Sales can be a career of dreams for some, and a career of nightmares and cold sweats for others. We were witness recently to a sales interview in a hotel lobby so harsh we invited the candidate for coffee afterwards as they were so shaken up! Yes, it can be a truly harsh environment to both work in and interview for. So how do you conduct a sales interview that is professional, assertive and direct enough to ensure you land the right candidates?
Our sales recruitment service means we have access to talent that thrives off pressure and in this environment. Our teams start by understanding your business, its objectives and the details of your ideal hire. And this is a great place to start when framing your interview questions too…
Hints from Hubspot
Hubspot are a leading software company, and their sales process is incredibly slick. They released 25 sales questions they’d recommend which are cleverly designed to ascertain a sales candidate’s potential fit to your company culture. And we’ve taken some of our favourites below:
1. How do you keep up to date in your target market? This is particularly useful as sales teams may move industries. Knowledge is valuable when selling in order to answer those difficult questions that invariably arise and for those who may be trying a sales role in a new industry, their ability to absorb knowledge and learn will be important.
2. Explain something to me. We liked this question/statement because it ascertains a candidate’s ability to explain complex points which may arise in sales. Additionally, it can assess how helpful a candidate’s demeanor is, and helpfulness is becoming increasingly important in the modern world of sales.
3. How would you approach a short sales cycle differently to a long sales cycle? Again, this is extremely useful. Different sales cycles require different approaches, and it’s important candidates can disinguish between the two.
4. What motivates you? This is a great question for finding out if someone is a fit for your company culture. Different things can drive us, and if your sales candidate’s drivers match up to your company’s, you could have a successful hire on your hands!
5. What are three adjectives a former client would use to describe you? Hubspot states that helpfulness as a quality is becoming more important in sales, so looking for this as a self-given quality might be a marker for a successful hire.
6. In your last position, how much time did you spend cultivating customer relationships vs. hunting for new clients, and why? Again this helps to ascertain a culture fit for your candidate. And while both skills are important to achieving success in their respective environments, it’s possible one might be more applicable to the particular position you’re interviewing for.
All of Hubspot’s questions were insightful and cleverly designed to see best fit when interviewing a sales candidate, you can read more questions here – or list a vacancy if you’re looking to hire sales talent from a provider with huge resource in this area… us!
"What motivates you? This is a great question for finding out if someone is a fit for your company culture."