The Center for Coaching Certification gathered insights from a dozen people on the things to look for when hiring a coach. While I'm honored to be quoted in the article, there are a lot of great ideas from other people.
From asking for recommendations to identifying what you hope to gain, the tips revolve around the value of doing your homework. There is a RIGHT fit out there - you just have to find it.
One word of caution as it relates to recommendations: what works for one person might not work for you.
There are thousands of coaches for a reason. Different coaches resonate with different people. That doesn't make anyone right or wrong. It's about synergy.
You'll get the results you are seeking when you connect with the coach who really gets you. Several months ago I spent some time interviewing coaches. (Yes, even coaches need coaching!)
I had a phone meeting with one person and instantly felt a disconnect. I should have listened to my gut and ended the conversation. However, all I could capture at the time was a feeling of discomfort. A couple of days later I had a discovery call with another coach. Right away I felt a connection; a resonance. I liked her communication style. Speaking with this woman helped me clarify the issues I was having with the other coach. Needless to say, I was able to confidently decide who I should be working with.
Give yourself the same grace. Interview as many coaches as it takes. Pay attention to how you feel during that interview/conversation. Know that it is okay to say 'no thank you.' You don't owe them anything. And they will find their people.
If you'd like more tips, pop over to the article and have a read. You'll find it useful when you go on your search.