Many business owners turn the hiring process over to their human resources department since they have the experience in hiring salesmen, but this doesn’t excuse them from knowing how to hire a salesperson. In fact, after job candidates have passed a sales test and have gone through the interview process, many business owners should conduct the final interview and make the actual job offer.
With many companies, the human resources department is responsible for administering any pre employment assessment test before scheduling interviews for salesmen. Applicants that do not fare well on this test are not usually called back for interviews while those that score well on these tests are sometimes asked to complete a subsequent sales test before the interview process begins.
All interviews, beginning with the initial one should be conducted by those who know how to hire a salesperson. Human resources personnel may be familiar with many aspects of the hiring process but only those familiar with what it takes to be a great salesman should conduct the first and subsequent interviews. When conducting interviews the results of the pre employment assessment test should be included with the interviewer’s packet to allow questions to be asked based on any discrepancies in the answers.
Ideally, interview questions will basically be the same, but often worded differently to extract the feelings and emotions used by the applicant to better understand their answers. Unfortunately, some companies allow their top salesmen to conduct the interviews which does not always reveal an accurate assessment of the applicant’s abilities. They may not have a complete understanding of how to hire a salesperson instead comparing the applicant’s answers to how they would have answered, not resulting in an honest assessment.
Sales managers are about the worst person to be involved in the final interview as they are going to be the ones they answer to if they are hired. They may believe they know how to hire a salesperson but in reality, in addition to comparing their own talents to the applicant, they are looking for someone who will follow their direction and not the free-thinkers that turn out to be better salesmen.
The owner of the business will ultimately be responsible for the performance of the new sales person and should have the best understanding of how to hire a salesperson. As a result, they should conduct the final interview and be the one to make the job offer. This lets the candidate meet the boss while allowing the owner to explain not only the job duties, but their expectations as well.