| CATEGORY: SALES MANAGEMENT/LEADERSHIP, RECRUITMENT/SELECTION|
|Key Words: Recruitment and selection, Interviews, Sales management, Tips and techniques, Executives|
|Preparing for the Interview|
|By The Canadian Professional Sales Association|
|Last Update: 12/29/2010 9:29:40 AM|
Interviews for sales positions require preparation by the interviewer as well as by the candidate. Interviewers prepare by familiarizing themselves with the requirements of the
position and the backgrounds of the candidates. Interviews are normally conducted alone
by the sales manager or in the company of one or two others. In smaller companies, if
there is no sales manager, the company owner or president may conduct the interview.
Interview teams should plan on who will be asking which questions in which order, to
avoid confusion. If a team of two or three people is to conduct the interview, planning
may also include follow-up questions by another team member. Whether it’s one person
or three conducting the interview, all individuals should:
- Review the job description and have a copy available to give to the candidate
should the candidate be called for a second interview.
- Examine carefully the specifications listed, particularly the traits needed to be
successful in the position. Prepare a list of questions and agree upon their order in
- Review the résumé and those questions you have noted.
Setting the “stage” for the interview takes little effort and has a few advantages. From the very start, the future employee sees an example of professional standards of which he or she will be a part. Creating a pleasant environment can help relax both you and the candidate. Specific things to do include:
- Allow sufficient time for the interview (45 minutes to 1 hour for the first
- Allow 15 minutes between interviews for you to relax, organize your thoughts and
- Choose a location that is quiet and relaxed, either a small meeting room or
company boardroom. If you are using your own office tell your receptionist that
you will not be taking calls and post a sign on the door explaining that interviews
are taking place.
- Arrange for candidates to be greeted, offered coffee, and shown the hospitality of
your firm while they wait.
- Avoid sitting behind a desk. Many interviewers find that two chairs with no table
between works well.