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Recruiting, Interviewing and Selecting Sales Force Talent

5. How to Interview, Evaluate and Select

If you don’t have a system for how to interview, evaluate and select the right people, you can’t fine tune and improve it.  Consequently, we must take a systematic approach to the interview process and the secret to developing the necessary skills for making good hiring decisions is again preparation.

An effective recruitment interview is highly structured, it does not just happen by accident. There are several key steps that must be followed:

Establish rapport; make people feel comfortable and willing to share information about themselves.
2. Lay out the ground rules for the interview process, eg. ‘our purpose today is to get to know one another. I'm going to ask you some questions, do you mind if I make notes? After my questions I’ll give you an opportunity to ask your own.’
3. Ask your questions and gather information that is adequate, specific and job related to your requirements; zip your lip, and ask the job and personal related questions that you’ve prepared.
4. Allow them to ask their questions.

At this point, we should know if we are interested in them. If NOT, conclude the interview by thanking them for being there and tell them the next step.....“We’ll call you”.


5. Sell the opportunity; and the job, the business and the benefits.
6. Close the interview; make them feel good but don’t make promises.

Exit with them and let them know what the next step will be, including completion of an assessment process such as the Perception® Talent Analytics System which will provide us with an objective picture of the individual.

After the interview organise your notes and relate them to the WILL-DO’s and CAN-DO’s that you’ve identified you're looking for.

Check references as this is more important today than at any other time. Also check their:

  education qualifications
  employment dates, titles and income data if available
  other specific data you've identified as important to you

Don't rely only on reference names supplied by the candidate; leverage your network and find mutual contacts who can provide candid feedback, including LinkedIn.  Make some calls yourself, even if you're using a recruiter.  Questions to ask include: Would you hire this person (again)?  If so, why and in what capacity? If not, why not?  What were some of the best things this person accomplished?  What could he or she have done better?  How would you describe their abilities in key areas (list them, eg. innovate, lead, get things done)?  What are their most valuable attributes?

After you've gathered your data, evaluate them by giving them a performance appraisal; their selection should be based on their behavior. So based on what you've learned about them, how would you rate them on each CAN-DO and WILL-DO attribute?  Are they Below Standard,  Meets Standard,  Exceeds Standard or Substantially Exceeds Standard?

The solution to many of our management headaches is having the skills and discipline to effectively interview, evaluate and make the right hiring decisions!

Now let's look at an action implementation plan and checklist you can work with.

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