Finding top-performing sales talent can be challenging. Interviewing for sales candidates is more difficult than most are willing to admit. While interviews provide a small glimpse at the capabilities of the person you could potentially hire, the question becomes, “How will this person perform when we hit rough waters?” Salespeople can be extremely tough to judge. Consumers in general have evolved with information that is much more readily accessible. Their expectations of sales reps are much higher than ever before, and buyers are more punitive of salespeople in general.
While interview questions like, “what three words best describe you” still play an important role in the interview process, assessment of a candidate's ability to sell should be made equally important in the interview process. When identifying what questions to ask, make sure you cover the basics: ability to sell, close, and communicate with clients.
Here are five must ask questions for every sales job interview:
1. What kind of sales training and coaching have you received in the past? Have they had formal training? Are they naturally talented? Are they the kind of sales rep that will be up and running fairly quickly or will there need to be a plan in place to support professional development at the beginning of employment?
2. How do you sell when under pressure? How do you handle pressure? When sales drop, how will they respond to the pressure of needing to lease back up?
3. Tell me about the hardest, but most rewarding sale you have ever made. Sales reps must be flexible, resourceful and insightful in challenging sales situations.
4. Describe your follow up process. Strategic sales reps will be able to define the various steps they go through post-tour to drive deposits within the community.
5. What did your sales conversions look like in your previous position? Focus on key metrics. Are these in alignment with what your company expects?