The Art of Interviewing

Art is a thing of beauty that can be expressed in many ways, and interviewing can be a form of art. What follows is an effective system to use when recruiting people for employment.

If you feel uncomfortable at first, you will quickly overcome it through repeated application. Ultimately, you will reap rewards from high-quality hires.

This system is not foolproof. If there was a foolproof way to select people, someone would be making a zillion dollars. This system greatly reduces the chance of failure.

I will concentrate on interviewing for sales people or sales management.

  • Application. Every applicant must fill one out - no exceptions. It must be filled out in complete detail - no shortcuts. If they do not do this correctly, imagine their paperwork later. Also, don’t look for a resume. A resume can make anyone look good, no matter what their credentials are.
  • Ask Questions, lots of them. Go over the application in detail with the candidate: Name, address, where they lived previously, education, major and physical condition. Ask questions like, “When was the last time you had a physical?” The answer could be very helpful. If it has been 15 years, do you think this could carry over into their business life?
  • All the questions you ask have answers. You must ask, and more importantly, listen to the answer. Listening skills are very important. Remember, you’re trying to make a decision about a person’s life. You can only find out about a person by asking good questions. If they talk about their hobbies in a dry, boring tone, how well do you think they will sell you product or service?
  • Company features and benefits. Here, you get the chance to talk and brag about your company. Don’t forget that this is a sales presentation. If you have a good candidate in front of you, don’t lose them. You are selling your company. Also, make sure the candidate knows exactly what you expect from them.
  • Multiple Interviews. This should not be a one-person show. Get other people involved from your company to interview this person. Others will see different things with a different perspective.

Take notes so you can refer back to them when you all meet. Do not do this from memory. You could not possibly remember all the details. When you sit down and review your notes and discuss what each one of you felt, your chances of hiring the right person just increased. Field Experience. When hiring a sales rep, have him or her go into the field for a half or full day. This way, the applicant can see if this is really the right position for him or her. Secondly, the salesperson who takes this person out also might have good insight.

In summary, if there were one right way to hire people, there would only be one book. But we’re dealing with people. As individuals, we are all different, and perceptions can vary. Use common sense, ask good questions, listen carefully and get other people’s opinions.

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