When interviewing sales and marketing talent, you, of course, want to focus on skills. You need people with the expertise to do the job well, but you also need more. You need to identify people who are motivated, passionate and enthusiastic about what they do and who will fit in well with their new team and the overall organizational culture. Are you asking the right interview questions?
Questions That Reveal Weaknesses
Asking a candidate to talk about their weaknesses can be a dicey situation. You’ll often get vague answers or answers like, “I’m a perfectionist.” It’s important to hire people who understand the areas where they can improve. The point isn’t to ask gotcha questions, but rather, questions that reveal how self-aware someone is. Consider asking:
- Describe a time you were asked to complete a task using skills you hadn’t yet mastered.
- Describe a time when you fell short of a goal.
- What are some areas of professional improvement you are currently developing?
Questions Focused on Cultural Alignment
People can’t succeed at work when their values, goals, and personality do not align with organizational culture. Targeted questions can help you determine fit, without receiving canned answers from someone who researched the culture ahead of time:
- Describe the best job you ever had. What made you successful?
- Describe the best boss you ever had.
- In what type of environment do you do your best work?
- In what type of environment are you least productive?
Questions That Show Preparation
Someone who didn’t take the time to research your organization or think about why they would want to work for you won’t be a good fit. You’re looking for someone passionate about what your company does and is enthusiastic about working for you. Ask questions that show they’ve invested time in understanding your company:
- Why do you think this company would be a better fit than your current company?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- You’d be working on a team that is focused on (project, product, service). How much do you know about that?
Questions That Reveal Passion
You want to hire people who like what they do. Of course, there will always be things that people do not like about a particular sales or marketing job, but to stay engaged, they must be driven by overall enthusiasm for their field. To uncover passion, ask questions like:
- Why did you get into sales/marketing?
- What do you like most about the field?
- What do you like least?
- How do you keep yourself ahead of industry trends?