of job involves. But there’s more to it than that. These kinds of projects demand a certain kind of person when it comes to natural aptitudes and qualities.

A genuine interest in self improvement

Setting out in the interim field does mean that you’re on your own in many ways. No longer a permanent employee, you won’t be automatically invited to go on the latest skill building workshop, or industry insight seminar.

This doesn’t, however, mean that personal development is a thing of the past. A great interim manager will always keep up to date with the latest innovations. Attending networking events, industry seminars and relevant courses to hone skills and remain attractive to employers are all initiatives that interims can consider. After all, you’ll be hired for your skillset as well as your expertise and you can only champion this through continually enhancing your knowledge and your CV.

Great research skills

Stepping into a new assignment should never feel like a complete trip into the unknown. The key to making the most of your time on each project is starting off on the right foot.

Invest time in finding out about the hiring company and the role. And be sure to communicate thoroughly and clearly about the expectations around the assignment from both sides. That way, you’ll have a solid plan to work from, defined objectives to hit and a strong relationship with the client, based on transparency from the start.

Instinctive people management

Part and parcel of interim work is being able to build good relationships quickly. Gauging the culture of a company from the very beginning will stand you in good stead when it comes to approaching people for support and insights.
Effectively working with people from board level, right through to team members is an essential skill that will enable you to push through innovations and champion change even in the most resistant, trickiest situations.

A focused approach

Time is of the essence in interim roles. So being able to work to deadlines is vital. A great interim will not only focus on achieving against KPIs, they’ll also be sure to add value to the client.