Sales Person Interview Test

posted 3 Nov 2014, 02:14 by Unknown user   [ updated 1 Aug 2016, 07:14 by Christoph von Gamm ]

Well all know the cliché tests for sales people...

  • Sell me this pen/watch/etc...
  • Give me a presentation on why I should hire you
  • etc...

All of these tests are done to see how a potential sales person can think on their feet, and realistically bull shit their way through a meeting.

Is that really the traits you want in a sales person representing your organization?

For me the answer was simple, NO!

I need sales people who have an extremely creative business mind that come with solutions so far out of the box that it forces our client to look at their business in a new way.

So how do you test your potential sales people for business creativity? Simple make them do it on the spot in your next interview with a real life business case.

Here is how I set this up:
  1. After you trade pleasantries at the being of the interview ask your candidate to stand up and go to the white board.
  2. Provide them with a brief overview of a real life prospect your team is working, and the reason this prospect came to your organization looking for help. (The key here is not to provide them any insight into the proposed solution your team has responded with!)
  3. Ask the candidate to provide you with three potential solutions they believe could answer your prospects needs that incorporate your services or not.
  4. After the candidate has listed out three potential solutions vet them with them carefully. Push the candidate hard to see if they will waiver on these solutions, or if they will stand fast that these solutions will work.
  5. Ask the sales person on this program you are reviewing to join the meeting to review their proposed solution against the ones now on the white board.
  6. Listen carefully as your sales person and the candidate review the solutions together, and see how the interaction takes place.
  7. Debrief with your sales person after the interview is over, and ask specifically if they plan to integrate any of those ideas proposed back into their final support solution.

This "test" has shown me more about a candidate that any other vetting practice I have tried. 

Some of the specific items I have discovered it shows me are:

  • How creative they are with business solutions
  • How far out of the box of your business they are willing to go.
  • The way they will interact with the rest of your team if your hire them.
  • Their ability to take feedback on ideas, and then incorporate improvements on their baseline idea.
  • The ability to think on their feed CREATIVELY, and not just bull their way through a meeting.

For me the hardest part of hiring a sales person for me is getting beyond their ability to sell me on them, and get to their real abilities to help companies solve their needs. This test will help you weed through the fakes, and find those people who have that creative spark to help our client's achieve the success we all want.

(Nov 3rd, 2014, Original by Michael McMillan , via LinkedIn. )

More information: