As you are looking and interviewing, ask yourself a few questions. Is the company I’m interviewing for worth my time? Is the hiring manager keeping pace with my personal evolution? Does my potential peer group understand the modern buyer and how to reach them?


You need to interview the interviewer. If you don’t do your research, you could land in the wrong organization. A mistake like that can be costly.


This article discussed the cost of a bad hire from the Sales Rep’s perspective. To assist you further, sign-up for SBI’s Sales & Marketing Research Review here. At no cost, an expert from SBI will present the full research findings. Also, you can download Interview Question Guide now.


Interview Question Guide


The Wrong Sales Position Will Cost You

We’ve written several articles about the cost of a bad hire. These articles are usually from the perspective of HR or the hiring manager. But Sales Reps, especially a top performing, can be personally effected too.


I have a friend, John, who is a successful software Sale Rep. A true “A Player” who routinely earns a half a million dollars per year. He shared with me a story from early in his career.


Several years ago, he left a corporate job to work for a start-up. It was a risk, but he felt it was worth it. John was focused on the stock options and start-up lifestyle. But he didn’t know how stable the company would be. John knew one of the executives from college, but no one else. He took a small haircut on current base and commission and took the leap.


The company could not penetrate an already competitive market. Their product was great. But their leadership did not know how to approach the buyer. The major software companies had already moved in. The funnel dried up. 4 months later, John was looking for another job.


Back then, John was making $150K total annual compensation. He itemized his losses (see graphic below). In total, he went 8 months without earning his full income potential.  His losses were significant. Fortunately he found a job a month later and rebounded. But ever since then, he interviews the interviewer.


cost of mishire


4 Steps to Interview the Interviewer


1. Research the interviewers. A job interview is similar to a sales call. Do your homework to be successful. Likewise, research the hiring manager as you would any other Buyer. This is your opportunity to qualifying them. Are they “A Players” or “C Players”? Do they have the leadership experience required? Make sure they have a LinkedIn profile that shows signs of social selling.


2. Mystery Shop. Understand how they manage their inbound leads. Fill out their online form or call their 800 number. See how quickly their lead gen team transitions leads to their sales reps. This is an indicator of future process. A thriving lead gen team will help you make your number.


3. Interview the interviewer. In the Interview Question Guide, there are 30 questions. These questions drill down into the topics that are most relevant to your success. It is a cheat sheet to make sure you leave no stones un-turned. Don’t be afraid to put the hiring manager on the hot seat.


4. Analyze. For the opportunity to be worth your time, it must pass your standards. The research above should show a rapidly evolving company. They should be social sellers. Their lead generation team should be responsive. The hiring manager should properly answer your 30 questions.


You need to interview the interviewer. If you don’t do your research, you could land in the wrong organization. You can’t afford to take a bad opportunity. The costs of a stepping into a bad situation are too high.



Dan Bernoske

Develops innovative revenue growth solutions and designs the SBI client experience.

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

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