It is often most beneficial to interview your top candidates in person, to ensure that there is good personal chemistry between the consultant and your organization's representatives.

Create an interview process that includes:

  • Who will be involved in the interviews
  • Who will initiate the interview and outline the situation
  • A list of interview questions, and who will ask them
  • A process for evaluating the candidates

Sample Interview Questions

Create a simple interview outline so that you ask the same questions of each candidate. This is a comprehensive list, so select the questions you think are most relevant for you.

  • What do you consider your primary areas of expertise? How and where did you develop this expertise? What expertise or strengths do you have that are particularly relevant to this project?
  • How long have you been in business? Do you work by yourself or with other consultants?
  • What experience do you have working with nonprofits?
  • How would you describe the way you go about a job? Can you describe the key elements of your work style and consulting approach?
  • What other projects have you worked on that are similar to this? How are they similar, different?
  • Can you give references, including the type of projects and outcomes you provided?
  • If more than one consultant will be working on this project, can you clarify each consultant’s role and duties during the project?
  • What are the tasks and responsibilities you will need our staff/board/volunteers to perform, and what will you need from us to ensure success?
  • What work products/reports and deliverables will we receive from you?
  • Can you provide samples of your work? (For example, if the project is marketing or PR, a sample of a brochure.)
  • What type of reports will we receive from you?
  • What are your expectations of our board/staff's involvement in this process? What can we expect from you? What do you require of us?
  • What does a typical session with you look like, in terms of time and work? How many sessions, typically? What follow-up is there once we have completed the process?
  • Why do you think you're the best suited for this project? Why should we hire you?
  • What is your fee structure? Is it hourly or a lump sum? What is included? For example, travel, photocopying. Is there anything that is not included in these costs? (If not included in proposal)
  • Will there be a rate breakdown by task and an allocation of the number of hours per task? How do you relate costs to work completed? (if not included in proposal)
  • Can you explain your payment schedule? Are payments tied to delivery and acceptance of work products?
  • What is your project workload at present? When are you available to begin the project? How long will it take to complete our project?
  • What haven’t we discussed that you would like us to know before we make our decision?
  • Do you have any questions for us?