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Profile for Rob Scott, Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

Now, in this Post-Brexit, modern age, it has never been more important to develop a robust recruitment process to help lessen the risk of hiring mistakes.  

In this short overview, we detail some basic steps to help reduce the temptation to recruit on nothing more than 'gut feel' or instinct.

Competency Based Interviewing is the most effective form of interviewing as it focuses on gathering evidence of required skills, experience and personal qualities, known collectively as competencies.   The aim is to obtain information about a candidate's past behaviour and experience so that you can effectively 'score' and compare candidates against each other.  

In essence, it's a long and rather grand term for what effectively is an interview with questions that are in essence "give me an example of.." rather than "what would you do if...".  For example, "give me an example of when you've led a team?" and "when have you not completed a project in time, what happened?"

To perform a Competency Based Interview will take around two to three hours of planning but hopefully, you will notice that your interviews are more worthwhile and have greater structure. Combining a competency interview technique with the Aaron Wallis psychometric profile and bespoke interview questions will help you make your hiring decisions based upon gathered evidence rather than 'gut feeling'.  


Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a Leading UK Sales Recruiter


Download free Guide to Competency Interviewing

Sample questions to create a job specification for sales professionals

Example of a Competency Interview Form to Download

Competency Based Interviewing - Planning

To begin you must first make a list of the competencies required to succeed in the job role.  They should relate directly to the essential criteria/ competencies required to be successful.  Competencies for hiring a Senior Recruitment Consultants, for example, are as follows:  Meeting Goals, Sales Planning, Leadership in Adversity, Positive Mental Attitude, Communication, Perseverance, Ethics/Values and Goals/Ambitions.  

Once you've agreed on the list, each competency should be given a score out of five.  From one (the lowest score, or did not provide evidence of any description for this competency) to five (the highest, or gave highly satisfactory evidence of high levels of this skill/experience/quality)

Then for each mark detail the evidence.   

For example;

Leadership in Adversity

  1. Gave no evidence of leading in difficult situations

  2. Demonstrated some leadership qualities in a difficult situation

  3. Adequately led in a difficult situation

  4. Kept a level head in a difficult situation and demonstrated practical solutions to the problem

  5. Competently and effectively led the team during a difficult situation creatively solved issues and kept the team together with a level head.

How to Execute a Competency Based Interview

You now need to prepare a list of questions, or themes, to tease out the situation/event that provides evidence of the required competency.  

You then need a list of questions, or themes, that ladder from the answers.  This laddering technique probes into the detail allowing you to gather the required evidence.  I appreciate that this may appear daunting at first but the more use this 'laddering' technique the more it will flow naturally.  Going back to the 'Leadership in Adversity' scenario example questions could be as follows:

  • Tell us about a crisis or unplanned event that happened and the response of your team?  

  • What specifically was the situation?

  • What made this incident a real crisis?

  • What were your first thoughts?

  • What specifically were you able to do to contribute to resolving the event?

  • How did you coordinate the team?  

  • What was the mood of the team?  

  • Were there any difficult team members in this situation and how did you handle them?

  • Who were you communicating to?

  • How did you go about it?

  • What was the outcome?

  • Were you happy with the outcome?

  • In hindsight would you have handled the situation differently?

From the answers given, you can then score each candidate effectively against the competency.  Build up this questioning process for all of the required competencies and you now have an incredibly effective interviewing tool against which you can benchmark and select.

Now build up example questions for each of the competencies and you will have developed an incredibly effective interviewing tool to use both now and for the future.

The Outcome and Benefits

Using this technique you can now 'score' each candidate effectively against each required competency and you're recruiting more on proven evidence than instinct.  

Scoring candidates against competencies still involve some degree of objectivity so we recommend that two interviewers sit in on each CBI and each 'scores' independently.  The scores can then be discussed and deliberated in a post interview 'wash up' or simply added together and halved.  Now divide the total score by the total possible score and have a percentage on which to benchmark candidates and make your decisions.

Added benefits in competency interviewing are:

  • You can effectively communicate your hiring reasoning within your organisation,

  • The technique often teases out development areas

  • It makes constructive feedback for unsuccessful candidates easier to communicate.

  • You have on record and on the candidate's personnel record the data behind your hiring decisions

Examples of Competency Based Interview Questions -


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Milton Keynes
01908 061 400


01543 227973

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis’ services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

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Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dawrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!

J. Hathaway, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them

C. Caine, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

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