sales interview questions australia – Good Luck or Good Management?
“We’re so lucky to have her.”
“I took a chance and hired him.”
“We don’t want to risk losing them.”
We often talk about finding the right employee as if it’s more about good luck than good management. Imagine if we spoke about other major business ‘purchases’ in the same way: “I had a gut feeling we should invest ,000 in new software” or “It just felt like we should restructure now”.
Emotions are important drivers in business, whether we acknowledge them or not. But sometimes we need to be more scientific about our decision making. Occasionally, objective data will confirm our gut feeling, but not always.
Employee selection is no different from other business decisions: The quality of the decision depends on the quality and availability of relevant information.
Did you know that if you recruit by studying a person’s resume and interviewing them, without any other assessment of their suitability, you have a 14% chance of hiring the right person? In other words, about 6 out of 7 employees hired on this basis will not perform well in the role.
This is because
a)It takes more than qualifications, skills and experience to do well in a role,
b)Interviewers are often inexperienced or lack knowledge of modern techniques and
c)Some people will always be better than others at selling themselves in an interview. How do you improve the odds in your favour?
When you’re hiring, define both the cultural and job specific behaviours that will determine success in the role. Different methods of assessment will provide you with different information about job fit and organisational fit. You will never predict performance with 100% accuracy, but by combining different measures you will reduce the risk of error. Two types of assessment can be added to your recruitment process immediately, without much extra effort or expense. Behavioural interviewing
The claim that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour is well supported by research. This is why behavioural interviews are so important. By asking a candidate to describe in detail their experience in areas specific to the target job, you learn how they’ve handled situations in the past and hence how they’re likely to perform in the future.
Behavioural interview questions tend to follow a pattern:
1.Tell me about a time when you … (eg. were responsible for delivering results in a tight timeframe)?
3.What was the outcome?
4.What did you learn?
5.What would you do differently if you had to do that again?
It’s often useful to include a negative question or two. For example, you could ask if they had ever failed to meet their sales budget and follow up with probing for what they learnt from the situation.
The second easily implemented method to improve your chances of making the right decision is to use some form of psychometric assessment. Psychometric tests are used to measure the psychological attributes of candidates, such as intelligence, personality or values. These tests are based on rigorous research and testing, enabling the user to accurately measure and compare candidates.
There are three main types of psychometric assessments available:
Personality is the set of characteristics an individual possesses, uniquely influencing their thought processes, motivations and behaviour. Personality profiles typically measure traits that are assumed to be individual, influence behaviour and be relatively stable over time.
Research shows that it is possible to measure specific traits and predict their effect on performance in a particular role. If you would like to employ, for example, a BDM who is outgoing and optimistic, it’s possible to measure the level of these traits for each candidate.
The most accurate information for selection comes from measuring traits specific to the role and organisation, rather than a general personality profile. The best assessment systems also take into account the fact that people will behave differently in different situations. 2. Motivation
Sometimes in combination with personality profiling, it is possible to measure an individual’s values and motivational needs. If you understand your organisational culture, you will be able to check for cultural fit and assess how likely it is that those values and needs will be acknowledged and met.
Cultural fit has been determined through research to be a key factor in staff satisfaction and retention. 3. Cognition
These tests assess abilities like problem-solving, intelligence, literacy and numeracy. You might, for example, want to assess candidates’ numeracy and analytical ability if you’re hiring an accountant.
We’ve all experienced examples of poor fit, like the manager who lacks people skills or the person expected to work in a team when they’d rather work alone. These situations are hard to recover. They can be avoided by pre-employment and/or pre-promotion assessment.
Could you apply these ideas to give you more confidence in your hiring decisions?
Will your next successful hire be due to good luck or good management?
Susan Rochester has many years of experience in staff development management as a recruitment consultant. Learn more about the revolutionary online psychometric assessment Australia wide use and benefits to employers.
sales interview questions australia