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5 key questions to ask in a sales interview

22 July 2020

By Ursula Colman

5 key questions to ask in a sales interview

Getting it right

So, you’re looking to expand your sales team – but what interview questions should you ask to ensure you attract top sales talent?

Not only do sales reps need to be driven and adept at building customer relationships – they need to be reputable too. After all, they’ll be fronting your company.

That’s why as a hiring manager it’s vital that you nail that interview process. 

Separate the great from the good

What you should ask: What actions have you taken to improve your sales performance? How have you gone above and beyond to strengthen your position?

Why you should ask it :Sales hiring is less about work experience and more about how far a candidate is willing to improve and grow.

“Someone likely to be a top-performing sales leader has a growth mindset,” says David Hoffield, CEO and Chief Sales Trainer of Hoffield Group.

“They believe sales abilities are like a muscle you can continually strengthen, and not a fixed mindset where you are either born or not born as a salesperson”.

So, remember – it’s about action, not just intention.

Unearth relevant skills

What you should ask: What is your current sales process?

Why you should ask it: You shouldn’t attempt to predict if a candidate will fit your sales process. Instead, you should examine whether their methods offer a similar route to market.

Ask them to walk you through their approach from start to finish. How do they tackle sales calls? What weapons do they have in their arsenal to ensure they close a deal?

It doesn’t matter if they currently work in a different sector, or with a different product or service entirely – their response is still relevant.

Using this approach, you’ll more easily establish if a candidate’s experience provides the best fit for the job and company culture.

Find that spark

What you should ask: What is your least favourite part of the sales process?

Why you should ask it: Motivation and drive are the most vital attributes of any successful sales manager.

It’s simple really – people who love what they do are more likely to do it well.

If there’s a substantial element of what they don’t like doing in the position on offer, they’re probably not the right candidate.

You should delve deeper by asking them more about what they do to make that aspect of their job more enjoyable.

Make sure they measure up

What you should ask: What are you achieving against your sales targets?

Why you should ask it: Sales is a numbers game after all, and the figures will speak for themselves.

It's simple really - people who love what they do are more likely to do it well.

If there’s a substantial element of what they don’t like doing in the position on offer, they’re probably not the right candidate.

You should delve deeper by asking them more about what they do to make that aspect of their job more enjoyable.

Let us help you hire your next sales all-star

Contact Ursula Colman our Talent Acquistion Director on ursula@zetterrecruitment.co.uk

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