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What constitutes a good sales interview


What constitutes a good sales interview

Interviews can be daunting prospects as there is so much to get right, with such a wealth of information to get across to the person on the other side of the table … and that’s not from the point of view of the candidate.

No, interviews are a bit of a minefield for recruiters too. How do managers know what the right questions to ask are and how to ensure they will end up with the best talent?

Bespoke interview questions

As someone who is looking to recruit sales candidates, just like you don’t want to be fed canned answers that you will have undoubtedly heard time and time again (“What is your biggest weakness?” “I’m a perfectionist and I work too hard”), you don’t want to be asking the same bog-standard and generic questions.

Not only would it exponentially increase your chance of being fed back formulated answers, but you will not end up with the information you need about the sales candidate – that is, whether or not they are the right person for that specific sales job.

If you’re looking for help coming up with the right questions for your company’s recruitment drive, using a sales recruitment agency like Aaron Wallis could be a good idea, improving the efficiency of your interview process.

Usually, a specialist agency will be able to combine such questions with psychometric profiling and other rigorous testing to help your company get its hands on the right people.

Numerous stages

An important part of a recruitment drive is to ensure the process is all-encompassing and thorough. If not, you could miss out on vital pieces of information about candidates which could see you let a good applicant slip through the net or – worse – hire the wrong individual.

Having two or more stages to the process can help to stop this from happening. The first stage might be a more informal interview to help you wheedle out inappropriate candidates and establish their basic competences, while the next stage could be slightly more formal where you ask applicants to prepare a presentation, carry out a mock pitch or likewise to really delve beneath the surface.

Remember that you have to make the best candidates want to work for you – else they will go to your competitors! Make sure that across the stages, you are giving applicants all the information they need about the role and the culture of your company, so they know your mission and your vision as a company and what they can expect if they worked there.

Preparation for an interview

You need to be just as prepared as the candidates. To do so, ensure that you have:

  • Drawn up a list of the necessary competencies, qualities and skills/experience for the role – that way you can use it as a quasi checklist, putting together evidence for each candidate illustrating that they have what it takes across the board
  • Refreshed each applicant in your mind by running back through their CV – dropping pieces of information into the interview to this effect also shows them that you have bothered to digest their CV and are serious about them as an individual, making them more likely to want to work for you
  • Set an agenda to outline to the candidate – that way, both parties know exactly what they hope to get from the session
  • A means to take notes – it’s amazing how easy it will be to forget who said what at the end of a long day of recruiting!

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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