A lot of my consulting work is centered around coaching Sales Managers for performance improvement or helping them navigate global sales channels. One of the principal decisions made by a Sales Manager are hiring decisions. Many Sales Managers do a great job of assessing product or technical skills, however it is also necessary to gauge a salesperson’s soft skills in several areas: preparedness, motivation, assertiveness and patience. Some Sales Managers struggle in assessing these softer skills and rely on canned non behavioral questions.
There are four Interview “soft” Questions I always ask Salesperson candidates. I am usually not the final decision maker but can provide information about the candidates’ soft skills during the interview and their sales process. I use a mix of behavioral questions to determine if they can tell a story (customers like stories) and demonstrate maturity. I will also want them to keep their replies short, concise, and on point (like a customer interaction).
Everyone has their favorite interview questions and I prepare my questions based on the position requirements, my role in the interview process and the candidates background. Once I have completed my portion of the interview, I complete a one page assessment of the candidates competency profile and provide a go/no go decision replete with any follow up items that the hiring manager may want to consider.
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