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6 Interview Tips For Hiring Sales Reps


Building a productive, motivated, inspired and successful sales team from the ground up takes a good deal of time, knowledge and best practices. Whether you are a beginning stage startup looking to make your first few sales hires or a later stage startup looking to scale your team, we have put together an Ebook to help make your job a little easier. Below is an excerpt.

6 Interview Tips When Hiring Sales Reps

Job interview

There are specific attributes I look for when I am interviewing sales candidate. I’ve interviewed around 1000 people in the last 15 years so I know it can be hard to pluck out the best candidate. The best practices and questions listed below have led me to the most successful employees. Sales reps are often excited and hungry to succeed but it is important to determine early on in the interview process if they will work well as a team, if they are willing to learn and adapt, willing to teach others, hard workers, etc. Here are some tips to help you spot the best sales candidate:

1. Be very intentional about culture fit

Decide what attributes you are looking for to go along with your company’s unique culture. It is important for your sales hire to play well on a team and get along with others in the office in order to move your ‘boat’ forward.

Crew Team

2. Multiple rounds – phone and in person

A candidate can change drastically from a paper resume to speaking to them on the phone to actually meeting them in person. It is important not to skip on any interview rounds – especially the in person. In order to truly see if a candidate is a good culture fit, charismatic, full of integrity and willing to learn it is important to meet in person and have the rest of the team meet the candidate as well.

Woman on Phone

3. Suggested Question: What are your career goals?

Career Goals E1361146582832

This will help you see if your candidate’s goals line up with your company’s goals. The question will also help you to read how passionate, driven and excited the candidate will be in this position. If your company cannot provide a platform to help assist in the candidate’s career goals then it is probably not a good fit.

4. Suggested Question: Why are you interested in this role?

Passionate Businessman

This is a good way to weed out those who are just looking for a quick salary. Those who have thoroughly researched the role and have great interest will expand on this question passionately.

5. Suggested Question: What do you think of xyz content on our website?

Business Woman Thinking

Speaking of research, this is a good way to see if your candidate did any research of their own. A candidate who really wants the position will have done their homework and come to the interview prepared to answer this question. Remember, if they can’t take a few minutes out of their day to prepare for an important job interview, how can you expect them to prepare for an important prospect call or meeting?

6. Suggested Question: If I ran into your last boss outside of the office, what would he/she say about you?

Business People Talking

This is a good way to determine the “brilliant jerks” from the team players. If a candidate raves about how they have no flaws and their boss would have nothing constructive to say about them, then they probably feel they don’t have much to learn and will not be a great addition to the team. Sales is a team sport, it doesn’t work if one feels they have nothing to gain from interacting with the others.

Mike Andersen

Mike Andersen, our vice president of sales here at Hoopla Software, has over 15 years of experience managing and scaling inside sales teams. He has hired over 500 people over his career, and previously grew a team of 8 people to 70 at Aerohive in 3 years, while also growing inside revenue from $3M to $50M to drive the company to a successful IPO. In this eBook he shares tips and tricks based on what he has learned over the years to help you build the best sales team imaginable.

Learn more about hiring the best startup sales team:

Cover Sales Hiring Ebook

Download our Ebook: The Startup Guide to Building The Best Sales Team