The ABCs of Getting the Most from Your Expert Interview / Consultation

5 ways to conduct a successful initial Expert consultation.

Have you excitedly begun the initial consultation with an Expert, only to find the flow of the call is disjointed and information is lost in the debris? Here are five ways to avoid the pitfalls of a runaway interview and get the most out of your Expert consultation!

Advanced Preparedness is Interview Insurance

  • Before the interview takes place, make sure you have the list of questions you sent to the Expert to serve as your agenda for the consultation.
  • This list of questions can serve as your ‘true north’ to keep the interview on track and actively avoid veering off topic.
  • Of course, follow-up questions can certainly be included.
  • Make a list of what your goals are associated with the consultation. What knowledge do you hope to gain from the call? Are your expectations realistic?

Brief Pleasantries

  • Though introductions are essential, make sure to keep them brief and memorable to create the foundation / pace for the rest of the conversation.
  • Try to stick to an exchange of names, initial pleasantries, confirmation of workspace, and a relatable statement.
  • Example: “Hi, Sarah! This is Raye with [Insert Place of Work]. How are you? Fantastic! Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. How’s this Monday treating [Insert Expert’s Place of Work]? Glad to hear it! I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t built for this heat. [Segway Into Interview].”

Conduct the Interview at Your Pace

  • Remember: YOU are the captain of the ship. The pace, flow, and direction of the interview is entirely up to you.
  • Set a clear expectation of time at the beginning of the consultation (30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc).
  • Should the Expert begin to veer off topic and / or become long-winded, politely interrupt them, relate to what they just mentioned, acknowledge their insight, and segway into the next question.
  • Example: “That’s a fascinating statement! I can absolutely relate to that, as [Insert Place of Work] does [Relatable Action]. That actually beautifully segways into my next question.”
  • DO NOT BE AFRAID TO INTERRUPT. This is your time.

Direct Questions Over Vague Queries

  • The more direct / detailed the questions, the higher the likelihood of receiving an on-point, concise answer.
  • Base your number of questions on two factors:
  • The projected length of the consultation.
  • How in-depth you would like the response(s) to be

End with a Summary of the Consultation

  • Once you have the information you require, acknowledge your conversation is coming to an end, thank them for their time, summarize the interview, and close out the consultation.
  • You can also introduce the possibility of another conversation if you so choose.
  • Example: “It looks like we’re running out of time. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today! Your insight into [Topic] was extraordinarily helpful. From what I’ve gleaned, [Summary]. Thank you again and have a lovely day!”

When you put the above suggestions into practice, your Expert interview / consultation has a much higher likelihood of mutual success!

If the Expert couldn't answer every question as specifically as you'd anticipated, please don’t fret!

We highly encourage you to connect with other Suggested Matches and host sourcing calls with them, as well. This ‘stable’ of Experts can provide you with a well-rounded knowledge network to propel your proposal forward.

Once you have conducted your interview, we invite you to give direct feedback to OnFrontiers about what was beneficial / not beneficial about your consultation / Expert.