360° Coverage : Great Interviewing Tips to Make a Killer Sales Hire

10 Updates
Great Interviewing Tips to Make a Killer Sales Hire
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Great Interviewing Tips to Make a Killer Sales Hire

Apr 17 2014, 6:47am CDT | by

Running a recruitment company, I’m often asked by business development professionals as to my thoughts on interviewing for a sales, sales management, or account management job. Frequently, I get...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

15 weeks ago

Great Interviewing Tips to Make a Killer Sales Hire

Apr 17 2014, 6:47am CDT | by

Running a recruitment company, I’m often asked by business development professionals as to my thoughts on interviewing for a sales, sales management, or account management job.

Frequently, I get variations on three of the same inquiries, the answers to which collectively provide crucial insight into how to approach interviewing from a fresh and original perspective.

Sales Interview Tips

Question 1: ”How many questions should I ask, which ones should I ask and when do I ask them?” Essentially, employers want to make sure they are asking the right questions.

Answer: In sales, moreso than in any other profession, it’s not about what you ask during an interview, rather it’s about how you come across when you ask it.

When I’m interviewing potential applicants, sometimes they ask intelligent questions, but their body language and tone of voice tell me that they are skeptical, unfocused, disinterested or simply not engaged. In other instances, their questions are so unoriginal that it almost seems like they cut and pasted them from an internet article.

It sounds harsh, but the result is that I don’t pass them on to my clients and they don’t get to interview. Companies pay my recruiting firm a lot of money, partly to weed job seekers who do not come across as genuine in their interest and appropriately confident in their capability for the position at hand.

Asking questions you’ve put at least some thought into, in a manner that is engaged and open-minded, will steer you clear of speed bumps 9 times out of 10.

A strong interviewer asks questions throughout the interview, as they become pertinent to the conversation. This shows that they are diligent listeners, understand complex situations and are engaged in the job we’re hired to recruit for.

They make it pleasurable to speak with them. It sounds like a common sense interview tip, but don’t bore me by asking questions simply because it’s customary to ask questions. Top talent bases their questions on extensive research that they’ve done about the company and the industry.

Question 2: Candidate ask me, “Who’s interviewing me? Why should I work for them?” Essentially candidates want to know what company they would be getting into, and employers want me, as a recruiting firm, to represent their employer brand effectively.

Answer: Here are two specific questions I ask the employer’s hiring team, and how I judge the validity of their answers:

1. “If I were to meet one of your friends or colleagues at an event and they didn’t know you were interviewing at my company, what do you think they would say about you?”

Let’s put it this way, if their answer is, “Bob would say I’m a great guy, a great employee and I’m great at what I do,” it’s a red flag. In the real world, people simply don’t speak that way. Instead, I look for thoughtful answers such as, “It depends who you ask. If it were my former boss whom I made a lot of money for it would be positive. If you asked a client I’d sure hope that they would describe me as hard working and as someone with integrity.”

2. “Describe a time that you failed?”

I like to hear heartfelt stories that are honest. Rarely, do I judge an interviewer based on their mistake. Everyone fails in business at some point. Not everyone is secure enough to admit it. I particularly like the people who had the wind knocked out of them, proved they were resilient, got back on their game, and are ready to hire.

Question 3: “What should I look for in a candidate’s elevator pitch?”/>/>

Answer: I look for people who don’t oversell themselves, but don’t undersell their abilities. Something they say has to be original and interesting enough for me to want to speak to them further. In general, gravitate toward the genuine and the positive.

My three sales interview tips are how to ask questions “right,” how to decode what the hiring company’s really looking for, and how to make the most of the time you have in the interview. As with much of life, there are no hard and fast rules that will get you through each interview with flying colors.

The most effective sales people can see things from other people’s viewpoints. Personally, I look for passionate, hard working, reliable and autonomous individuals. Essentially, employers want someone who can execute so the team can focus on their respective jobs. In closing, I recommend that hiring managers ask candidates a version of, “What do you think I want in an employee?” The closer the candidate is, the more I respect their talent.

13 Tips For An Unbeatable Interview

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told today. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robb ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Raky ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk S ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern st ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million i ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Mini ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involvi ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan B ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Now SEPA to facilitate euro payments
Brussels, Aug 1 (IANS) The European Commission said Thursday that the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) would become fully operational in all euro zone countries from Aug 1, 2014 onwards.
 
 
Ebola outbreak: $100 mn response plan in West Africa
Geneva, Aug 1 (IANS) The director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and presidents of West African countries hit by the Ebola virus outbreak will Friday meet in Guinea to launch a new $100 million response plan.
 
 
OPEC daily basket price closes lower
Vienna, July 31 (IANS) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stood at $105.21 a barrel Wednesday, against $105.44 Tuesday, according to the OPEC Secretariat.
 
 
Ebola outbreak not a global threat: Report
London, July 31 (IANS) The deadly Ebola virus does not pose a global threat, a latest report has claimed, adding that as long as the virus continues to infect people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, there is small risk of more long-distance export of the disease.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Kelsey Grammer wants more kids
Los Angeles, Aug 1 (IANS) Actor Kelsey Grammer, who recently became father for the sixth time and is also a grandfather, is keen to expand his family even at the age of 69. His young wife Kayte gave birth to the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Eddie Cibrian has no 'ulterior motives'
Eddie Cibrian believes his new reality TV show will prove he is devoted to LeAnn Rimes. The 41-year-old actor, who tied the knot with the country singer in 2011 after their affair led to the breakdown of their first...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Chad Kroeger buys 17-carat ring for Avril Lavigne
Chad Kroeger bought Avril Lavigne a lavish 17-carat diamond ring for their first wedding anniversary. The 'Here's to Never Growing Up' hitmaker, who married the Nickelback frontman, 39, at Château de La Napoule in the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Hilary Duff's separation has been 'very difficult'
Hilary Duff admits her split from husband Mike Comrie has been ''very difficult.'' The 'Chasing the Sun' hitmaker, who announced her separation from the former ice hockey player in January after three years of marriage...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
China accuses US over military reconnaissance
Beijing, Aug 1 (IANS) China Thursday accused the US of regular reconnaissance by naval ships and aircraft in Chinese waters and airspace. "Vessels and aircraft of the US military have for a long time carried out...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
UAE provides $544 mn for needy West Bank families
Dubai, Aug 1 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has provided two million Dirham (544 million dollars) in aid to more than 4,400 needy families in the West Bank during holy month of Ramadan. The aid was provided...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Iggy Azalea to make film debut in 'Fast and Furious 7'
Los Angeles, Aug 1 (IANS) Singer-model Iggy Azalea is all set to make her acting debut. She will be seen in a cameo in the forthcoming movie "Fast and Furious 7", actor Vin Diesel has revealed. The 47 year-old actor...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kelly Osbourne sued by former landlord
Los Angeles, Aug 1 (IANS) Kelly Osbourne's former landlord has sued her by claimed that the singer caused damages worth $70,000 to his property after she let her dogs defecate all over the apartment. The "Fashion...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Lana Del Rey says ex-boyfriend is 'unwell'
Lana Del Rey claims her ex-boyfriend Barrie-James O'Neill is ''unwell.'' The 'Summertime Sadness' hitmaker, who split from the Scottish musician in June after three years together, admits they were not a good match, as...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ryan Seacrest's pals concerned about his gilfriend
Ryan Seacrest's friends are allegedly worried his girlfriend might be a ''gold digger.'' The 'American Idol' host, 39, started dating 24-year-old fitness trainer Shayna Taylor last summer, but his close pals reportedly...
Read more on Celebrity Balla