When interviewing candidates for a sales position, it is important to be prepared. That includes knowing what are good questions to ask in a sales interview.
Here are some tips and questions that will help you better pre-screen your candidates so you can hire your next quotabuster faster.
What Questions Should a Sales Manager Ask In An Interview
Prepare Your Questions Ahead of Time
As every candidate is different, you can’t just let the direction of the meeting go wherever the conversation takes you. If you do, it will be like comparing apples to oranges when trying to decide whom to hire.
Besides, having a chat about the local sports team will not guarantee you make the right hire.
In order to properly compare and evaluate the candidates in an interview, you need to ask the same questions of each and every one. And those questions must be scripted a head of time.
I go into great detail on how to do this in my book, Action Plan for Sales Management Success. I also include the actual questions I ask in every sales interview I conduct.
How to Recruit the Best Sales Professionals (Includes 11 Telephone Interview Questions to Find Top Performers)
The One Question You Should Always Ask
One of my best interviewing tips for sales recruiters is to ask one this very specific question.
- What are the measurements of successful performance in your current position and how well did you meet them?
In fact, I recommend you ask this same question about all the previous sales positions listed on the candidate’s resume. After all, everyone can tell you they are a sales superstar. However this question really helps you cut though the fluff. It will help you determine if the candidate actually has a successful sales track record or whether they were just blowing smoke.
How Many Sales Interviews Should You Do?
I am often asked how times should you interview candidates. Although there is no hard and fast rule, I recommend you interview candidates at least twice. The reason is you want to ensure that the answers to yoru questions are consistent from one interview to the next.
You can even have different people conduct each interview. My business partner, Bob and I do this regularly and it works extremely well. We each have our own list of questions, and we each interview the candidates separately. We also don’t compare our notes on each candidate until after both interviews. That way we can not influence each other’s opinion and we both go into the interview with an open mind.
Need More Good Questions to Ask in a Sales Interview?
Need more ideas of good interview questions to ask in a sales interview? Download a free copy of our white paper How To Recruit The Best Sales Professionals from the B2B Sales Connections Free Download Centre. It also includes '11 Telephone Interview Questions to Find Top Performers'.
Remember as my business partner, Robert J. Weese once said, “A resume is an expression of a person’s career that embellishes their abilities and omits their fault and failures.” So dig deeper!
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”
Do your new hires take too long to start producing sales? Do you have members on your sales team who just aren’t living up to their sales potential? Then check our out sales management webinar training video, Your 90 Day Sales Rep Success Plan – How to create an On Boarding Process that puts your sales reps on the right road to success!