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 top talent.

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% of the time, 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?

Pre-interview: We use Predictive Index as an assessment to help us figure out how someone is wired. This assessment doesn't tell us someone will be 100% better for our role than someone else, but it increases our batting average.

Interview #1: The right who

We try to go deep into who the candidate is as a person in this 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 as a person outside of their work experience. This is also our chance to let them know who we are as a company and make sure they understand what we’re all about. This is typically a 1-hour, one-on-one interview.

Interview #2: The right role

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 anything - 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, now 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 so it's important to truly understand on both sides if they're a fit for us and if we're a fit for them. As we finish this second interview, the candidate should now understand who we are as a company and if they want it or not. It's important for the candidate to close and let you know they want it, but as the interviewer we always end by challenging them. If this is something they want, we want them to come get it. When people have to work for something, it means more to them. Challenge them and then see how they work for it.

Interview #3: Can we add value?

For our third and final 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 for the long haul. We care about the presentation, but we also care 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 it gives us an opportunity to see how they sell. They're literally doing a sales presentation on themselves, showing us how they would sell in the job. If they can’t sell themself to the job, they’ll have a tough time selling in the job.

Last few tips to make this the best process possible:

  • 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.
  • 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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