3 Qualities to Focus on When Interviewing Sales Candidates

Devon-McDonald by
This week I got to spend some time working with Kevin Gaither, the new VP of Inside Sales at uSamp, out in Encino, CA. If you are familiar with the sales influencer scene (an influencer being someone who produces valuable content pertaining to sales best practices, is active/highly followed from a social media standpoint, and is considered to be an expert in their space) you’ve probably heard of Kevin — he’s very active with American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, and also hosts his own weekly sales video show, This Week in Sales. In a nutshell, this guy eats, breathes, and sleeps inside sales and outbound prospecting. It’s quite awesome.

Kevin’s done his fair share of inside sales and outbound prospectors recruiting over the years, and he’s got some very interesting approaches and strategies. Ultimately, in an interview process he assesses the sales candidates based on these three qualities:

1. Need for achievement: The intense desire to attain excellence and accomplish challenging goals, found in athletes like Tiger Woods.

Example of an interview questionTell me about a few times when you exceeded expectations or went beyond the call of duty?

2. Competitiveness: The unquenchable thirst to outperform one’s peers and win the customer over to your point of view, found in athletes like Michael Jordan.

Example of an interview questionWhere do you rank on the sales team? May I have permission to contact your boss to ask about your rank?

3. Optimism: The certainty and resiliency that will not be denied, found in athletes like Lance Armstrong.

Example of an interview question: Think back to the last time you lost a deal, what did you do to recover?

What do you think? Are there any additional qualities that YOU find ultimately make for an outstanding sales hire? What questions help you get to the conclusion that they are “the one”… Or not?