If you are a Lead Generation, Market Development, or Sales Development hiring manager, you know that a bad hire can cost you. Not only do you lose time, money, and potential customers — the wrong person is likely to reduce productivity and decrease morale.
For a well-rounded perspective on a candidate, I suggest multiple screening interviews with people at different levels in the chain of command.
Interview styles will vary from person to person. For example:
- Some interviewers use the résumé as a guide.
- Some are likely to ask structured questions in chronological order.
- Some might review personality test results and focus questions accordingly.
- Some might drill down into work experience details.
- Some may probe to understand behaviors or core values.
I believe that the best chance of success when conducting a hiring project is to create a planned, friendly, customized, and interactive interview experience for each candidate. The overriding benefit of this strategy is that you ensure a positive image and a steady reputation for your company. Regardless of the interview outcome, we all have something to learn from everyone we meet. These connections are opportunities for mutual growth.
There is nothing more important for a business than hiring the right team. If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success.
– Richard Branson, @richardbranson, Founder, Virgin Group
To conduct consistently rock-solid interviews, I’ve developed a set of questions to help you comprehensively assess a candidate’s character, attitude, personality, skills, past performance, potential, strategic and conceptual thinking ability. Using this list, you’ll be able to judge confidence, behaviors, time management style, company cultural preference, motivation, goals, and more.
I do not recommend that you ask every single question listed – both intuition and conscious reasoning should be your guide during the exchange. For example, I know from experience that the interview is not going to end in an offer if someone flounders when I ask, “What do you know about the company?”
44 Interview Questions
To decrease risk and avoid a costly Lead Generation Representative hiring mistake, and for more productive and efficient interviews, here are my favorite interview questions to help you dig deeply:
- How did you hear about us?
- What do you know about the company?
- What do you know about this industry?
- In what type of company culture do you thrive?
- What do you know about me?
- Why do you want to leave your current job? Why did you leave your last employer?
- What are three words your colleagues would use to describe you, and what are some examples that demonstrate those traits?
- Who is your role model and why?
- What is your greatest accomplishment?
- What are you looking for in your next position?
- What are the traits of an organization you admire?
- What skills do you possess that make you a strong lead generation, lead qualification, lead nurturing, and appointment setting candidate?
- Describe your plan to build a new territory and manage it.
- What is your method for organizing your day?
- How do you juggle multiple activities? What is your process for prioritizing activities?
- What lead generation tools research and CRMs/SFAs are you familiar with and how proficient are you at using them?
- What research do you do before reaching out to a target contact?
- How many words do you type per minute?
- How many phone calls (outbound) do you feel you need to make each day to arrange two qualified discovery calls or meetings?
- What percentage of the time are you willing to ask for an appointment?
- What lead generation monthly quotas have you had and did you meet or exceed those quotas?
- Can you share a story about being persistent and successfully securing an appointment?
- What motivates you? What are you passionate about?
- Give me an example of a marketing and sales contest that you found extremely motivating.
- With what industries and types of individuals are you most comfortable conversing?
- Do you prefer to work independently or on a team — and why?
- How will you collaborate with your co-workers?
- Describe how you learn best.
- What aggravates you?
- Who are your mentors?
- What do you look for in a manager?
- How do you like to be managed?
- Tell me about a time your manager asked you to do something that was not to your liking. Explain how you handled it.
- Describe the biggest mistake you have made in your career or on the job. How did you handle it and what was the outcome?
- How would you handle an inbound call from an upset customer or target contact?
- What is your process for managing rejection?
- What is your process for managing change?
- Do you believe rules should always be followed?
- What do you do for your professional development?
- What was the last B2B sales/marketing book/article you read and what was a major takeaway you adopted?
- Where do you see yourself 3 years from now, 5 years from now?
- At what income level do you see yourself 1 year from now, 3 years from now?
- Why should I hire you, instead of one of the other people with whom I am speaking?
- Do you have any questions?
Vocal / Communication Skills Assessment
Rank on a scale from 1 to 5. (1 being best)
Pleasant Tone _____
The Incredible Cost of a Bad Hire
Making mistakes with human capital is costly and can also reflect badly on your brand. A misstep can easily top half a million dollars when you factor in all the issues.
It’s a fallacy that you lost only the salary and benefits. What about the missed and lost sales opportunities? The lower team achievement? The erosion of morale? What about the cost of the administrivia of hiring and firing?
Hopefully, these well-tested questions will help you avoid your own Bad-Hire Catastrophe. Stop thinking of “hire quickly and fire slowly” as a good business practice. It is not. Choose each member of your lead generation team with the long game in mind!