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Finding the Right Consultant Doesn’t Need to Distract You From Your Business: Why You Need the 80-Hour Interview

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Finding the right consultant is a difficult task. Not only do you need to find someone with the right skills and experience, but you also need a consultant who has great soft skills and can fit into your existing company culture. That’s a lot to consider, and there are a lot of unknowns associated with any consultant. That’s why, before a consultant walks through your front door, they should be thoroughly vetted.

What to Look for in an Ideal Consultant

Essential Skills and Experience

You bring aboard a consultant because they have the specific expertise and experience to tackle the issues you need to address. Ideally, your consultant would start out with knowledge of the difficulties or opportunities your company is currently dealing with. They might not know the particulars of your business or industry but can get that from those who already hold it: you and your people.

Professional Demeanor and Attitude

An effective consultant needs to be a consummate professional. They must be prepared to put the best interest of the client before their own. For instance, the consultant needs to be ready to tell clients about issues they may not want to hear but must—even if doing so means she may lose favor. A consultant should care deeply about her client, knowing a high level of concern will eventually benefit them both.

Soft Skills

Ultimately, you want someone who helps you solve issues and takes advantage of opportunities. A successful consultant has outstanding analytical skills and can synthesize solutions to achieve results. They should be a quick and effective learner, both imaginative and creative.

A solid consultant should also be a strong communicator, both in conversation and in writing. On the flip side, and perhaps even more important, is their ability to listen and pay attention. Regardless of how smart a consultant is, they can’t help you until they fully understand the challenges you’re currently facing.

Finally, you want someone who is flexible and can lead or follow, depending on what the situation calls for. Having a consultant who can rally others to implement a solution or put their head down and get to work is vital, as both roles require considerable tact and interpersonal skills.

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