9 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Business (or any) Coach
So you've decided to hire a coach to help you level-up your business or career. Congrats! Taking that first step into self-investment can be tough, and finding the perfect person to help you grow may seem daunting. You wouldn't invest your time and money dating someone or attending therapy with someone who wasn't a good fit, so why would you settle for a business coach that wasn't well-suited to your needs?
To help, I've assembled nine questions you can ask while interviewing a Business Coach. These are questions I've asked my own coaches and mentors, questions my clients have asked me, and topics I review with potential clients even when they don't outright ask them of me (which I really wish all of them would).
1) What is an example of the biggest challenges you have helped clients face?
Can the coach you're interviewing stand up to the challenges in your business? You want to know about times that your coach has helped others through their own challenges, and glean if their skills are suitable to your needs.
2) What tools are in your toolbox?
Are you business goals marketing-related? Make sure your coach-to-be has a dynamite marketing toolbox. Investing in coaching is usually most effective when you're reached the limits of what you can do yourself. Just make sure that the skillset you're paying for aligns with your goals, needs, and expectations
3) What resources do you use to help clients achieve their goals?
Do they give you weekly homework assignments? Does being a client give you access to their following and platform? How do you benefit from your investment beyond your time in coaching sessions? If you don't, that's okay too, just make sure you understand these parameters before engaging.
4) What kind of training/continuing education do you pursue?
Personally, I want clients to know that as a coach, I'm always evolving, growing, and learning. I think that should be a pretty standard pre-requisite for all coaches, but unfortunately, that's not always the case. Asking this question will give you insight into what your coach's style is and how they might react if/when they come across a challenge in your business that they've never seen before.
5) Have you helped clients do XYZ, how?
Make sure you know what your own goals are before your interview, so that you can get concrete feedback on how your prospective coach has addressed that in other client relationships. While personal connection and chemistry is instrumental to any client-coach relationship, if you're looking for tactical feedback, make sure they've been known to do that before.
6) Who is your ideal coaching client?
I write in depth about my answer to this question, here. But, coaches have different opinions on what makes for a successful client-coach relationship and what they expect to see from their clients. Likely a coach's methods have been developed around their most successful client relationships, so make sure that you're aligned with their vision so that their methods work for you.
7) How do you define success?
Some coaches believe their job is to be a sounding board for their clients, some get into the nitty gritty details of each and every product. If your coach thinks that success means understanding all aspects of a particular business/career problem, but you believe that success means fixing said problem, you'll be at an unhappy impasse.
8) How will I (the client) be managed?
Will you have homework? Will you be meeting in person or via video calls? Will your coach be the accountability tyrant you're looking for or a hands-off whisper in your ear? Just like interviewing for any job, you want to make sure that management styles are aligned-- even when you're paying someone for their services.
It's 100% appropriate to ask for references from current or previous clients. Testimonials are nice, but there's nothing like speaking to someone who has already developed a working relationship with your prospective coach.
What skills and styles do you look for in a business and/or career coach? Comment below.