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3 Tips for Interviewing Salespeople

6 min
Average Score

Steve Suggs

Partner at Sales Manage Solutions

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Steve Suggs, a seasoned sales recruiting expert and author of the book "Can They Sell," welcomes you to his informative sales recruitment video blog. In this enlightening video session, Steve shares invaluable insights on how to hire the best salespeople. Discover the art of conducting interviews that attract the right candidates and repel the wrong ones, ultimately leading to a stronger sales team.

How to Hire the Best Salespeople

One common concern among sales leaders and recruiters is whether adopting specific interview techniques may discourage potential candidates from joining their team. Steve's perspective on this matter is clear: using the right interview techniques should not deter suitable candidates but, in fact, attract them.

To hire the best salespeople, it's crucial to approach interviews with a distinct mindset. Many sales managers are excellent salespeople themselves, and it's natural to want to employ their persuasive skills during interviews. However, Steve advises against this approach. Instead, he suggests that during interviews, you shift the burden onto the candidate to sell themselves to you.

Creating the Ideal Interview Atmosphere

To create an interview environment that emphasizes the candidate's responsibility to demonstrate their worthiness, you must begin by being friendly and welcoming. However, this friendliness transitions into "interview mode" once the conversation officially starts. At this point, you set the stage for the candidate to answer specific questions tied to the traits and skills you're looking for in a salesperson.

The key to shifting the burden effectively lies in your ability to remain silent after asking a question. Allow the candidate to respond without interruptions, using your best poker face. Whether their answers are impressive or lackluster, you simply proceed to the next question.

The interview environment Steve describes closely resembles a sales call. In a sales meeting, prospects often ask questions and remain passive, challenging the salesperson to convince them of the product's value. Similarly, during interviews, candidates should take the lead in showcasing their qualifications.

Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses

By shifting the burden during interviews, you provide an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their sales abilities and share their successes. Strong candidates will thrive in this atmosphere, showcasing their skills and confidence. Weaker candidates, however, may struggle as they attempt to fabricate qualifications they don't possess.

Steve emphasizes the importance of not rescuing candidates who struggle during interviews. By resisting the urge to intervene, you allow the truth to surface. This approach ensures that you make informed hiring decisions based on candidates' actual abilities rather than their interview performance.

To learn about Steve's successful story, watch this session.

Takeaways for Effective Interviews

- Be friendly and welcoming at the beginning of the interview.

- Transition into "interview mode" where you shift the burden onto the candidate.

- Ask questions tied to specific traits and skills.

- Find out other 3 key takeaways from the session,

If you're eager to discover more about the art of shifting the burden in interviews and how it can help you hire the best salespeople, watch the full session. Gain deeper insights into this interview technique and its impact on building a high-performing sales team.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to refine your hiring process and select the salespeople who truly excel in their roles. Click the link below to watch the full session and take the first step toward hiring the best sales talent for your organization.

Learn more about interviewing techniques and what are the 6 personality traits leaders should look for.

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