An Opportunity-Limiting Move

What If Employers Want You to Take a Personality Test? is a stretch of an article from monster.com. Surely it is written to generations X and Y and falls under the category “Work/Life Balance.” (see our new article released this week regarding this topic). The author advocates a position of questioning the assessment process to the point of respectfully declining to take the test. In all fairness to the author, he does state that theoretically a candidate could decline but that approach is not realistically a strong position for getting the job. First off, “personality test” is a fat phrase – it can encompass a broad array of assessments. This… Read More

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“Stress” Interview Questions

The online training continues with the CareerJournal.com article Don’t Let Tough Questions Sabotage Your Interview. The author refers to these questions as “stress questions” which is a fair description. The article is a long read so I have compiled the 10 example questions they use: Could you tell me a little about yourself? Why did you leave your previous employer, or why are you leaving your present job? What are your greatest strengths? What are your weaknesses? What type of salary do you have in mind? What do you like most and least about your present job? Are you applying for any other jobs? Why should we hire you? Where… Read More

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Interview Tips – Part 3

The online training of candidates continues. This time, monster.com offers up Interview Prep Tips which provides a general overview of strategy for a successful interview (from the candidate’s side). If you follow the link for Closing the Interview you will end up here. This complementary article is excellent advice for sales candidates to close an interview strongly. One approach we value is found in bullet #4: Ask about the next step in the process. It’s important for you to know the next step so you can follow up. Ask for the decision date. Sound advice…and you would be shocked how infrequently this question occurs among sales candidates.

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Telecommuting – The New Benefit

Many progressive companies have been offering telecommuting options for years. Now, the concept is becoming more en vogue thanks to rising gas prices. However, another factor has played just as important a role in this transformation – broadband internet in the home. Here is a quick read article from the Wall Street Journal online that lists the cities most prepared for higher gas prices (and, by default, telecommuting). If your company offers telecommuting options or simply has strong IT capabilities (VPN, Blackberries, etc.), you should be promoting it in your employment activities. Do not underestimate this benefit amongst the younger generation. It is a question we see earlier in the… Read More

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Article Released – Hiring Adjustments for Generations X & Y

Hiring Adjustments for Generations X & Y covers the changes we are seeing in the hiring process based on the up-and-coming generations. The main points in this article flow from our firsthand experience in the hiring process – especially over the past 2 years. An excerpt: “Gen X and Y candidates are looking for a “skills path.” They desire to understand what skills are needed to be successful in the position today. The long-term incentive is to understand what skills they will personally develop or acquire within the company. They prefer a horizontal management structure and respond to personal skill development. Titles are out. Responsibilities are in.”

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“Fat and Skinny Words”

Part of a salesperson’s role is building rapport with a prospect – it is a vital skill. A salesperson needs to match a prospect’s communication style since people naturally tend to relate to those they perceive to be similar to themselves. This older article from eyesonsales.com from Patricia Fripp, entitled Fat and Skinny Words: Levels of Abstraction throws an important concept into the rapport-building mix. Not only do salespeople need to adjust their communication style to match the prospect, but also their level of abstraction to match the organization level with whom they are communicating. The author explains her point by using the simple analogy of an automobile. If a… Read More

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Passive Candidates

Will Passive Job Seekers Apply to Your Job? from CareerBuilder reads as an infomercial, but there are some usable data points in the first few paragraphs. Active vs. passive candidates is a subject that merits more discussion. The changing landscape of the 21st century is moving all candidates towards the active status. Job search agents, online boards, networking groups – all tools that make it simple for the most passive of candidates to be categorized as “active” in some vain. You might say that active categorizes someone who wants to make a change. True, but I’ve read articles that state 67% of today’s employees keep an eye on other employment… Read More

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Holding Sales Reps Accountable

One of the most important responsibilities for any sales manager is holding their salespeople accountable. Some sales manager only truly approach this topic at the end of the commission cycle when the rep is underperforming against quota. This approach is better than nothing (which I have personally experienced). This article from Selling Power provides a great process for holding salespeople accountable for consistent revenue production. The takeaway quote: “Just because reps know what they need to do doesn’t mean they’ll do it. It’s like going to the gym €“ you know you should go on your way home, but there are usually myriad reasons for not getting there. Thus once… Read More

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More from monster.com – Interview Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet from monster.com that is fairly comprehensive. These tips and prep questions are all excellent from the candidate side of the equation. These items become more troublesome when hiring salespeople. Even bad salespeople have some rapport-building ability that they incorporate into the interview process. There isn’t a hiring manager alive who doesn’t have a sales hiring mistake. We hear story after story about how good a candidate looked in the interview. The story continues with unique stories of different baggage. Some examples: salesperson wouldn’t make calls in their cubicle – they had to go in the conference room salesperson thought the support staff was completely dedicated to them… Read More

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More Candidate Coaching from Monster

Any sales candidate could spend a solid day prepping themselves for any in-person interview and come across much stronger than they actually are. Unfortunately, this polished veneer is often good enough to land them on your payroll. The veneer is not peeled back until they have been with your company for a period of time. Monster.com offers Interview Questions, Part 3 in their effort to assist candidates. I am not against a candidate preparing for an interview, but companies that over rely on the interview for screening end up with flashy veneer, no substance salespeople. We can’t preach this topic enough – it is far more reliable to run a… Read More

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