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Interim finance professionals – the traits and skills needed to succeed

Interim finance professional

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The life of an interim finance professional is not for everyone. Many people prefer the comfort and long-term security of traditional employment, but others thrive in the fast-moving world of interim work. There are some key skills and traits you need to hone as you embark on your interim career.

Resilience and adaptability

Moving to interim employment can be a daunting prospect. As an interim professional, you must have resilience and adaptability to succeed. Whether you’ve worked as an interim professional in the finance sector for a week or a year, you’re going to encounter issues and problems regularly. You need to be able to provide a fresh perspective and have excellent problem-solving skills. Every company has its own culture, structures, and people. You’ll need to have the ability to perform at your best right from the start.

Strong networking skills

Networking is everything, as it can be key to helping you find future work. As an interim professional, taking the time to network and build relationships pays off. It’s simple: people remember great colleagues. You need to be a master in communication and be able to form genuine relationships, not just a business card dispenser. So, think about how you made friends outside of work. It should be the same process. Find common ground, crack a few jokes and show you care. Clients often use an evidence-based approach when recruiting interims and a great reference can help secure your next role. 


It is essential that interim professionals are goal-orientated. The whole point of hiring an interim professional is to deliver results. Being goal-orientated requires discipline and focus in order to maintain. In such a demanding role, you should be able to utilize a task-orientated leadership style, and the ability to balance smaller tasks with big ones. Most importantly, you need to avoid becoming wrapped in situations that will divert you from the objective you have been contracted to achieve.

Strategic thinking

To be a great interim finance professional, you need to be an excellent strategic thinker. You must be able to access situations quickly and map out a plan of action. Interim professionals are brought in for short-term projects to ensure the long-term success of a company. This means an interim has a limited amount of time to consider the best approach. Strategic thinking will have to be applied quickly to a range of situations. Interim work is full of constant changes, so you need to apply strategic thinking at every opportunity to ensure a positive outcome.

Interim work is not for the faint-hearted. You’ll need to be agile, focused on the goal and ready to face all kinds of challenges. There’s no doubt being an interim professional can be incredibly rewarding, but it takes a certain character to find success. It’s all about having the right mindset, knowing how to manage others and applying your skills in an efficient manner. For those who have what it takes, it can be an excellent career.

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