Interview Questions for Hiring Salespeople II - Video Blog
Do you know what frustrates the heck out of me when recruiting salespeople?
Today, I'm somewhere in the South standing in front of a beautiful southern bell mansion owned by a wealthy entertainer. This is one of the most beautiful areas of the country with miles of rock walls built during the mid-1800s, rolling hills and fertile farmland. As you look behind me and see this gorgeous estate and hear me describe the area, aren't you dying to know where I am and whose house this is. And since I'm keeping this information from you, aren't you frustrated.
Doesn't this type of frustration remind you of when you are interviewing a salesperson candidate, and they look good and sound good but their looks and words just don't match up to their past performance.
They look good on paper. The resume looks good. It contains all the right words and has some good information, but the facts just don't seem to match up. Interviews like this really frustrate me.
This is a typical scenario where you have a candidate who has a tendency to exaggerate their strengths and downplay their weaknesses. So what do you do in this situation? I recommend using this interview technique with this set of questions. I learned this technique from Geoff Smart and Randy Street in their book, The A Method for Hiring.
We begin with this question. “What is your former bosses name?” Then ask,” If I were to call and speak to her, what would she tell me are your greatest strengths and your areas for improvement?”
Typically if you ask a person to describe their strengths and challenges, you're asking them to give you a self-analysis as to how they see themselves. As you know our self-perception is typically not necessarily reality. When you ask a person to tell you what they think their former boss would say, it causes them to, first be more prone to tell the truth, and secondly this question causes them to think about their strengths and challenges from a different point of view. Plus, I'm certain candidates will recall coaching conversations of the past where their boss gave them an evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses.
This question will hopefully get the candidate to recall one of those former conversations and clearly communicate to you their former boss's perspective.
Thank you for joining me here today as we discussed recruiting salespeople and interview questions for sales. . See you next time on the Can They Sell video blog for more salesperson recruiting training. As always, please leave your comments below and forward this video to anyone who will benefit. If you haven’t already, please register for this blog. Now go recruit the best salespeople.