Does Your Interview Process Yield Profit or Loss?

Fall 2003

Most managers would agree that hiring is one of their most important decisions. A decision based on wrong information or misinterpreted information can result in mis-hiring, a situation that is costly and painful to the organization and candidate alike. Yet is it alarming to note that from our experience only about one in twenty companies have an interview process in place that is accurate and thorough enough to avoid a mismatch.

It is estimated that the cost of a mismatch can be up to 4 times the person’s salary. For example, if a Sales Rep earns $75,000 per year and is not the right fit for the job, your organization may be losing up to $300,000 annually. The loss is greater when you consider the management mis-hire.

While there is no “one size fits all” interview process, there are certain elements that can be adopted by your organization immediately. At Direct Recruiters, Inc., we advise that you consider the following list as a general guideline for a sales or sales management interview:

  • Opening (Meet & Greet)
  • Work History & Related Sales and/or Management Experience
  • Sales & Technical Skills
  • Plans & Goals
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Intellectual Characteristics
  • Self-Appraisal
  • Personal Characteristics
  • Education

When using this general guideline, keep in mind that interviewing is an art. It’s asking the right questions relevant to the job as well as interpreting the answers. Interviewing skills can be sharpened with the use of helpful tools and resources. A well trained interviewer will be able to spot top talent whose experience, skill set, and personality match the job and compliment the company culture. In addition, the interviewer will be able to slash time off the hiring cycle, essential to capturing the best candidate for the job before the competition does.

The implementation of a well constructed and thorough interview process guarantees greater success in landing top talent and a better bottom line for your organization… not to mention that your reputation as a manager is on the line with each hiring decision you make.