We all know it: making a bad hire can be detrimental. If you want to avoid the serious pain that is poor performance and then having to hire all over again, then a good interview is crucial to ensure you hire the best people for your business.
Of course, the internet is full of generic interview questions that don’t get to the bottom of a candidate’s true experience. If you want to know what really makes someone tick, you have to ask targeted, industry-specific questions that will get right to the heart of who that person is and what they can bring to the position. This series will lay out the top interview questions to ask if you want to zero in on the very best candidates in the pool – whatever role you’re hiring for.
This time, we’re covering the top 10 questions to ask when hiring sales professionals so that you find top-performing sales and account people for your team.
Context Interview Questions
- What type of product or service were you selling, how was the sale structured (was it a one-off sale or reoccurring revenue) and what was your average deal size? (We know this is three questions, but we were running out of room!)*
- Did you develop a business/portfolio from scratch or take over an existing client base?
- How much revenue did you generate in each of the last three years (if midway through a year, also find out what they are on track for in the current year), and how does this compare to the top five salespeople in the team?*
- Outside of revenue, did you have any other key performance indicators (KPIs), and if so, how often did you achieve these?*
Behavioural Interview Questions
- Please walk me through a situation where you overcame a serious customer objection and still closed the sale. How did you accomplish this?
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t close an important deal. What did you learn from it?
- Can you please explain how you plan a typical day or week and provide an example of how you have adjusted this to respond to something unexpected happening?
Situational Interview Questions
- I’m a prospective new client – how you would research me before a call and what would your typical sales process look like?
- It’s halfway through the month and it looks like you are falling short on your targets. How do you respond?
- You’ve had a bad day and lost several deals that you believed were close to being confirmed. What do you do to regroup and recover?
*Questions marked with an asterisk are intentionally double-barreled to fit the format of this article. When using these, it is best practice to ask each individual point as a separate question.
Getting to the crux of a candidate’s track record is going to be the make or break of hiring a great (profit-generating!) Business Development or Account Management professional for your team.
The good news is if you choose to partner with a specialist Sales & Account Management recruitment agency, they should get to the bottom of some of these questions before the interview even takes place – saving you both time and effort.
Everything we do comes down to making everyone happier about recruitment. We know recruiting the very best people is critical for you; time is money and hiring the wrong person is painful. Get in touch or give us a buzz on 02 8320 0683 to get greater together.