7 years ago
July 6, 2017

4 Ways to Spot a Suitable Sales Candidate During an Interview

Finding the best candidate can be a challenge. Here are 4 Ways to Spot a Suitable Sales Candidate During an Interview

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Whether you are hiring for inbound or outbound, looking for sales reps or sales managers, it’s vital for hiring companies to understand how to spot suitable sales candidates. Your ability to quickly identify talent and pluck them from the pool of candidates can greatly help you improve your recruiting and hiring process, hire the right people, improve performance and culture, and improve retention.

A lot of candidates look great on paper, but it’s not until you have the opportunity to meet them, and talk with them in person, that you get a real sense of who they are and if they have the skills that will fit with your company’s sales approach.

Ways to Spot a Suitable Sales Candidate During an Interview

Here are some key traits to look for when interviewing sales candidates:

1. Cultural fit:

Finding people who are the right cultural fit for your company is very important. All it takes is one or two people who don’t align with company values or ways of doing things to negatively impact others. If a candidate seems like a natural fit, has the same views, uses similar sales strategies, and has the same outlook, then they are worth considering.

2. Ambition:

Skills can be taught, but you cannot train motivation, drive and ambition. Candidates who display these traits will make up any skills or knowledge shortcomings and will have the drive to succeed you are looking for in sales professionals.

3. A customer-focused approach:

In sales, it’s easy to get caught up in making sales quotas and worrying about your own performance. Truly successful sales people are focused on the customer. People who have a customer-centric approach to sales are skilled at offering creative solutions and building relationships with customers, something that will benefit your company.

4. Persistence:

It often takes a while to get the payoff in sales. Sales processes can last for months, and many reps give up on clients too early. Look for candidates who have persistence and are up to the challenge, and are keen on finding new and innovative solutions that will help your customers solve a problem.

Focusing on these traits will help you separate the pretenders from the real contenders for the job you are filling.


More Advice for Hiring Sales Candidates

Talentology: 4 Tips to Hire Top Sales Talent

How to Close a Star Candidate: 5 Tips from a Sales Recruiter

6 Interviewer Techniques to Find Your Next Sales Star


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit sales people in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right sales person for your organization, start your search here. 

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.