Pursuit's Sales Recruiting Interview Process

Carter Hopkins

Carter Hopkins

Interview Tips


Pursuit's Sales Recruiting Interview Process

As a recruiting company, you can imagine the hundreds of hiring and interview processes we've seen over the years. Over time, we've learned which ones work well and where some companies lose people.

Below, we're going through our own interview process step-by-step and giving you insight into the 'why' behind each step. No process will ever hit 100% , but over the years, we've found a process that tells us what we need to know to make a hiring decision.

Here's the sales recruiting process that works for us:

Ultimately, there are three things we're trying to vet in our interview process:
  1. Are they the right WHO?
  2. Is this the right ROLE for them?
  3. Is your opportunity a good fit for THEM?
A couple of things before we get started:
  • It's really important for ONE person to own the interview process - you may have other people involved, but ultimately, one person should be in charge of it.
  • We use Predictive Index as an assessment prior to the first interview to show us if someone is wired in a way that leads to them being able to sell. This assessment doesn't tell us someone will be 100% better for our role than someone else, but it increases our batting average. It doesn't help us figure out the right WHO but helps us make sure they're in the right ROLE.

Interview #1:

This is a pretty typical first-round interview. We're trying to figure out if this person is the right WHO and dig into what is not on their resume. Do they fit our core values? We want to discover their story and who they are outside of their work experience. What makes them passionate? This is typically a 1-hour, one-on-one interview.

Interview #2:

The second interview is more about making sure the candidate understands the role so that there are no surprises when they come to work here. We've found the best way to do that is to have them come in and shadow a member of our team for half a day. They aren't doing - just watching. They'll get a taste of our culture and see exactly what the role is like.

At the end of the shadow day, they have another one-on-one interview where we vet if they're a role fit. They just watched the role, do they feel like they could come in and do that every day without stretching to be someone they're not? Not all sales jobs are the same - it's important to truly understand on both sides if they're a fit for us and if we're a fit for them. In the last part of this interview - especially for sales roles - we close the interview. Yes, it's important for the candidate to close and let you know they want it. But this is a two-way street. As the interviewer, close by challenging them - if this is something they want, come get it. When people have to work for something, it means more. Challenge them and then see how they work for it.

Interview #3:

We'll be upfront, by this point in the process, you will have lost some people. For us, we'd rather lose people after the second interview step than have them take the job only to leave. For our third interview, we have candidates give us a presentation about why Pursuit is right for them and why they are right for Pursuit. We are vetting out if we, as a company, can add value to this person to where they'll stick. While we care about the presentation, we care more about if they've thought through if we are the right fit for them. This is their opportunity to sell why they're the best fit for Pursuit, and we get the opportunity to hear them sell. They're literally doing a sales presentation on themselves, showing us how they would sell in the job.

Last few tips to make this the best process possible:

  • Move as quickly as possible without sacrificing the quality of interviews.
  • Strike while the iron is hot - time kills all deals.
  • Don't be afraid to challenge them and ask hard questions - in our experience, this makes them want it even more.
  • Evaluate everything they do - timeliness, follow-ups, etc. - even the way they interact with the recruiter who reached out to them.
  • Don't overlook red flags just because you like the candidate.

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