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6 ways to prevent superior inside sales job candidates from working for your company


describe the imageYou read the title of this post correctly. Recently I’ve heard some unbelievable stories from good inside sales candidates who interviewed with companies looking to hire inside salespeople. A superior candidate is always considers the job interview a two-way process: he or she is interviewing the company as well, as that’s where the candidate intends on spending the next 3-5 years of his or her life, maybe more. When I’m developing my inside sales training classes for a client, sales management often asks me about how to find superior candidates. Finding them can be tough, but landing them can be tougher. 

Here are a few interview techniques I’ve heard about recently that no sales manager should replicate. I hope these don’t sound familiar: 

1) Neither you nor anyone else actually doing the interviews has to bother reading the candidate’s résumé or checking him or her out on LinkedIn. If ignorance is bliss, you’ll all be very happy!
2) Don’t bother actually meeting the candidate face to face. Instead, have subordinates do the interviews. Don’t bother dropping into say hello to introduce yourself, either.
3) Select a subordinate who hates cold-calling to do the interview, and doesn’t mind conveying that fact to the candidate. If the candidate voices a love for cold-calling, he or she will not be recommended by the employee giving the interview. Why would your employee advocate hiring someone who would make him or her look bad?
4) Select a subordinate to do the interview who loves to talk about his or her problems at home. The candidate may not find anything about the company quite as compelling as the interviewer’s home life.
5) You don’t need to “sell” the candidate on why your company is a great one to work for. The candidate should be grateful that you even gave him or her the interview!
6) Do remember to yawn constantly and tell the candidate how tired you are, or describe the medications you’re taking. This will help the candidate to realize that he or she is interviewing with a dynamic company! 

I’d love to believe most companies are way too professional to engage in these interviewing practices, but they’ve all occurred to great inside sales candidates who interviewed within the last 3 months. Candidate selection is a two-way street. You want to love the candidate, but the candidate has to love your company, too. Great interviews prevent “churn & burn” personnel decisions, and tell the candidate loads about the professionalism of your company. The above poor practices will make good candidates walk away, and turn them toward interviewing at other companies. 

If you’re in management, please do the opposite of what I’ve described above, and add professional interviewing demeanor to your Best Practices Playbook.


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