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

2 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

 
 
 

23 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
2

4 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce of 20,000 by 30 per cent ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

4 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH1 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

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

With Modi momentum, US seeks enhanced energy collaboration
Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) With Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi "providing a new momentum", the US has suggested four areas where India and the US can enhance collaboration in energy and sustainable development.
 
 
IMF calls for more oversight of shadow banks
Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Wednesday urged countries to include oversight of shadow banking as part of their policies designed to keep the overall financial system safe.
 
 
US, Brazil strike new deal to end cotton trade dispute
Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) The US and Brazil reached an agreement Wednesday to end a decade-long cotton dispute between the two countries.
 
 
US sends 700 soldiers to Liberia to fight Ebola
Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has authorised the deployment of 700 soldiers to Liberia to help with the fight against the Ebola epidemic there, the Defence Department said in a statement Wednesday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Obama 'deeply concerned' over Israel's settlement expansion plan
Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) President Barack Obama Wednesday voiced "deep concern" in his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the country's plan to build some 2,610 new homes for Israeli settlers...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey in 'Boss Baby'?
Los Angeles, Oct 2 (IANS) Actors Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey have reportedly been signed up for an animation movie titled "Boss Baby". The two will lend their voices to the latest DreamWorks animation, which will be...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
US, Brazil strike new deal to end cotton trade dispute
Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) The US and Brazil reached an agreement Wednesday to end a decade-long cotton dispute between the two countries. Brazil sued the US in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on cotton subsidies in...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Robert Downey Jr.'s wife gave him an ultimatum
Robert Downey Jr.'s wife refused to marry him until he got sober. The 49-year-old star first proposed to Susan Downey three months after they started dating after meeting on the set of 'Gothika' in 2003, but the 40-year...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jordin Sparks giving BMW back to Jason Derulo
Jordin Sparks plans to return her BMW to Jason Derulo. The 'No Air' singer, who split from the 'Talk Dirty' hitmaker last month, has decided to give him back the luxurious vehicle that he bought for her last Christmas....
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Real Madrid stays perfect thanks to late goal from Benzema
Madrid, Oct 2 (IANS/EFE) Second-half substitute Karim Benzema scored to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Ludogorets Wednesday, leaving the Blancos at the head of Champions League Group B with six points after two...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Secret service director resigns over White House security lapse
Washington, Oct 2 (IANS) The US secret service director Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday over a recent White House security breach. According to a statement released Wednesday afternoon by the US Department of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
31 killed in attack near school in Syria
Beirut, Oct 2 (IANS/EFE) Several children were among the 31 people killed in a pair of bombings near a school in the central Syrian city of Homs, a Syrian official said. Seventy-four others were injured in the blasts...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
'Rush Hour' to hit small screen as TV series
Los Angeles, Oct 2 (IANS) Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan's blockbuster film franchise "Rush Hour" is heading to the small screen. Warner Bros. Television team has recruited "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence and "Mad Men"...
Read more on Celebrity Balla