Development Interview questions
If your sales team has grown large enough to warrant role specialization, you'll not only need to shake up the organization's structure - you must also revamp the hiring process. Prospecting and closing are two distinct tasks, so it doesn't make sense to ask the same interview questions to both sales rep and business development candidates. Different jobs require different skills which necessitate different interviews.
Whether you're hiring your very first sales development rep, or have a well-established SDR program, these 19 questions can help you identify the very best prospecters.
1) How do you deal with rejection?
As the people primarily responsible for cold calling and emailing, SDRs deal with an awful lot of rejection. If the candidate admits they get flustered or frustrated after an extended period of rejection, they're probably not cut out for the job. "Fall down seven times, stand up eight" is the mantra of the best SDRs.
2) Give me your life story in 90 seconds.
As Mark Twain once said, "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." Brevity is a talent, and it's one that prospects appreciate. This question reveals the candidate's ability to hit the critical points of a story in a short amount of time.
3) Pretend I'm a prospect. Describe our product or service to me.
This question will not only reveal the amount of research the candidate did before the interview (which bodes well for their prospect researching skills), it also gives the hiring manager a chance to evaluate their ability to speak clearly and persuasively.
4) Why do you want to sell this product or service?
As Daniel Pink argued in his book Drive, internal motivators such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose often trump external motivators like money or prestige. If the candidate has a personal reason for wanting to sell your product or service in particular, they'll likely approach their job with more passion and care.
5) What's the last thing you learned that you thought was really interesting?
A sense of curiosity is necessary in sales development. SDRs have to ask insightful questions to get to the heart of prospects' problems, and investigate their current environments. People with natural curiosity won't have a problem enthusiastically sharing something they learned with you. But if the candidate struggles to come up with an example, it might be a red flag.
7) Have you ever been in a customer service role? What were your favorite and least favorite parts?
People who have worked in customer service, retail, or the restaurant industry have undoubtedly dealt with complaints. If the candidate was able to keep their cool under pressure, they're likely well-equipped to field objections and handle rejection as an SDR. In addition, listen for a passion for helping others. They don't have to believe that the customer is always right, but they should maintain that the customer always deserves to be heard and supported.