6 years ago
March 22, 2018

Experienced vs. Inexperienced Sales Candidates. How Should Your Interview Strategy Change?

What is your interview strategy? Sales recruiting is your opportunity to identify and hire the best sales talent available. The position you are hiring for can alter your interview strategy….

Rhys Metler

What is your interview strategy? Sales recruiting is your opportunity to identify and hire the best sales talent available. The position you are hiring for can alter your interview strategy. Experienced and inexperienced sales candidates apply for all types of jobs. But how you interview them may change slightly.

Should Your Interview Strategy Change?

Whether experienced or inexperienced, the goal of a sales job interview is to find the best candidate possible. Therefore, the job interview strategies you use should remain similar. You need to test candidates for their ability to do the job and to fit within the company culture. At the end of the day, you want to answer:

  • Is the candidate right for the job?
  • Will the candidate fit company culture?
  • Are they the best candidate for the job?

1. Don’t Immediately Discount Inexperienced Candidates

Don’t immediately put a resume in the “no” pile because a candidate is inexperienced. Inexperienced candidates can still bring a lot to the table. Give them the opportunity to show their worth.

2. Hire for Potential, Not Experience

Previous experience does not always mean a candidate is the best fit. While past experience does have a lot of merit, there are many other factors to be considered. One, in particular, is potential. Look for candidates who have the potential to not only do their current job but also evolve and expand their skills and change with the times.

3. Adjust Your Interview Questions

One area of your sales recruiting strategy you may adjust when interviewing experienced versus inexperienced candidates is the type of questions you ask. It will be clear by a candidate’s resume which type of candidate they are.

If the candidate is experienced, you will want to ask them about previous work, their accomplishments, and how they can apply their experience to the role.

If the candidate is inexperienced, asking the same questions about their experience will not tell you much about them. Rather, ask them more situational questions to test their knowledge, demeanour, and potential. You want to know that, even if they lack experience, they have the ability to overcome this and quickly adapt to the job.

More Job Interview Strategy Tips:

Looking to hire the best sales talent? Check out these insightful blog posts to learn more interview strategies:

The Top 5 Challenges for Modern Sales Recruiters

Talentology: 4 Tips to Hire Top Sales Talent

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


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

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.