3 Minute Sales Interview Finding salespeople who will perform exceptionally well is a big challenge for many sales organizations. When dealing with sales people who are trained at selling themselves, it can be tough enough simply knowing who to speak with so it can be extremely valuable to have a method of quickly deciding who is worth your time and who is not.

Here are three simple questions you can use to quickly divide a group of potential hires into those you want to interview in depth and those you will pass on:

Question: Tell me about yourself.

Notes: This open-ended question is intended to see what kind of frame of mind possessed by the potential hire. If they start by expressing a passion for selling, followed by summary of traits and achievements, this is a good sign. Anything else is an indication they aren’t focused on a sales career.

Question: Why do companies hire you?

Notes: The right answer to this question depends on the goals of the job you are trying to fill, but the short answer from anyone who is successful in sales is that they are hired because they make their employers successful. If you hear a list of traits, it implies the person either doesn’t understand the question or the bottom line in sales.

Question: How do you consistently exceed your sales targets and the results of your peers?

Notes: Another open ended question that gives insight into how seriously the person takes their success and the degree to which they have influenced the successes they claim to have achieved. Successful sales people are typically very structured, motivated to do what it takes to be successful and highly self aware when it comes to their success.

If you are not asking these three questions up front in your interview process, it may make a world of difference on your hiring record not to mention time if you start asking them today.

To your success!


Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.

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