Are you a foreign entity ready to make your first US hire? Your first hire in a new market such as the US is often a sales or business development person. If you are using a recruitment company they will have identified suitable candidates, phone screened them and potentially reference checked with clients. You should be interviewing 3-4 people face to face. Before you start, put together a score sheet to keep the process transparent and prepare your list of questions. You should only be interviewing candidates that have the relevant experience for the position. Here are some sample questions you could ask candidates:
• Can you tell me about a time when you exceeded expectations?
• What were your responsibilities at company X?
• What was the most challenging part of your job at company X? How did you handle the challenge?
• In your current position do you have any direct reports and who do you report into?
• What have you learned from your mistakes?
• Are you willing to travel? (Sometimes to Ireland/Europe for training? Note two thirds of Americans don’t have a passport!)
• Given that you would initially be the only rep in the field how many days do you anticipate you can be out meeting customers?
• For Sales staff, who are your top three clients? Would you be happy for us to contact them for a reference?
Have a list of questions to ask all of your candidates, this will ensure fairness and to make it easier to rank candidates.
At the end of the interview let your candidates know the next step in the process. Will you be holding second/third interviews where the candidate will meet other members of your team or will you be making a decision based on one face to face interview? Let the candidate know when they can expect to hear from you and what decision you will be making – calling them for a subsequent interview or calling them with a decision on the role.
When you shortlist a candidate and want to check their references you need to ask the candidates permission. When reference checking sales personnel it is a good idea to call current clients as well as past employer(s) to get an understanding of how they work with clients.
Stateside Solutions provides Executive Search, US Market Entry Strategy and Support.
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