In sales, no question is perfect. That holds really true for an interview. But there are some questions that will test the candidate's dedication to the business, and help you figure out whether they're the right candidate for the sales position.
You need to collect enough data by the questions you ask to make your judgement on whether your chosen candidate will perform in the field. Even more important, is it worth investing in and training the employee?
Practical tests will generally give you a better insight into what the candidate is really like when crunch time comes around, but these aren't always possible during the interview. So naturally, your best bet is asking the right kind of questions. Here are four of them.
1 - The basic "Why Sales?" sales pitch. The most basic thing that most interviewers start asking the candidate, is why they chose to opt for sales as their career path. Many other questions stem from this such as, 'what appeals to them about sales,' 'How they got into it' and 'what keeps them going day in and day out.'
These questions revolve around the motivations of the candidate. This allows you to come up with different support mechanisms for the candidate once you do decide to hire them. It can also tell you whether they're in it for the long haul or not.
2 -"When did you take a big risk that didn't turn out the way you thought it would?"This will show how secure and comfortable they feel with themselves, even when things don't go the way they planned. A good sales person will have their self-confidence peaking and not many of the candidates out there will be well equipped to answer this.
A concrete answer to this question will show that the candidate really is a force to be reckoned with and isn't afraid to take on a little risk. If they aren't able to answer this, don't take it as a very good sign. Also ask them why they think it didn't go the way they had initially planned.
3 - "How well do you know about our customers"This is one question you cannot afford to skip out on during the interview. It shows if the candidate has done adequate research about your customers and whether they understand your customers well. Then ask them a situational question regarding how they will deal with a customer of yours.
This will show their competence when it comes to communication and whether they can relate to and influence them to a certain degree.
4 - "Have you ever lost a deal? Give a recent example."If they say that they haven't, that's a blatant lie. No one's that good. This also means that they're not testing their limits. You want to know how often they've lost deals and why that happened. You want to learn whether the candidate can analyse themselves well and overcome their weaknesses.
This self-analysis will show that the candidate is mature enough to know what happened and also knows what has to happen to close a deal.
What do you ask your candidates during interviews?
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