Make Better Hires by Cutting through Interview Smokescreens

We’ve all experienced it ... the interviewee who seems to have all the right answers. They are smooth, articulate, and seem to be the perfect fit for your open position. You can’t resist so you hire them. Fast forward 3 to 5 months, the new toy phase wears off, and results are mediocre at best. And then you wonder “where is the person from the interview?” Well … it happened.

What happened? You failed to get to the truth. You accepted surface level answers and were caught up in the excitement. Especially if you are interviewing sales professionals - this happens every day. Most sales professionals are quick on their feet. The question is: are they quick and legit or just quick and confident enough to get you to believe them for 60 minutes?

If you don’t want to fall into the second group, dig deep, get to the 3rd layer, and find the truth. I’m blessed to help a lot of my clients hire top sales talent and take part in the interview process. Let's look at a recent real life scenario. A hiring manager says to me “I spoke to a possible candidate, I really like them, they have hit quota every quarter for the past 4 years.”

My questions to the hiring manager:

  • How many other reps in the company?
  • How many of them hit quota every quarter as well?
  • Where did they rank compared to others?
  • How far above quota were they?

Unfortunately the answer to all of these questions was “great questions, I don’t know.”

The good news is that cutting through the smokescreen is easy. The great reps out there - and there are great reps out there - will be able to answer the 2nd/3rd/4th layer questions every time. Why? Because they are good and they can back it up.

Next time you are in an interview, be cautious of happy ears and taking items at face value. Much like you have rehearsed interview questions, people have rehearsed answers, even to the 2nd layer questions. The 3rd layer starts to get to the truth. Go there. You will be glad you did.

If you truly want to avoid wasting time with people who won’t perform at your organization and only interview those who can and will sell, assess them upfront. A candidate assessment tool specifically designed for salespeople is the ultimate way to cut through the smokescreen before spending hours with someone in an interview process. Want to try it for your next hire in your pipeline? Click here to gain the insight you need to find the next sales star for your organization.

Aaron Prickel

Connect with Aaron Prickel

For 25 years, Lushin has guided business leaders toward intentional, predictable growth.

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