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Blog: Mastering the Salesperson Interview

By Bridget McCrea

Mark Faust outlines the most important areas and specific questions that all distributors should ask sales reps before bringing them onboard:

Start with these questions:

  1. In the next 10 minutes tell me about every job you’ve ever had with increasing detail as we get to the present.
  2. Most liked job? Least? Why?
  3. Work responsibilities normally expected of you in sales positions but yet you found the least satisfying?
  4. What do you want to avoid in your next job?
  5. When considering different opportunities what things are you looking for?
  6. Would you explain how you came to leave your last few jobs?
  7. What compliments have you received for your good work?
  8. What criticisms have you received? How’d you feel? Were they fair?
  9. What type of training or coaching would you most benefit from?
  10. What kind of supervision brings out the best in you?
  11. How would you rate your previous bosses? Best? Worst?
  12. Describe two of your biggest accomplishments and two of your biggest disappointments of your career:
  13. Describe your ideal job:

Next, use these questions to discern how the person will tackle his or her prospective role:

  1. What would your sales targets be?
  2. What would your measures of weekly and monthly success that would lead to the annual production targets above be?
  3. What do you feel are your greatest strengths? Why?
  4. When have you been the most bored with? Why?

Finally, learn more about the individual’s personal side and support system by asking:

  1. What does your spouse think are your strengths and weaknesses?
  2. How does your spouse feel about the work you have been involved in?
  3. Have you had a chance to discuss this position with your spouse and what do they think about this opportunity?
  4. In what group activities are you involved? Leadership roles?
  5. When you took your present job, what were your goals, how have they changed?
  6. What type of position would you like to hold several years down the road? What are you aiming for eventually? How do you plan to get there?
  7. What level of income do you hope to be earning in two years? Five years?
  8. What do you most need to get out of this job in regards to: pay? Other?
  9. How flexible are you to work extra if needed?
  10. Are there any hours you wouldn’t be available?
  11. What are you own critical success factors? 

Editor’s note: Read the first part of this article, 5 Tips for Hiring Executives and Salespeople.

McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals. You can reach her at bridgetmc@earthlink.net or visit her website at www.expertghostwriter.net.

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