Recruit Sales Staff

Search Jobs



Tom Cooke Author Banner

 

It’s increasingly rare for a company to make a hire after just one meeting. Instead, second interviews have become the norm and it’s easy to see why.

You might only invite a couple back for a second time, or perhaps one if you merely want reassurance you’re making the right decision. Here we’ll examine second interviews and how to conduct them to ensure you get the best results.


What’s the difference between a first and a second interview?

Many companies now see the first round of interviews as simply part of the process of whittling down likely candidates to the final few.

First impressions count for a lot at first interviews, and you’ll soon get a feeling for whether the applicant will be a good fit. A good line of questioning, including a mix of value-based, competency based, cultural fit, and experience questions will back up your judgment, and at the end of the process you’ll end up with just a couple of candidates to bring back for the final stage.

Say you were recruiting for a sales executive at a car dealership, the second interview is a perfect opportunity for you to drill down further into the applicant’s motivators. What makes him or her tick, how good are they at drilling into the needs of the customer? How do they deal with tricky customers? How do they bring the sale to a natural close?

All these and much more can be unearthed with a more precise line of questioning, perhaps in conjunction with another colleague.  A powerful way to try and remove bias from your process is to involve colleagues from other departments.  Salespeople, naturally, connect with other salespeople.  Therefore, it can be very effective to include a member from say, the finance team, to provide input into your decision process from an entirely different perspective.

Remember that the candidate’s expectations are raised once they’ve been invited back fro the next stage of your process.  He or she will be more likely to want to know about what it’s like to work at your company, and it is just as important that you sell the role and overall opportunity to them.  In this competitive market for talent, it will be worth reading The Importance of Selling to Candidates at a Final Interview.
One final element of a second interview, presuming your candidate is suitable, is discussing terms and conditions. Here you should be prepared to answer questions on the level of basic pay and the how the commission structure works.  It’s also worth reminding your self of the additional benefits at their level within your business, such as the grade of car, company pension contributions and health benefits.


How should you structure a second interview?

If you’re conducting the second interview with a colleague, then it could be useful to brief them on your findings from the first interview with areas of concern, or areas that you would like to delve deeper.  It is also worth planning who is going to ask specific questions, who is going to drive the interview and who is going to take the role of active listening, note taking and inquiring to delve deeper using laddering questions (this role is regularly referred to as ‘bad cop’ in an interview scenario!)
Be prepared to be flexible in your approach, but as a general guide, you could follow this structure:

  • Welcome and Agenda - introduce the candidate to your colleague(s) if someone else has joined you for the second interview. Make sure the candidate knows who your colleagues are and what positions they hold.
  • Recap from the first interview - briefly go over the main things you learned from the first interview and use that as a springboard to introducing what you’d like to discuss further.
  • Formal tasks -  that you have set for the candidate such as their business plan, second interview presentation or specific research.
  • The ‘nitty gritty’ - drill down further on the applicant’s experience, their life skills, values and ambitions. By this point the candidate should be confident and relaxed; they’ve got so far already. It’s a great chance to get to know them better and whether they’ll be an excellent fit for your organisation.
  • Questions from the applicant - take time to respond adequately – especially if you like the applicant and want to create a favourable impression.
  • The logistics - explore the candidate’s availability or notice period, and be prepared to discuss salary, commission and other benefits like annual leave and pension. Be ready to make a conditional offer (i.e. subject to references, or proof of claims) if you have the authority and desire to do so.


If you decide not to immediately press ahead with a conditional offer, thank the candidate for their time and go through how long the selection process will take before a decision is made. Invite the applicant to contact you if any further questions come to mind.


Example second interview questions to ask

  1. What main skills do you think are necessary for this role?
  2. Tell me about a time you had a difficult customer. How did you deal with it?
  3. Have you ever made an unpopular decision that yielded great results?
  4. What are the first three things you’d do if you were hired by us?
  5. What drives you to get up early and come to work each morning?
  6. What are your three most important motivators?
  7. What concerns do you have about working for our organisation? (invite objections from candidates that you are seriously interested in)
  8. What are your salary expectations?
  9. For further preparation, see Eighty Common sales interview questions.

 

Should I ask about a candidate’s long-term ambitions?

Yes! Particularly if you're working in a sales environment, and you are looking to employ a goal-oriented sales professional, the individual should have ambitions and goals.  Be realistic in your response to how they answer.  The average tenure of a salesperson in the UK is just 2.8 years (The State of Sales in the UK, Aaron Wallis, 2014), so if their response is to be a Sales Manager within five years, don’t be too disheartened.
Music to your ears would be your candidate saying: “Why, yes. I want to be selling five of your exceptional new cars each month by the end of the year.  This will provide me with the commission to save £10K this year and next, enabling me to purchase my dream house.  After that, once I’ve proved myself, I’d like to think I can progress here into a team-leading role, and eventually be the dealer-principal. That’s what drives me!”
 

What happens after a second interview?

The process will likely finish up in one of three ways:

  1. You’ve made a conditional offer during the second interview, and so complete the checks and formalities before making the full offer soon after.
  2. You discuss the second interview candidates with colleagues, take a decision and call the recruiter/winning applicant with the good news, making them an offer.
  3. You bring the preferred candidate back for a further and final, face-to-face meeting to iron out any last issues that either party may have before making an offer.  A powerful tip is to conduct this meeting in an informal setting, such as a local café/coffee shop.  In a more relaxed setting the ‘interview facade’ is removed and you will see the candidate in a more casual and natural light.


Hopefully, if you’ve done a thorough job throughout the whole selection process, you are now making hiring decisions based upon logic rather than solely ‘gut feel’.  In doing so, you’re considerably more likely to have selected a great new team member.
 

 


Navigate our other Employers Advice categories

by clicking the following icons:

Recruitment Planning

Interview Best Practice

Employer Interview Advice

Employer Interview Advice

 


 

Recruit Sales Staff

Search Jobs



aw_branches

Milton Keynes
01908 061 400

aw_branches

Birmingham
01543 227973

aw_branches

Bristol
01454 532530

aw_branches

Leeds
0113 867 2526

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners 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

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 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

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 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

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

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

Find out more

ABOUT OUR SALES RECRUITMENT SERVICE

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

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

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

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

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 on securing my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, 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

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

Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles saught 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

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

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

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

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

E. Heley, Candidate

Find out more

About our service to candidates

Copyright | Disclaimer | Site Map | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy © 2018 Aaron Wallis Recruitment and Training Limited. All Rights Reserved. Registered in England No. 6356563.