Another Interview Cheat Sheet

I’m not a fan of the lust for listing the world’s toughest interview questions.

I’ve blogged many times over the years on renewed flavours. For instance, here’s one from two years ago.

This week yet another surfaced.

A top ten ‘most difficult’, from the world’s most viewed English language celebrity culture and quick fix news-site. Their duly provided “model answers” shamefully drew me in.

I’ve delivered several interview workshops. It is an area overlooked in the development of Sales Managers. Whether you ‘benefit’ from an HR pre-screen or not, it’s a sad reflection that a task so vital is so poorly treated.

As a recruiter many, many times myself I know how you wing this particular procedure at your peril.

A Sales interview is not like those in colleagues’ functions. Whilst such lists of brain teasers may indeed help you decide, they are but for the periphery.

I introduce them myself as an antidote to misguided topics when I run these sessions. And they are worth knowing to finely tune the real directions required. Happily I have a couple more sugar lumps to add to that coffee.

You cannot argue that they are totally without merit. It’s that they should not be used as core to your precious hiring assessment.

Neither is it that they are all gimmicky. Although mostly they are.

The first, for instance, is a classic insight into how people approach problems. Where here asks to guess the number of London traffic lights, other famous ‘market sizing’ posers feature US refuelling stations (see footnote to this post) and annual baby changes (management consultant via youtube). Adapt and play in your world.

And the last (“tell me a story”) is so close to a request to talk through a won deal or recent customer situation that it truly does sort the ramblers from the winners.

There ought be both purpose and structure to the interview you conduct. On the flip chair, it won’t hurt to brief yourself on these answers. If they come up, best to disarm with a couple of different examples of your own and stave off the charade.

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