We consistently have organizations coming to us for help with hiring the right talent. Over the years we’ve learned some pretty important lessons around interviewing sales people. Here are three common interview pitfalls you should try to avoid.
Mistake 1: Interviewing the resume.
Fast forward to your next interview. It is five minutes before the candidate will be on the phone or in front of you. You say to yourself, who is this guy? You then frantically print out the resume and skim it. You then proceed to interview the resume. “Tell me about the job you had? What was your success there? Why did you leave? Blah, Blah, Blah…”
I’m sure your process isn’t as bad as this, however, here’s the mistake: you need to know what you are looking for. Define your needs beyond the resume and the clichés. Start with understanding what the key job functions actually are and rank the importance of each one.
Mistake 2: Placing emphasis on the wrong selling skills.
You only have a certain amount of time with your candidates. Make sure you know which skills are most important for success. For example, we sometimes hear clients say that they ask a candidate to “do a presentation” during the interview. Having them do a presentation is not a bad idea, however, what’s your process for understanding the candidate’s ability to question and qualify what the client actually needs? In your world, is that more important than the presentation?
In the past have you hired reps that love to present and then spend their days and nights “chasing” and “following up?” What are the top 10 skills they need to execute to be successful? We often see this list vary however presentation skills are rarely in the top 5.
Mistake 3: Assuming that because they can do something, they actually will.
“Will Do” is the hardest thing to judge during an interview. Attitude and motivation can sometimes be faked long enough to get a candidate through an interview. We recommend you use hiring assessments to measure core competencies around:
- Ambition and drive
- Takes action
- Resists stall and objections
- Accepts responsibility
Without these assessments you are playing Texas Hold ‘em” without ever seeing the flop card. Your odds of winning will suffer.