3 questions you need to ask next time you interview

When you’re interviewing for a role, you want to present yourself as a good fit for the company. But how do you know if they’re a good fit for you? Pete Crosby shows us how.

Back in August, we staged another of our exclusive SDR-only events, in partnership with Venatrix. Every talk at this event was aimed at helping SDRs be as good as they can be, bringing value to the 100+ SDRs in the audience. Based on these talks, we’ve put together some articles. Even if you couldn’t be with us at Venatrix HQ, you can still get inspired.

Pete Crosby

In an industry full of extremely special leaders, Pete Crosby stands out as one of the greats. He is genuinely one of the best sales leaders in the world. Pete is CRO at Ometria, doing incredible things for that company. He is also a long-time friend of Sales Confidence. I’ve lost count of the number of our events that he has presented at, including both SaaSGrowth events. Pete is also a winner of our SaaS Sales Leader of the Year award.

Who better to inspire an audience of SDRs at the start of their career?

After introducing two of his team, ex-SDR Sarah Walsh and current SDR Sam Kempner, Pete talked to us about interviewing.

‘If you’re elite, you don’t go to interview. You interview them.’

Here are three things you should be looking to hear at an interview, as well as the right questions to ask if you want to hear them.

1 — Spaces of safety

A recent study by Harvard Business Review found that 70% of all CEOs will tell you that their most important job is creating a space of safety in which their employees can operate.

A safe environment brings so many benefits to the people who work in it. When you feel safe, your cortisol levels drop, your fight-or-flight reflexes drop. You feel able to try things, to experiment. You’re more likely to make a mistake and learn from it rather than be terrified about what to do.

These are all good things. So, how can you find out whether the leader you’re interviewing with creates a space of safety in their team? When they ask you if you have a question, how about this?

‘Tell me about a mistake you made in the last week that impacted people around you.’

What you’re looking for is firstly an answer. If they can’t answer this question, it’s a massive red flag. Do not go and work there.

They may answer it, but have to think about it and look like their making it up. This isn’t great either.

What you want is for them to answer quickly. Everyone makes mistakes all the time. They should be happy to tell you about them and how they learned from them. It shows there is a safe environment in the organisation. It also indicates that the interviewer has self-awareness.

2 — Values

What are your values? What values do you live by right now?

Your values are essential in sales. At times, you will need to make tough decisions and your moral compass should guide you in the right direction.

You want to join a company with values that align with yours. So, when it’s your chance to ask a question at interview, try this.

‘[INSERT VALUE HERE] This is one of the values I live by. Which one of your company values is most similar? Can you tell me whether or not you think I would be a good fit based on that?’

You want to see first what their values are, then, whether they can make the connection. Are their values something they truly live by, or just something they wrote on a wall?

3 — Mental health

Around a third of people have some kind of mental health issue. Whether you do or not, if you want to be an elite performer, you need incredibly high levels of resilience. Elite organisations will understand this and have a proactive attitude towards mental wellness.

How can you find out that the company you’re interviewing with has this? Ask them.

‘Of your mental wellness programmes, which one is the most effective?’

Be the best

If your interviewer can answer these three questions, you can be sure you are looking at an elite organisation. You’ll also know that if you get hired, that’s probably the reason why.

So many people don’t use the questions stage of an interview in this way. Set yourself apart from the crowd and show that you are clear in what you are looking for.

Over to you

It was terrific to hear from Pete about this little-discussed area of the hiring process.

Now, we want to hear from you.

What questions do you ask when someone is interviewing you? What are the answers you are looking for?

Let the Sales Confidence community know in the comments box.

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