If you’re looking for new employees, there are many questions you’ll want to ask during the recruitment process to ensure you get the right person. Below are 10 of the most common questions and a brief explanation as to why you should ask them.
1. Why are you looking for a new role? & what are you looking for?
There are many reasons why an interviewee could be looking for a new job, and how
they answer this question will tell you a lot about the person and their career outlook.
You’re ideally looking for an interviewee to be honest but positive in their response,
as being overly negative or disparaging past bosses or colleagues means they may
have no trouble saying the same things about you or your company. 1
2. What is your greatest accomplishment in your previous role?
Interviewers ask this question in order to discover three core things from an
interviewee: their work ethic; core values; and what they can expect from a potential
employee through seeing examples of their work. 2 Employers want to know if an
interviewee will bring value to their company, and it can help to use the SMART
methodology (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) to further
probe these achievements. 3
3. How would your key clients describe you? (External views) & how would your colleagues describe you? (internal views)
This question attempts to understand an interviewee’s level of self-awareness and if
they have reflected on their relationships with clients and colleagues. 4 It’s also a way
to learn about an interviewee’s “soft skills”, such as negotiation, listening, critical
thinking, conflict management etc.
4. What core values do you live by as a sales person?
There are many qualities that can make the difference between being a good
salesperson and a mediocre. This question is an attempt to unpack them and see
what motivates the interviewee, whilst also identifying if their values align with your
company’s. Some of these qualities include empathy, enthusiasm, multitasking,
competitiveness, and the ability to network. 6
5. What do you enjoy most & least about your current role & company?
This question is related to question 1, as it can explore the reasons why an
interviewee is unhappy about leaving their current job (eg. camaraderie, workplace culture, flexibility etc), as well as the reasons they are happy to leave it (eg. salary, hours, workload etc). And like question 1, it can tell you a lot about an interviewee depending on whether they answer the question constructively or simply look at it as an opportunity to vent. 7
6. Can you tell me about a sale you recently made that you believed followed the perfect process? & 1 that took a long time to complete?
These questions can help determine an interviewee’s level of motivation to complete a sale quickly and effectively, as well as their commitment to stay on task and work out any potential issues or snags that may make a quick sale less than easy. It also explore whether the interviewee has thought about the different stages of the sales process and if their approach could be modified and improved. 8
7. Tell me about a deal you lost. Why did you lose it?
Discovering an interviewee’s weaknesses and ability to reflect on their losses is just as important as finding out their strengths and when they excelled in their job. The answers to this question could either show self-awareness and ownership of mistakes or a propensity to shift blame. This question also shows if they’re willing to learn from past mistakes. 9
8. What does your ideal sales manager look like?
This question can explore many different aspects, such as an interviewee’s ability to work alone and unsupervised or as part of a team, as well as how they view the more senior members of their company. If an interviewee simply lists a number of complaints about former bosses, it can paint a negative picture of them and remove the focus off how they interact with others. 10
9. How would you engage me with your current company’s offering?
This question can explore an interviewee’s sales style, gauging their ability to think on their feet. An example might be to ask them about your own company’s products and how they would describe it to a potential customer. By asking this question, you can also see if they’ve done their homework on your company before applying for the position. Keep in mind that a mock sales pitch is quite an unnatural thing to do, so try to look beyond the words and instead examine how the interviewee reacts to uncertainty or talking about topics they might be completely familiar with already. 11
10. Outside of work, what are your interests & hobbies?
Interviewers like to know if you have any interests or hobbies outside of work,
because while a passion for doing your job is important, it’s also nice to ensure the interviewee is ‘a well-rounded person who will fit in with the company culture.’ 12 Needing to fill a role in your organisation? Let Match Executive take the stress out of the task through our unique talent acquisition process, so you can make an informed and sound decision and find the best candidate.