Interviewing a training consultant may be rather intimidating when trying to determine if the candidate has the right skill set you are looking for. Knowing whether or not they are the right fit for your group is sometimes hard to assess in one conversation, especially if you are interviewing from a virtual location.
Before you begin the pursuit for the perfect candidate, spend time thinking about the specific job you are interviewing for. What type of consultant are you looking for: contract training consultant, management consultant or an instructional designer? Think of the previous consultants who have held these positions and what skills, knowledge and personal qualities made them successful or unsuccessful. Ask your team what factors they think will contribute to a good candidate for the consultant position. Make a list of these factors and use it as a guide.
In preparing for the interview, what types of questions do you plan on asking? How do you get the accurate information and answers you are looking for?
There are particular competencies in a training consultant that are unique, such as the ability to operate as both an entrepreneur and team player simultaneously. The key to an effective training consultant interview is to understand which competencies you desire from your consultant and then to choose your questions carefully to ensure the presence of these competencies.
The following chart outlines the various types of questions you can use throughout a training consultant interview:
Finding the best combination of interview questions can be tricky at first, but mastery comes with time and repetition. Keep in mind that because behavioral questions are so commonly used for interviews, the answers may often be rehearsed, and undesirable experiences omitted. Using probing or hypothetical questions may enlighten you on the training consultant's ability to be thrown off course and may reveal more information. In addition, using too many probing questions can appear interrogating to the training consultant so choose your moments wisely.
Additionally, take the time to analyze the training consultant's emotional reactions to your questions and other interview events, as non-verbal body language reflects upon the candor of the training consultant as equally as their verbal responses. To learn more on how to read body language, read our “Training Consultant: Active Listening Skills – Part 2” blog.
Whether you're looking for a consultant to work their magic or lend an extra hand to your group, take the time to prepare yourself in advance. Understand that interviewing is both an art and a science, and practice makes perfect.