Transparency Wins in the Interview Process

Carter Hopkins

Carter Hopkins



Will your sales organization go far if your customers can’t trust you? Probably not. The same goes for your people and sales recruiting efforts – trust is everything. That’s why trust-building transparency always wins the interview process and the battle for top talent.

Transparency has gravity. By being upfront and honest with candidates, the right people can’t help but feel drawn to you. That means holding no secrets during the interview process and being transparent with the good, the bad, and everything in between.

But transparency isn’t just about sales recruiting efforts. It will also help you retain key sales talent, the building blocks for your company’s future. Be open with your people and they’ll be loyal to you. Remember, the cornerstone of any lasting relationship is always trust and transparency.

Start as soon as a candidate walks through the door. There’s no need for a build-up or easing into transparency. Start the interview with a declaration of openness, where no question is off-limits. The A-level talent you’re looking for will appreciate your candid approach.

For example, if a candidate wants to discuss money right off the bat, then go for it. Same with your company culture, diversity, or anything else that might not be traditional first interview territory. Just be sure not to over-promise the good or amplify the bad.

Transparency runs both ways. It’s not just the potential employer that should be transparent, of course. Trust is a two-way street, so don’t be afraid to tell a candidate you expect the same. Level setting certain topics from the get-go will keep your interview process honest and on track.

Sell without selling. There’s nothing wrong with playing hard-to-get during the interview process. Remember, salespeople might be the most competitive people in the world. They want to feel like they’ve earned something, not given it.

That means selling the position to the candidate without being obvious about it. Yes, you still want to be transparent and completely open. But if you come across as sales-y or desperate, that’s an automatic red flag for top sales talent.

A way that we overcome this issue is by requiring every internal hire at Pursuit to do a shadow day. That’s when we schedule a few hours for a candidate to follow one of our employees and see what a day at Pursuit is really like. As an employer, shadow days are essential in:

  • Giving an unfiltered view of the job and your company to a candidate
  • Seeing how well someone fits with your team
  • Revealing any potential issues with a candidate when their guard is down
  • Helping determine if you provide enough value to a candidate

Shadow days are the ultimate in transparency during the interview process. And that makes them indispensable in your hiring funnel. Use them along with our other tips and transparency will quickly become one of your company’s most important assets.

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