Finding work as an Interim Manager

What types of roles are available?

Pretty much any role which you could carry out as a full time employee could be handed by an Interim Manager. However, Interim Managers are generally hired for middle to senior management type roles, right up to Managing Director and CEO level in any industry sector.

What experience do I need?

Demonstrate a background of progressive achievement and clear success, especially with budgetary and personnel responsibility (clients love to hire successful people, so make sure your CV is covered in successful achievements).

  • Be recognised as credible and a high performer when measured against your peers -
    show a track record of real and quantifiable achievements.
  • Possess well-developed people management and communication skills.
  • Be capable of contributing a wealth of knowledge and added value from Day One.

A common phrase which is often used in relation to Interim Managers is that they should be ‘suitably over-qualified’, and this is often a good description!

What personal strengths must I have?

It’s not just about experience, it’s also about having a certain working style and personality type. For example, as an Interim Manager you must:

  • Be happy with change or ambiguity, and be comfortable when moving from one organisational culture to another.
  • Focus on your main functional discipline and be clear on what you have to offer to clients by way of your past experience, successes and track record.
  • Have strong interpersonal skills, whether operating independently or as a team member, depending on the requirement.
  • Quickly establish a rapport, building trust, and ‘selling yourself’ confidently.
  • Hit the ground running in any situation.
  • Get results fast, whilst adopting a diplomatic approach.
  • Be perceptive, with the skills to quickly assess what’s going on in a totally new environment.
  • Have the ability to analyse, develop solutions, influence and then deliver on time and within budget.
  • Provide an independent perspective to the management team.

And lastly, you must also possess sufficient energy, drive and tenacity to secure a new assignment on average every six to nine months!

Creating an Interim Manager CV

Aim for no more than three pages unless you’re adding Case Studies.

  • Outline the results you have achieved, giving greater focus and explanation to your achievements in the last three to four years, as Interim Managers are hired for their current knowledge.
  • In particular, highlight any projects which have included Interim Management, project management or change management.
  • Include as many relevant key words as possible, particularly focused on your specialist area and be sure to note any fluency in languages.
  • Make it easy for the reader by being clear on what you have to offer, note dates of employment in chronological order and be prepared to add notes that will help illustrate your experience when pursuing a particular assignment.
  • Create the document in a Word file, use an easy-to-read typeface and don’t use photographs.

You may also find the following pages helpful:

Administrative and practical issues

Ask any accountant and they will tell you the most tax efficient way to work as an Interim Manager, contractor or freelancer is to work through your own limited company. According to a 2010 survey by the Institute of Interim Management, 89% of professional Interims utilise a limited company model for their businesses. Forming a company isn't difficult and only takes about five minutes. You'll need to have professional indemnity insurance and on a more personal level you will also need to:

  • Be organised and efficient in all aspects of your company administration.
  • Provide a cost-effective alternative to a permanent, highly-paid executive.
  • Offer flexibility on location and be able to commit to a weekly commute if necessary for the duration of the assignment.
  • Be financially secure and able to cope with non-billing periods.
  • Be available at short notice.

Where can I get more advice? 

It’s well worth talking to the Institute of Interim Management.The IIM is the professional body for Interim Managers. It is a not-for-profit Institute run by professional Interim Managers and Executives. The IIM publishes an annual survey of Interim Management recruiters (known by Interim Managers as ‘Service Providers’). One such IMA member is Archer Mathieson who come highly recommended by a number of our clients. You may also like to visit the IIM’s LinkedIn group: Interim Management – IIM which is a leading authority on the subject of Interim Management.

Accountancy services for Interim Managers from SJD Accountancy

If you are already an Interim Manager operating through your own limited company, or if you are thinking of setting up as an Interim Manager or even working through an umbrella company and want to go limited, then SJD Accountancy can give you a wealth of information and advice - as well as providing a low cost fixed-fee accountancy service which has been developed specifically for Interim Managers, freelancers and contractors. 

If you have any question about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or e-mail