Back to Posts

How To Uncover The Best SDRs In Interviews

3 min read
Sep. 17, 2014

Hiring the best person available is not the same as filling jobs with the best person who applies… -Lou Adler

On a small team, every new hire matters. You need reps who are great on the phone, reflect your core values and are dedicated to helping your company.

You need the top 1%.

It certainly isn’t easy, but it is doable. Use these three tactics to uncover the best SDRs in interviews:

1. Install A Defined Process (Don’t Wing It)

Develop a specific interview strategy that is composed of several steps (heck, think of it like a sales funnel- “qualifying” your candidates).

Companies have different specifics, but most follow a similar path to this:

  1. The initial application
  2. A phone interview or Google Hangout
  3. An initial in-person interview
  4. Several 1-on-1 interviews

Make sure everyone involved in the hiring process is on the same page.

One word of advice- keep hiring inter-departmental.

Even though you’re bringing on new SDRs, your Marketing and Customer Success leads can help provide a quality check and test the culture fit of every new candidate.

2. Ask Targeted Questions (Not Vague Ones)

If you don’t ask great questions, you won’t get great answers.

Make sure that your questions are geared towards the most important aspect of your business.

Take Salesloft for example; our core values are positive, supportive, and self-starting. We lean heavily on these values when hiring and answers that don’t align with this profile help weed out weak candidates.

Five recommended interview questions to ask SDRs:

  1. What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
  2. Can you describe a time when a team project went wrong?
  3. How would you characterize your previous manager?
  4. Why did you choose to attend (insert college)?
  5. Do you have any questions for me?

Solid, insightful answers will show that the candidate has taken advantage of previous opportunities, has a positive attitude, and is continuously striving to punch above their weight class to succeed.

3. Know When To Pass on A Candidate

You’re excited about a specific candidate who’s in the running for a top position. They have stellar credentials and you’re almost convinced you have a team Heisman winner in the running.

But fast-forward to the in-person interview and the hotshot candidate hijacks the conversation to speak negatively about their previous company and manager. They’re quick to blame colleagues for failures, and see little benefit in learning from past experiences.

No matter how great they are on the phone, it’s not worth tossing them into the pool with the great culture you’ve got going.

Move on and seek someone who embodies your core values and complements the culture on your team.

With these ideas in mind, kick off the interviewing process with a bang.

Ensure that the standards you have set for your team are embodied within the candidates you are interviewing. Take your time to evaluate their strengths vs. weaknesses, their core values and expectations for career growth. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot just to fill a seat.

Good luck and happy hiring!