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4 Zoom Sales Interview Tips

One of the ways the COVID crisis will forever change our society is how we meet. Prior to the crisis, zoom sales interviews were much less common than phone or face-to-face interviews. Post-crisis, web conferencing has become a primary tool in the sales recruiting toolbox. Aside from eliminating travel and the associated costs, they greatly speed up the time it takes to make a sales hire. To help you ace a zoom sales interview (whether you are a hiring manager or candidate), we give you our 4 Zoom Sales Interview Tips.

4 Zoom Sales Interview Tips.

1. Understand the Limitations of a Zoom Sales Interview.

Properly evaluating a candidate’s fit for a role or whether you should work for a given company is hard enough in a face-to-face meeting. After all, human beings have not evolved to evaluate others over a web conferencing call. Considering this, making a feeling-based decision can be a poor strategy.

What we suggest is establishing clear criteria for what you are looking for in a candidate or potential boss. By referring back to your criteria, you can mitigate the bias that likeability and image have on our decision-making process. After all, there are loads of likable, sharp people that you won’t end up wanting to work with. We wrote 3 Undervalued Sales Hiring Traits and 4 Overrated Sales Hiring Traits to help with this. The insights in these blogs apply just as well to evaluating potential candidates as they do to evaluating a potential boss.

2. You Don’t Get a 2nd Chance at a First Impression.

The zoom call will be your first visual impression even if you have completed several phone interviews. Make sure that you have nailed the basics such as location, camera angle, and lighting. Here is a solid video on How to Look Good on Video Calls.

3. Trial Run.

Both candidates and hiring managers should perform a mock web conferencing interview and make sure you record it. This will allow you to see how you come across during a zoom call. Simple adjustments can make a huge difference. For example, you might see that you fail to smile during a zoom call.

You also need to uncover the potential pitfalls of your particular web conferencing platform. As an example, the free version of zoom has a 40-minute limit. Do take the time to understand the platform’s settings. With zoom, set all attendees of a conference as co-hosts when you schedule the call if this will be a group interview. If you don’t, the candidate will get kicked out of the call if the meeting organizer leaves the conference early.

If you are new to zoom, here is a 60 second video on setting up a free zoom account. You can watch a more advanced, 20-minute video that includes how to set up a zoom meeting.

In addition to familiarizing yourself with zoom, you need to be prepared to answer the questions you’ll most likely face during the interview. To help with this, we created our 26 Sales Interview Questions blog.

4. Zoom Panel Interviews and Virtual Final Interviews.

This last tip is specifically for hiring managers. Final and/or panel interviews with multiple interviewers can be tricky to navigate online. The popcorning effect of interviewers jumping into and out of the conversation can be visually confusing and disrupt the flow of an interview. These distractions limit the hiring managers’ abilities to properly evaluate a candidate and provide a less impressive experience for the candidate.

We have two tips to mitigate this. First, assign one person to ask the interview questions. Alternatively, you can divide the questions up and establish when each interviewer will hand the questioning off to the next. A smooth-running interview goes a long way toward impressing top talent. Our 2nd tip for critical hires is to perform a mock final interview with the entire group. Investing an hour could easily be the difference between landing the candidate or not.

Like with most things, practice and preparation are the keys to pulling off a successful zoom sales interview.

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Chris Carlson

My name is Chris Carlson and I’m the founder and President of Sales Talent. This blog grew out of my desire to document and share what I’ve learned in my two plus decades of sales recruiting and leading Sales Talent. Our posts are aimed at sales professionals and leaders that speaks to talent selection, team building, or career advancement. If you have a topic that you’d like my take on, please reach out to me.

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