10 years ago
January 7, 2015

Looking for a Sales Representative? Watch for these Warning Signs

Looking for a sales representative can be a difficult process for a small business owner. Look for these warning signs in your next interview.

Rhys Metler

Looking for a sales representative is like looking for a needle in a haystackLooking for a sales representative can be a difficult process for a hiring manager or small business owner. You may have to interview many candidates for your open position before you find a candidate who is the right fit for your organization. Often even after you find a suitable candidate, they turn out to be far better interested in selling themselves than your service after you’ve hired them. Watch for these traits when you are interviewing candidates to avoid these costly sales hiring mistakes.

1. The candidate avoids your questions or talks over you in his interview.

We’ve written before that the best salespeople are also good listeners, so you should be wary of a candidate who puts pitching himself before understanding your questions. If a client asked you an important question about your product, you would be sure to give a thoughtful and informative answer, and you need to be able to trust all of your sales representatives to do the same.

2. The candidate has had difficulty acheiving her sales targets in the past.

Top performers are very careful in their sales goal setting and sales strategy and will meet and surpass sales targets with little need for management. If a candidate has had difficulty acheiving what was expected of them in the past, this could mean that they will require a lot of support and management from you just to meet your minimum expectations. You should be looking for candidates who can set sales goals for themselves and acheive sales success independantly. 

3. The candidate is careless in his interview follow-up.

Sometimes candidates will give a good interview and then turn hiring managers off with an aggressive or careless follow-up email. You should treat these slip-ups individually, but this lack of attention to detail at the interview stage could indicate how the candidate would behave when dealing with your clients. If you had any other concerns about the qualifications of a candidate who makes a mistake in their follow-up email, you should definitely consider other applicants. 




SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across Canada and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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.