When hiring new employees, the interview process is often the most important part. It’s where you really get to meet the candidate, and get a feel of their personality. Mess up this interview process, and you could be bringing on someone who isn’t the right fit for you company. In order to avoid this, we advise coming up with a list of tried and true questions to ask during an interview. To give you a head start, below I have included my favorite account executive interview questions.
Describe a current, or a former, sales role to me. What were your responsibilities? How was your success measured?
With this question, I’m trying to get a sense of how well the candidate can explain their current role and responsibilities. A big part of sales is selling yourself to people as trustworthy, and worth their time. I need to know that you are able to do that to me, before I let you loose on potential clients. Additionally, I like to see that candidates know what their metrics for success were. An unclear sales goal isn’t a goal that is ever being hit, and it a major red flag.
What is your biggest accomplishment in sales?
This question to me really ties into how they answered their first question. I am looking for an answer that ties into their role and responsibilities, and hopefully aligns with how their success was measured in their previous position. I also like to see candidates that take ownership for their successes.
Alternatively, what is your biggest failure in sales?
Every deal isn’t a win. That’s the plain truth, and the candidate should be very familiar with this thought process. I also like to see how a candidate would go back and change how they did something. It shows that they have learned from this drawback, and apply it to how they do their job now.
If I was to call your current team lead or manager, how would they describe you?
This question shows me if the candidate as received adequate coaching from their current employer. As well as shows me how self aware they are. Someone who has not received a lot of coaching, but is still very aware of what their weaknesses are and how to adjust to them is someone I want on my team. A candidate who has received coaching, but does not apply anything that they are being told is not someone I want.
What is making you want to move on to other opportunities?
The candidate’s answer to this question is very telling to me. Are they running to a great new opportunity? Running from mistakes made? Fleeing a toxic work environment? Their answer should be succinct, and it will ultimately be telling of if you want them on your team or not.
The interview is one of the most important steps of the hiring process. Use these questions in your next Account Executive interview, and set yourself up for success!
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