Ask the right questions while Interviewing Sales Professionals!

It is important to implement an effective recruiting process with strict timelines and guidelines that set the foundation for a ‘successful’ recruiting assignment. Inordinate delay in recruiting only demotivates the candidate who is shortlisted for an additional round of interview or who is likely to be appointed for the job.

The hiring or functional manager, internal corporate recruiter and the rest of the interview panel need to be well trained in asking the right questions. The issue usually is that the interviewer talks too much. In addition, they do not ask the questions that can help getting the right candidate on board. Such questions like ‘how would you describe yourself ?’ or ‘what is your greatest weakness ?’ have been asked so often that candidates have answers already prepared.

So, what kind of probing questions should be asked while interviewing sales professionals? Here are some examples I can suggest -
1. In your current role, what was one thing you did that motivated you to go the extra mile?
2. How do you determine what motivates each member of your sales team?
3. How do you handle rejection that are caused due to market conditions or due to factors within your company?
4. How do you develop a strategic vision to meet your business targets through Sales achievement?
5. If you left your present employer tomorrow, what is one thing you wish you had accomplished that you did not?
6. How do you work under pressure caused due to market conditions?
7. How do you handle conflict with your boss or other colleagues in your work environment?
8. What is one characteristic that you admire about the different colleagues that you work with?
9. How would you describe your ideal or right boss?
10.What type of work environment do you excel in?

Recruiting today is more of an art than a science .. so companies need to not only educate their hiring managers about the right questions to ask .. but also train them on being sensitive to the requirements of the candidate. By spending more time on the well-deserving subject which is in context, more effective hires will occur which not only helps the bottom line in sales achievement, but also boosts the employee morale and builds your company’s reputation within the niche market you are in.

Last but not the least – please ‘leave your prejudices at the door’ while interviewing your candidates. Every candidate has few plus as well as few negative points about himself and no candidate is absolutely perfect. No candidate is ‘absolutely ready’ right at the start. Kindly set realistic expectations so that the major objective is not lost (due to delay in recruitment).. which should be primarily bagging the ‘valued’ sales orders from the market before your competing company or business rival does 

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