Most Sales Interviews Ineffective
A University of Michigan study titled, “The Validity and Utility of Alternative Predictors of Job Performance” analyzed how well a sales interview predicts success on the job. The surprising finding: The typical sales interview increased the chances of choosing the best candidate by less than 2%. In other words, interviewing is just slightly more reliable as a sales hiring tool than flipping a coin!
Sales Hiring using a Sales Interview
Experts cite several reasons why a typical sales interview is such a poor predictors of sales success:
1 – Most managers don’t structure a sales interview beforehand or weight interviewee responses against a predetermined set of ideal responses.
2 – Sales candidates are skilled at presenting themselves and crafting their responses based on what they feel the particular employer is seeking. Thus, managers are often unable to see through their “front” and find the candidate to be different after s/he is hired. (NOTE: There are salesperson diagnostic tests available to help assess a candidate’s genuine characteristics–we’d be happy to supply you with details)
3 – A sales interview is often not totally objective because it is influenced by personal chemistry. Oftentimes, the most qualified and capable sales candidates are overlooked in the sales hiring process because their personalities do not “click” with those of the interviewers.
Given this information, it is clear that in order to increase sales and hiring results, sales managers must carefully think through the sales hiring process and develop a step-by-step system to ensure that hiring decisions are not based on personality fit or a “shoot-from-the-hip” sales interview format.
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