Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Novel Thought About Screening Candidates For Presales Positions

How do we assess the skills and competence of candidates for presales positions?  I look carefully at resumes, but there is a wonderful expression that “you are perfect twice in your life:  once when you are born and the second time on your resume…”  References are important, of course, as are typical interview questions.   However, I like to ask candidates for three additional opportunities to evaluate them:

1.       Ask them to do a presentation on a subject near and dear to their hearts to evaluate their ability to “tell” (many hiring managers do this today).

2.       Ask them to perform a Discovery session with you, on a topic they know intimately such as their current company’s offerings, to evaluate their ability to “ask”.  This is rather novel, I think, and may help to uncover presales people that are particularly strong at doing Discovery.

3.       As them to present a demo based on what they learned in their Discovery session with you, to see how well they listened and incorporated what they learned into their demo – and to evaluate their demo-specific delivery skills (extra points for structuring their demo in a Great Demo! format, of course!).

This strategy gives you an opportunity to evaluate candidates’ ability to “tell”, “ask”, “listen”, and “show”. 

No comments: