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Hello, I’m Steve Suggs, sales recruiting expert and author of the book, Can They Sell.  Welcome to my sales recruitment video blog. 5 minutes of learning to hire the best salespeople.

In today’s video blog, you’ll learn how to improve your sales interview skills with the personality type that I call, Charming Charlie.

He’s that confident and charming personality who makes it hard to get to the truth.  He’s the person who knows how to get what he wants using his charm.

In this video, I’ll give you 3 sales interview tips so you can be the best at sales interview recruitment.

This is one of the most difficult situations when hiring salespeople.  During my last interview with a Charming Charlie, he had the product knowledge and industry experience that we were looking for.  He had used his charm to actually network his way to our sales interview table.  In the beginning, it was obvious that he had confidence and resiliency to rejection that gave him the appearance of a great salesperson.  He even understood the sales process, could close sales, and had a track record of exceeding quota.

But by the end of the interview, I decided that he was not a good fit for this particular team because eventually, his humor and charm turned to sarcasm, and he began to exaggerate accomplishments and deny his weaknesses, and he didn’t have the level of honesty and emotional stability to be a long-term member of our team.

So, what did I do to keep control of the interview and to see past the charm and to get to the truth about this candidate?  When faced with this charming personality type, I want to know these things.

  • Are they charming and also productive?
  • Do they use their charm to serve customers, or to serve their own selfish interests?
  • When their charm doesn’t work, do they resort to sarcasm?
  • And even though they sell above quota, are they just too hard to be around?

Here are the 3 sales interview tips you’ll need to make a great sales recruiting decision with the Charming Charlie type.

No. 1 – To avoid being intimidated by their high level of confidence and ability to dodge your questions, you’ll need the right mindset.  My mindset is this:  I want people to impress me with facts and accomplishments, not their sense of humor.  A sense of humor and charm is a bonus second only to the character traits of honesty and concern for others.  When you go into an interview, keep in mind it’s the candidate’s job to impress you, not your job to impress the candidate.  There comes a time when we need to recruit the candidate to the position, but keep this mindset, it’s the candidate’s job to show us that they have what it takes.

The 2nd thing you’ll need is a lot of self-control.  Remember this – your silence during the interview will cause strong candidates to shine and the weak candidates to crumble under the pressure.  Most sales managers used to be in sales, so it’s hard for us to not have a great appreciation for a charming salesperson.  It’s hard, but when you stop laughing, strong candidates will get serious and give you good information.


Weaker candidates turn off the humor and turn on the sarcasm.


Comedians and sarcastic people are energized when you laugh and match their sarcasm with your own sarcastic comments.  Sarcasm and humor is Charming Charlie’s way of covering up his weaknesses, so maintain your self-control and just simply ask the questions, show little to no emotions, and write down their answers and then move to the next question.  You’ll eventually get to the truth.

The 3rd thing you’ll need is the right interview questions and these follow-up interview questions.  When you get answers that sound good, but are vague, ask one of these follow-up questions:  I’m not sure what you mean? Can you give me an example of that?  What was the result?  What would you have done differently?  Please, tell me more.  Strong candidates give you some great details.  Weak candidates give you more vague answers.

Keep in mind that this confident and entertaining approach helps Charlie get his way in most other situations.  But…

…in order to get to the truth in the sales interview, you must have these 3 things:  the right mindset, a lot of self-control, and the right interview questions for sales.

Use these 3 tips during your next sales job recruitment with Charming Charlie and you’ll begin to recruit the best.

Thank you for joining me.  See you next time on the Can They Sell video blog for more sales job recruitment 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 recruiting sales blog.  Now go enjoy recruiting the best, and have fun in the sales interview.

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