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Hiring A Sales Superstar: Setting The Tone For Your Interview Process

When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves. 

William Arthur Ward


In our previous post we discussed the traits that are present in ALL Sales Superstars. Today we are going to discuss how to set the agenda with the applicant that will help to smooth the interview process on both sides of the table.

I LOVE a good candy bar, my favorite being 3 Musketeers, don’t know why just love’em! The thing I always notice is no matter how large my craving and how good it tastes going down the experience never really fills me up. Then when my eyes are bigger then my stomach and I have too many of those delectable little morsels (like Halloween) my stomach quickly shows its displeasure at my lack of willpower. Poor interviewing has similar symptoms but far worse consequences.

Okay, first off let’s remember this is an interview for a professional sales position, it is not a personality contest. Too many sales managers think they have to fall over themselves being genial while not asking any tough questions lest you scare off a potential hire. I am not advocating being rude I am saying you need to treat this as business meeting not a conversation at a bar. If you are looking for a new best friend or somebody who will be a “Yes Person” then you are in the wrong business.

Sales Superstars are competitive and they liked to be challenged. They will naturally gravitate to the person or organization that they believe CAN and WILL push them to be the best and help them make the most money.


Set The Tone
You need to inform them that

  • You will be asking questions and followups

  • If you see fit you may need to cut them off in mid-answer if they are not answering on point

  • You want it to be conversational but not at the expense of getting to the information you need (IE ‘the truth’)

  • This is a bi-directional process and they are welcome to ask as many questions as they see fit

  • This is a filtering process for both parties, to continue the interview process both parties have to feel comfortable

  • One word answers are not acceptable and you are actually looking for examples from their own personal experiences to illustrate their answers


Good start! If you set the ground rules as stated above it will allow for a clear and open discussion on qualifications. Just be prepared to live by your own rules. The best want to work with the best. We naturally are attracted to people who are as good or better than we are. If a Sales Superstar asks you direct questions and you can not answer them don’t expect them to WANT to work for you no matter how ‘nice’ an interviewer you may be….


That’s it for today, next up what are the questions you need to ask in an interview…