Hiring managers frequently ask “When is the best time to use a sales test during the hiring process?”
Some managers are initially inclined to wait until the very end, after they have “fallen in love” with the candidate, and hope the test reinforces their opinion. However, waiting too long to administer a sales test to a candidate carries a big risk . . . the longer we wait to test a candidate’s underlying personality traits, the more we risk wasting time with a candidate more motivated to get the job than to do the job. Many candidates are clever and persistent interviewees . . . they sell themselves vigorously in the interview process. However, the best (or only) sale we will ever see from some candidates is in the interview. So, we need to know, upfront, whether we are spending our time wisely, with someone with true potential.
Administering a valid, well-constructed sales test earlier in the interview process allows us to make an informed decision about whether to commit our time to additional interviews with a candidate. We typically recommend starting out with a resume review, followed by a phone screen, then testing the candidate. This process gives us three key data points to decide whether to move forward in the hiring process. The sales test results also help us structure our subsequent interviews to maximize the amount of information we obtain about the candidate’s potential to succeed for us.
An effective sales test can be a bit like having a “Consumer Report” on the candidate, alerting us to dynamics underneath the surface that we would not have seen otherwise. We can now manage the interview process with our eyes wide open. Therefore, it is incumbent on us as hiring managers to do our homework early, and make an informed decision about how we will spend our most valuable resource . . . one that we cannot replace when it is gone . . . our time.
Dr. Christopher Croner and Richard Abraham are authors of Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again and developers of the proprietary and patented sales assessment test, The DriveTest™, for sales candidates. To experience the difference of the DriveTest, contact us today!