In this section
7 Ways to Conduct Brilliant Interviews
You want the very best sales staff for your sales team, and to do that, you need to conduct brilliant interviews (for advice on finding said talent 'how to attract top sales staff'). And we're going to look at here is seven great ways to ensure that you give a great interview and attract the right candidates:
1) Think of the Setting - What you don't want is a room at the end of the open-plan office where the poor individual has to walk through all the existing members of the team so that they're nervous before they even walk into the interview room.
Recruitment is a two-way thing. As important as it is for you to find the right person, it's as important for the applicant to find the right business. So, therefore, you must sell to them. Get the candidate excited about your business, the role, and the opportunity.
2) Plan the Recruitment Campaign - One of the key things about interviewing is planning. And that is planning not only on your structure to your interview - because the very best interviews are structured and planned beforehand. Here is a link to 75 top sales interview questions for you to look at and select the best for your process. There are also links to competency-based interviews and a very robust recruitment process checklist to help you interview effectively.
3) Read the CV - It's imperative that you read the candidate's CV prior to the interview, even if it's just getting a quick handle on them and their interests and hobbies and what makes them tick and what they've achieved. But do know something. It means so much to candidates when it's evident that you've read their CV beforehand. If their CV seems too good to be true, we offer an independent CV verification service to give you peace of mind.
4) Set the agenda - At the beginning of the meeting, tell them how long the meeting is likely to be and precisely what the agenda is going to be. How I conduct interviews myself is to say this meeting is going to last between 45 minutes and an hour.
We're going to kick off by putting some meat on the bones of your CV. We're then going to go into the meat of the interview, which would be a competency-based interview. There will be opportunities to ask questions throughout.
And I actively ask candidates to get involved. The very best interview, data has shown, are 60% the interviewee and 40% present the interviewer. Try and strike that balance so it's a two-way thing.
5) Settle the Candidate - Kick off every interview with a settling question, something that's going to put the candidate at ease and bring the best out of them. A settling question is no more complicated than what research have you done prior to this interview? Or what do you know about our business? Or what did the recruiter tell you about the specific role? For more info on relaxing candidates and putting them at ease, see 'how to relax candidates'.
It doesn't have to be any more than that. But because most candidates will have researched, it means that they can relax, settle, and get this information out of all the research they've done. And straight away, they've calmed down, they're relaxed, and you're going to see the best of the applicant.
6) 'Sell the Sizzle'! - When you conduct interviews, you've got to set the environment so the candidate is passionate, enthusiastic, and wants to join your business. I do not doubt that your business has great direction, great focus, fantastic products that are unique in the marketplace. You've won awards, and you've won competitions.
You've got a very tight-knit team and very low staff attrition, all of these fantastic things. Think about it beforehand so that when you meet candidates at the sales interview, you sell your business and make them want to join your organisation. See The Importance of Selling to Candidates at Interview.
7) Feedback - Finally, feedback is so important. Business is such a small world. And I've met tens, hundreds of candidates who have been for interviews and never heard if things were going to move forward or not.
Always let the recruiter know if they're not going to move forward. If it's a direct applicant, in short, they get a nice email or a friendly letter turning them down. That means that they'll always leave your business with a positive image. You never know, one day they might be an employee of the future. Here are our tips on 'how to give candidates feedback'.
Also, if you've conducted anything like psychometrics or skills testing or whatever it may be as part of your process, give that to the candidate so that they've got that for future reference. So I hope this video has given you seven ways to conduct brilliant interviews. Good luck with interviewing your sales applicants.
Recruit sales staff
Just fill in your details below to get started
by Rob Scott
About the author
From our blogRead more
Our employers say...
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
Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.
HR Business Partner, Greene King
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
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
Our candidates say...
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
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
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
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
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
Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance 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
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
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
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
Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.
C. Caine, Candidate
Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)
K. Everitt, Candidate
Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles sought to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.
L. Taylor, Candidate
Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.
M. White, Candidate
The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.
L. Colagrossi, 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
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
Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.
M. Crisp, Candidate
Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.
E. Heley, 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