The next step for building your own executive team is to start the interview process. Interviewing prospective team members is an important process. Contact them and see if they are willing to meet with you. In the vast majority of situations, an initial appointment is free of charge, so don’t worry about what will be charged. Even if you don’t think you can afford their services, it doesn’t hurt to find out for yourself. Sometimes you can be surprised.
Do Your Research
Be prepared. Have your notes handy from your research and have a good list of questions prepared for your meeting. Know what they do well. Be able to speak about what the industry says about them. You’re not causing them to brag, but you do want for them to tell you why they are better than the competition. Ask for examples of how they provided exceptional value for their clients. Also ask them how they think that they can provide you exceptional value. Don’t forget to ask for references and referrals.
Do Your Homework
Once you are done with your appointment, do your homework. Make notes of the experience of your visit, whether it was at an office, over the phone, or maybe through Skype. Was the support staff friendly and helpful, or did they ignore you and treat you rudely? When you were in your appointment, did you feel like you were rushed and being pushed out of the office? Or were you treated with respect and your needs were all addressed?
Complete the Review
Review what was discussed during the appointment. Try to record all of the pertinent details. Did they prove their skills and expertise? Was there anything important or unique that was discovered? Were you able to relate to this person? Was there a good connection, or did you feel like there was some communication barrier in the way? Consider the whole experience and evaluate everything. Call references and ask probing questions.
Look for the Best Fit
It is too easy to accept an “average” experience in this process, so don’t do it. Interviewing prospective team members is all about finding the right fit. We all realize that no one is perfect. But we also need to understand that every person and every organization has a distinct personality. We need to be committed to find a great fit with an organization or a person in that organization. If you walk away from any of these interviews with no compelling interest to continue the conversation with them, take that feeling seriously. Just because an organization has a reputation of being the “best” in an industry, it doesn’t always mean that it is the best fit for you.
Additionally, don’t settle for someone at this point, even if the interview experience is excellent. Just because you “connect” with them does not mean that they have the skills and expertise you require. You need to be convinced that they will meet and exceed your needs and expectations. It doesn’t matter if you settle for someone to make the short list of interviews, or they barely “make the cut” after you complete the interview process. Keep looking if you’re not convinced.