Oxbridge interview questions are the stuff of sixth form legend.
I remember fondly tackling one myself pre-university to determine omniscience or omnipotence as preferable.
Now Oxford outdo Cambridge and continue their habit of publishing these. Alongside guideline answers. (Which was news to four teachers.)
Although as anyone familiar with the genre knows, there is never such a thing as a right answer. More a model argument. In their ability to sum up across the full meridian, not just at the poles, the “contrary and offbeat” score well.
There’s scope here to build on many of these prime posers for Sales recruiters. Particularly when it comes to uncovering how a salesperson really thinks. Especially under pressure.
I’m sure you can (as a hiring Sales Manager) think of your own adaptations. If you’re on the other side of the desk, there’s a couple here you can ask yourself to great impact as an interviewee too. Below I take the lead from the online juggernaut that is the Anglosphere’s most viewed such nonsense, handily quoting their favourites in pink. Ready for you to go further than my first-run ideas.
|Oxford Entry||Selling Acumen|
|In what ways do you think that writing for children is different to writing for adults?||In what ways do you think that selling to chief execs is different to selling to product users?|
|Which person (or sort of person) in the past would you most like to interview, and why?||Which person (or sort of person) in the past would you most like to pitch, and why?|
|Why do you think an English student might be interested in the fact that [UK TV Soap] Coronation Street has been running for 50 years?||Why do you think a buyer might be interested in the fact that we’ve been running for our length of time?|
|How do pirates divide their treasure?||How do commission splits work best?|
|If I were to visit the area where you live, what would I be interested in?||If I were to visit the place where you work, what would I as a potential client be interested in?|
|If the punishment for parking on double yellow lines were death, and therefore nobody did it, would that be a just and effective law?||If the punishment for buying a botched delivery were a sacking, and therefore nobody did it, would that be a just and effective code?|
|Why does your heart rate increase when you exercise?||Why does resistance increase when you sell?|
|Should poetry be difficult to understand?||Should your business case be difficult to understand?|
|What is language?||What is value?|
|Why do many animals have stripes?||Why do many competing alternatives exist?|
|(bonus extra from The Left) Should there be a cap on bankers’ bonuses?||Should there be a cap on sales commission?|