10 months ago
June 29, 2023

How to Spot Sales Candidate Red Flags Early On In The Hiring Process

As a sales recruiter, we understand the importance of hiring the right sales candidates for your business. Finding the right person to fill your open sales role could be just…

Brandon Biafore Sales Recruiter
Brandon Biafore

As a sales recruiter, we understand the importance of hiring the right sales candidates for your business. Finding the right person to fill your open sales role could be just the injection of energy your sales team needs. Hiring the wrong person and it can have the opposite effect.

To help you spot red flags and avoid making hiring mistakes, our sales recruiters created this list of 8 ways to spot sales candidate red flags early on in the hiring process:

1. Does the candidate appear to not be fully prepared?

During the interview process, pay attention to whether the candidate has prepared adequately. Red flags include a lack of knowledge about your company, products, or industry. A prepared candidate demonstrates their genuine interest and dedication to the sales role.

2. Is the candidate providing detailed responses? Or are they vague?

Be wary of candidates who provide inconsistent or vague answers to your questions. Look for specific examples and measurable results that showcase their sales achievements. Red flags include candidates who need help to articulate their sales process, methodologies, or past successes.

how to spot candidate red flag

3. Did the candidate follow all instructions? Are they active listeners?

Effective communication is vital in sales. Observe how well the candidate listens and comprehends during the interview. Before the interview, look to see if the candidate followed all the required steps in the application process. Did they do the bare minimum?

4. Is the candidate too self-focused?

While individual achievements are important, be cautious if a candidate excessively focuses on their personal successes without acknowledging teamwork or collaboration. Sales is often a team effort, so look for candidates who can balance highlighting their individual accomplishments with acknowledging the contributions of others.

5. Is the candidate knowledgeable about the sales industry?

Sales professionals should possess a natural curiosity and a desire to learn and improve continuously. Watch out for candidates who show limited interest in your industry, products, or market trends. Red flags include a lack of enthusiasm for personal and professional growth.

6. Does the candidate have a negative attitude? Do they lack excitement for sales? Appear jaded?

Sales can be challenging, and it requires resilience and a positive attitude. Pay attention to how the candidate handles questions about dealing with rejection, overcoming obstacles, or adapting to changes. A red flag is a candidate who appears easily discouraged, expresses negativity or lacks perseverance.

7. Did the candidate struggle to build rapport with you during the interview?

Building relationships is crucial in sales. Assess how well the candidate builds rapport during the interview. Notice if they demonstrate active listening, empathy, and the ability to connect with others. Red flags include candidates who struggle to establish rapport or come across as disinterested or distant.

8. Is the candidate inquisitive and creative? Do they lack problem-solving skills?

Sales professionals should have strong questioning skills to understand customer needs and solve problems effectively. Assess the candidate’s ability to ask thoughtful questions and propose solutions during the interview. A red flag is a candidate who struggles to ask relevant questions or lacks problem-solving skills.

9. A final word on potential sales candidate red flags

Awareness of these potential red flags can help you make your hiring and selection process more efficient. It can also help you to select sales candidates who align with your company’s values, possess the necessary skills, and have the potential to thrive in the role.

More Sales Recruiting Tips

6 Strategies To Ensure Your New Star Sales Employee Doesn’t Quit

Don’t Lose Your Sales Superstar: The Top 6 Reasons Candidates Decline Job Offers

Consider These 3 Crucial Questions When Deciding Between Two Great Sales Candidates

SalesForce Search is a sales recruitment agency that specializes in hiring sales rockstars. Hiring top salespeople is tough. Only 55% meet their quota. Our proactive approach recruits talented salespeople before they hit the market. As North America’s leading sales headhunter we recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. To find your next sales rockstar, start your search here. Did you know SalesForce Search is an IQ PARTNERS company?

Brandon Biafore Sales Recruiter

Brandon Biafore

With a background successfully leading sales teams (overseeing training & development, driving sales & revenue, and ensuring delivery of exceptional customer service while executing cost control), Brandon is a sales recruiter with a solid understanding of what it takes to succeed in sales leadership role, as well as the challenges faced by hiring managers in finding top sales talent.