Is this Sales Candidate the ONE?

by | Apr 26, 2023 | Hiring Tips | 0 comments

By: Mara Miller

Advice is readily available for candidates all over the internet to prepare for interviews. However, guidance for hiring managers and determining who is a good hire is limited. Anyone trying to avoid making a poor hiring decision can be frustrated by this. If you’re not convinced the candidate sitting in front of you is “the One,” hiring the right sales candidate is daunting.

The goal of any interview and potential hire is not to find someone just “good enough.” The goal is to find the person who fits your business needs. To do this, you need to have an open mind, a willingness to be patient, and to ignore the urge to hire out of fear.

To prove you are hiring the best candidate, they must meet the benchmarks established before the interview. The behavioral questions you ask should reveal those abilities. The best candidate will provide solid, repeated examples.

Remember: just because they were successful in another sales environment does not mean they will be successful in yours.

With that in mind, here are ten (10) critical questions to ask yourself to confirm whether or not you have the right person for the job.


1. How are their communication skills?

Good communication skills are needed for a salesperson to be successful in their position. Ask questions that involve decision-making and address conflict. How are they at telling stories? Listen to their answers. Ask follow-up questions as needed. Also, listen to how they are answering. Listen to their tone, pace, and clarity. Were the answers to your interview questions confident? Did the information provided make sense or was it vague? Did their tone reflect the sentiment of their words?


2. Have they demonstrated leadership skills?

How have they proven to be responsible, trustworthy, and reliable? If faced with mistakes, how did they hold themselves accountable? How do they like to be managed? How would they manage other people? On a team, what responsibilities do they typically take on? At some point, the candidate in front of you may be in charge of your team. Ask what qualities they possess for a responsible leadership position. Their answer will give you an understanding of how they view themselves.


3. How’s their energy?

The sales role requires a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the products. What kind of energy does the candidate have? What are their passions? Do they seem engaged? Are they asking good questions?


4. Have they proven they are a team player?

Based on their answers, would your staff benefit from having this candidate join the team? Would the candidate look to his team as a support system or a hindrance? Candidates who are good team players can also be coachable.


5. Are they competitive?

Selling is all about driving and having a healthy competitive side. Have they played sports? Been on the dean’s list? If they worked in sales previously, where did they rank on their sales team? Why do they think they would be the best choice for the position?


6. Are they able to handle stressful situations?

Sales and stress typically go hand in hand. You need to test them to ensure they can handle it. Have they met deadlines? Achieved their targets? Have they successfully managed challenging clients?


7. How do they deal with rejection?

In sales, dealing with rejection without having it drag them down is critical. They should be able to talk about their experiences. You’ll want to understand how they dealt with it. Plus, listen if they came back stronger. Were they able to continue calling even after hearing “No” repeatedly? Do they take the first “No?” How many times do they ask for the sale?


8. How do they deal with objections?

In sales, they will inevitably hear objections from prospective customers. Can they provide examples of overcoming objections or persuading customers to their way of thinking? Was it done with confidence? Credibility? How do they handle them? How should a price objection be handled? Do they become stressed over the objections? Or do they understand it is just a part of the job?


9. Did they successfully sell themselves to you as the right person to hire?

Were they able to convince you to hire them? Did they “ask” for the “sale?”


10. Have they met all the required competencies for the position?

Did they meet your required benchmarks? Does the personality assessment result match the job position? Do they have transferable skills? What are their soft skills? What are their hard skills?


With the candidate’s resume, assessment results, interview answers, and notes, you are well on your way to making a solid decision.

Candidates can learn the skills they need on the job. However, their experience, knowledge, and skills should align with your company’s needs.

Assessing Cultural Fit in Interviews

Let’s set the scene–you're gearing up to hire your next employee. You've sifted through countless resumes and conducted phone screens, and now it's finally time for the interviews. But wait—before you dive in, let's talk about something often overlooked: cultural fit....

The Power of Inclusive Hiring Practices

In today's diverse world, creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and included isn't just the right thing to do—it's also good for business.  Picture a job where everyone looks and thinks like you. Sounds pretty boring, right? That's where inclusive...

Attract Top Talent with Irresistible Employer Branding!

Let's talk about something that can make-or-break your hiring: employer branding and online presence. So, grab a coffee, pull up a chair, and let's dive into how you can attract top talent with your employer brand. First things first: what makes your company stand out...

Wow Your Applicants: Your Guide to an Exceptional Candidate Experience

Let's talk about something that's often overlooked but oh-so-important: the candidate experience. Picture this: you're on the hunt for a new team member for your insurance agency, franchise, small business, or car dealership. Eventually, you think you found someone...

Unlocking the Power of Social Media in Your Hiring Process

In today's digital age, the landscape of recruitment is continually evolving, and savvy employers are leveraging the power of social media to find and attract top talent. Whether you're a small startup or a large corporation, tapping into the vast network of social...

The Power of a Clean Desk: Boosting Productivity and Efficiency in the Workplace

In the fast-paced and dynamic world of business, the physical workspace is often overlooked in favor of digital tools and virtual collaboration platforms. However, the importance of maintaining a clean and organized desk should not be underestimated. A tidy workspace...

How You May Be Driving Candidates Away: A Guide for Hiring Managers

In today's competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is a priority for every organization. However, some hiring managers may unknowingly engage in practices that drive potential candidates away. Creating a positive and inclusive recruitment process...

How To: Create Job Alerts on Indeed

How To Do It: Starting from your Indeed home screen, locate the search bar at the top of your screen. Enter the title of the position you would like to receive job alerts for. Enter the city where you would like to see open positions. After completing those two quick...

So What’s the Deal with Salary Transparency?

Now more than ever it's the candidate who is interviewing us, rather than the other way around. As a result, Salary Transparency laws are being passed quickly around the nation. Why? If a job seeker does not have the salary information for the job posting they are...

Mastering the Art of Job Ads: The Power of Keywords in Attracting Top Talent

Keywords are words or phrases that help us identify the specific requirements of a job. From an employer’s perspective, they pertain to what qualities an employer is looking for in their next potential employee, helping them attract candidates best suited for the role...