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11 Sales Interview Problems to Fix Now!

The way most companies approach hiring sales people, I am quite certain they would have equal success picking one of the applicants at random. It seems so many forget the most basis rule of interviewing – Have a plan and stick to it!

FREE DOWNLOAD: Interview Process Guide for Hiring Sales People

Alternately and for amusement purposes only, here are 11 of my least favorite approaches, behaviors, and techniques.

1) The last minute, no prep, no context interviewHey Bob… do you have 30 minutes today? We have the prospective [Insert Title Here] coming in today and I’d really like to get your take on him.

2) We’ve already decided to hire them but want everyone to be part of the process – This makes me crazy! The entire company knows the CEO has already decided to make the offer but insists it is important for the company culture.

3) The Choose Your Own Adventure Interview – Agreed upon criteria? Standard interview questions? Consistent format? Not a chance! That would inhibit creativity… ‘We’ll know the right person when they come along.’

4) Let me tell you about me and my career and what I think about everything. – Newsflash: It is not a good thing when the interviewer does most of the talking. Your goal should be less than 20%.

5) Tell me about yourself.’ – This is actually a great opening question…If you want to convince the applicant you have invested zero energy preparing for the interview. This is the second most worthless interview question of all time [See Below.]

7) Where do you see yourself in X years? – The last time I was asked this question I answered: ‘Doing your job, living in your house, married to your wife, with you mowing my lawn.‘ Needless to say, I did not advance to the next round.

8) I’m not sure what the next step is but we’ll get back to you. – Wait…we both just invested an hour of our lives we’ll never get back and nobody knows what happens next…wow!

9) We are looking to fill the position as soon as possible. – Nothing says‘We haven’t thought this through‘ quite so well as this line. If you are serious about hiring, you need to have a planned-for decision date and start date.

10) The Group Grope I have a different name for this one but don’t think it would get past the social media censers. Unless your team has been specifically trained in group interview techniques (and I know they have not) this is possibly the least effective approach possible.

11) The Cattle Call – Unless you oversee hiring for Denny’s, herding dozens of candidates into a room for a group interview is simply absurd.

Leave a Comment! I would love to hear your worst interview experiences and top ‘pet-peeves’

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