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Recruiting, Interviewing and Selecting Sales Force Talent

3. How to Prepare to Interview and Select

The proven foundation for interviewing and evaluating successfully is preparation. In too many cases the applicant is better prepared than the interviewer. We need to prepare both mentally and physically.

There are a number of common mistakes we need to be aware of in the hiring process. Here are five you should try to avoid:

  • Failing to establish rapport with the candidate (we need them to open up and share)
  • Talking too much (us, not them!)
  • Not allowing enough time (consider the size of the investment you're making)
  • Over-relying on personal appearance (it's easy to be seduced by what we see)
  • Making decisions based on personal prejudices (we all have them, but we must be aware of them)
To help you prepare more effectively, here are a set of rules you can practice:
  1. Consider the position you're hiring for and allocate sufficient time
  2. Review their personal data and application; look for gaps (eg. in work history) and identify specific data you need to uncover
  3. Establish rapport; greet them warmly and create a friendly, conversational environment
  4. Eliminate all interruptions; hold all phone calls and stop walk-ins
  5. Make your decisions based on verified track record, not on what you see; always interview twice
  6. Identify and eliminate blind spots; be aware of your personal prejudices and biases
  7. Develop and use a written list of questions related specifically to the sales job you are recruiting for
Be aware, look, listen and analyse. What you see is not always what you get so use talent analytics to uncover those personal attributes that are critical to the role. Now let's look at how to question effectively.
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