What Recruiters are looking for during Sales Interviews

Crawford Thomas Recruiting Blog

Experience is no longer the primary consideration during the recruitment process. This is because, while sales recruiters acknowledge that experience is an important factor in determining what-recruiters-are-looking-for-during-sales-interviewshow well as sales person is likely to perform at his job, they also recognize that in sales, one’s personality can easily trump the amount of experience and skill they have had on the job. More and more companies are recognizing that the candidate’s attitude plays a key role in how he/she performs at work. While skill can be taught, attitude cannot. In addition to a great personality and attitude, here are some elements that recruiters look out for during sales interviews.

1. Ability to Target Potential Clients Effectively

Contrary to popular belief, the sales process does not begin with a cold call to the potential client. It actually begins when the sales person targets a specific person or organization as a potential client. Cold calls may be the first contact that the salesperson and the client are sharing, but the sales person ought to know enough about the potential customer, in order to have determined that the company’s product or service is going to benefit them.

During the process of recruiting salespeople, recruiters want to get a feel of how the sales candidate targets potential clients. Effective targeting brings in more clients to the business; in addition to facilitating the effective allocation of resources like time and money, towards actual leads.


People generally do not spend time with people that they do not like. This is especially true for potential clients as the decision to hold a conversation with salespeople rests solely with them. It is therefore important to companies that their sales people be instantly likeable because they represent the company and more than likely, are the only contact that clients are ever going to have with the company.

For sales candidates therefore, a genuine smile goes a long way. It causes people to smile back and be more willing to stick around and hear what you have to say. Regardless of what your credentials are, if the recruiting team does not like you, it is unlikely that your name shall make it to the short list because clients are not going to like you either.

3. Acceptance of Responsibility

Among effective salespeople, it is important to accept responsibility for one’s own choices, even when those choices do not have the desired results. It is only by taking responsibility for one’s choices, that one is able to make better choices when faced with similar circumstances.

During the recruitment process, candidates who make excuses for their choices and blame them on their former bosses, colleagues and so on, are like kryptonite to the recruiting team. Nothing turns off recruiters faster than a sales person who does not take responsibility for his/her actions. The reason for this is that they expect the salesperson to continue in that attitude at the new company; blaming everybody else for each less-than-ideal situation he/she finds themselves in. This in turn means that they shall not experience growth at the company and are likely to drag their colleagues down with them.

As a sales candidate, let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’, ‘no’. Be as objective as you can and own up to past mistakes. Only then can you also fully own your past successes.

Crawford Thomas RecruitingWhat Recruiters are looking for during Sales Interviews