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Sales Leadership
Jun 2, 2010 | Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) lock

Generally the first questions you ask candidates in an interview focus on educational background, identifying reasons why a candidate has left previous jobs, strengths, weaknesses, short- and long-term career goals, details of the type of company and
environment in previous jobs and competence in them and preferred work and
communication style. Outlined below is a list of questions that are designed get the ball
rolling:

1. How do you think college/university contributed to your development?
2. What courses did you get the most out of? Why?
3. Do you know much about our company, product lines, sales team etc?
4. Tell me about your most recent position—responsibilities, duties, functions?
Outline a typical day on the job.
5. How have your previous jobs equipped you for greater responsibility?
6. What has been your greatest achievements/successes in your most recent position? How  do you feel about them?
7. What aspects did you enjoy the most in your last (or present) position?
8. What aspects did you enjoy least about your last (or present) position?
9. What are your best professional skills? What are your greatest strengths/qualities? How have you capitalized on these strengths in your most recent position?
10. What was the hardest decision you ever had to make and how did you handle it?
11. What have you done recently to become more effective in your present position?
12. Tell me something about yourself that is not mentioned in your résumé.
13. What kinds of situations or circumstances make you feel tense or nervous?
14. Are you happiest working alone or in a team? Why?
15. What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the industry?
16. Please describe your last (or present) supervisor’s management style? What do
you like/dislike about it?

The following questions need to be asked after the candidate has been given the job description, either orally or in a written format to review.

1. Do you feel that you have a good understanding of what the job entails? (If the answer is no, discuss it further).
2. Can you list any reason why you could not perform the job as outlined?
3. What do you think you will like most and least about this job?
4. What do you think is likely to make the difference between success and failure here?
5. I presume that, like most people, you are looking for an interesting job, but
interesting means different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
6. What other types of positions are you currently seeking or considering?

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The Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) is a national organization of 30000 sales and marketing professionals. Members receive significant savings on travel, business costs and more. The CPSA also offers exclusive sales training and certification programs.

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