How Hiring Managers Can Prepare for Their Next Sales Interview

Categories: Recruitment Advice, Trends and Learning

Sales teams are an important department in any company as they help an organization’s growth and revenue. So, it’s important to hire the right people for the job. Here’s how you can be an effective interviewer and prepare for your next sales interview to lead to hiring your next star candidate. 

1. Schedule the interview

First things first, you need to schedule the interview! Create a digital calendar invite to send to your candidate. Once a date is secured and the invite is sent, send an email including any important information they’ll need before the interview, like an address to your office or a Zoom link if it’s a remote interview

Don’t forget to specify the time, how long the candidate can expect the interview to take, and if other team members will be conducting the interview with you. All of this can be super helpful for the interviewee to know to prepare for the interview. 

2. Review their resume 

After the interview is scheduled, you’ll want to review their resume and any other important documents—like pre-interview questionnaires or test projects. So the information is fresh on your brain, do this a few hours before the interview if you can, or the day before if it’s a morning interview. 

Take notes on anything that stands out from their list of skills or experience so you can reference it in your interview. This shows them you actually took the time to review their resume and get to know them ahead of your interview. 

3. Provide interviewee expectations 

Once the interview is here, start off by setting expectations or providing any cultural highlights before jumping straight into the interview questions. This can help the candidate know what they can expect during the next 30 minutes, or however long the interview takes. 

For example, you can start by introducing yourself and giving a brief background on the company, then lead by letting them know that you’re going to take the next 30 minutes to get to know them and ask them some questions. 

4. Taken notes during the interview 

As a hiring manager, it’s also important to take notes during the interview. Don’t worry about how organized your notes are, you can always clean them up later. Focus on jotting down important information the candidate mentioned that will later help you make a hiring decision. 

It may be smart to prep a sheet ahead of time with any specific talking points and questions you plan to ask the candidate and fill in your answers throughout the interview. 

5. Stay positive and welcoming 

A positive and welcoming attitude goes a long way. Candidates always want to make the best impression, but make sure you’re doing the same. You are likely the first person they’re interacting with, so you’re a direct reflection of your company. Making them feel welcome and comfortable from the start can help take the stress off of them. 

Example Questions to Ask Interviewees 

A good interview should have the right questions ready to go. Whether you’re a new hiring manager or an experienced one, it’s important to switch up your questions from time to time. Here are some example sales interview questions you can add to your agenda for your next sales interview: 

  • What does your current sales process look like? 
  • What do you know about our company and product/service? 
  • Which sales metrics do you believe are the most valuable? 
  • What makes a good salesperson? 
  • What advice would you give to a salesperson just beginning their career? 
  • How do you keep up with your target audience? 
  • Tell me about your most successful sale
  • Describe a time you lost a deal and how you followed up
  • How would you handle a challenging or demanding client? 
  • Which do you think is more important: Sales goals or customer satisfaction? 

All good interviews start with preparation from the hiring manager and with these tips and interview questions, you can easily find the perfect candidate. 

interview preparation for hiring managers