If you want to know how to interview a sales candidate, keep these 3 things in mind for the interview:
1. Do they add energy to the room?
You can usually spot charisma in under 30 seconds. Not awkward, forced enthusiasm. True charisma.
The kind of charisma that makes you like someone in a few seconds is a crucial sales skill. Think about how they are making YOU feel. This is usually the easiest and most binary quality you can spot in an interview.
Don’t let yourself rationalize the lack of charisma with their stellar resume. If they don’t have charisma, find a respectful way to end the interview.
2. Can they sell you?
Get them to sell you one of your products.
This might seem ridiculous and it can be a little awkward – especially if the candidate bombs. But it’s a small price to pay to filter out bad candidates.
It tests two critical factors.
- Ability to think on their feet
- How much they’ve researched your company
Ability to speak naturally and confidently on any topic is important for salespeople. The amount they’ve researched the company translates to how much work they will do researching the companies they’ll be selling to as part of your team. You can test both areas quickly by getting them to sell one of your products.
3. Do they have a proven track record of success?
Some candidates are great at interviews, but success is a habit. If they have been successful, there will be a pattern of success over time. It shouldn’t be hard to find.
A LinkedIn search, some reference checking, and some pointed questions should be enough.
There are lots of interview questions, ideas and rubrics out there. I encourage you not to make things more complicated then they need to be. Just keep these three things in mind and you’ll hire the right person.
Now you know how to interview a sales candidate.