Questions to ask your first US hire

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.

Executive Search: Stateside Solutions are the go to firm for executive search. We seek out the best talent for our clients and guide them through the hiring process from Interview to on-boarding.
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Telephone Interviews 101

Companies often schedule a telephone interview with potential candidates as a first step in the recruitment process. Often referred to as “phone screen” the purpose of the call is to see if you are a potential fit for the company. The recruiter will have seen your resume and perhaps researched you online. You can expect questions which might not automatically be included in a cover letter or resume such as salary requirements and your availability. The purpose of the phone screen is to qualify the candidate before progressing to the face to face interview.

  1. Be prepared, set aside a quiet space to take the call and have your resume to hand for reference.
  2. Convey enthusiasm about the job and the organization, note that only 40% of the telephone interview is about your skills and qualities, the interviewer wants to establish if you are the right fit for the organization.
  3. Stand up and smile! Standing will naturally give you more energy and this will come across in your voice. Smiles can be heard over the phone and convey a positive and optimistic attitude and demeanor, exactly the traits a potential employer will be looking for.
  4. Research the company as you would for a face to face interview, look at their website, see if they are in the news, are there articles about the company hiring, have they won new business lately, look at the company profile on Linkedin.
  5. If you know in advance who will be interviewing you, research them also, is there a profile on the website, are they on Linkedin? If you have a picture of the person interviewing you it helps you to “engage” with them.
  6. Make a positive first impression, answer your phone professionally and be sure to have a professional message on your voicemail. Remember the interviewer will “hear” your personality over the phone. Make your voice is energetic and enthusiastic; this gives the interviewer a picture of what they “see” you to be.
  7. When you sign off the call be sure you are clear as to what the next steps of the process are.

Stateside Solutions provides Executive Search, US Market Entry Strategy and Support.

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Senior Sales Representative (EMR/EHR)

Our client is seeking a qualified Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Sales Representative in the NYC metro area. This ideal candidate will be responsible for providing business development and account management services to an expanding Healthcare IT client. The successful candidate must seek out and deliver new business from new sources as well as managing existing accounts.
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Doing Business in the U.S. Webinar Series

Stateside Solutions are delighted to be hosting a free “Doing Business in the U.S.” webinar series starting on Thursday, 26th July at 14.30 (GMT).

The webinar series aims to equip small businesses with useful insight into entering and doing business in the U.S. market. Companies often don’t take the time to understand both the opportunities and the cost of doing business in the U.S. Advanced planning will lead to increased efficiency and a faster ROI. This series will offer startups the insight into what can make or break a company’s venture in the U.S. market.

The series will cover topics including:

  1. “Doing business in the U.S. – How to fast track your U.S. opportunity.” 2.30pm(GMT), Thursday 26th July: This webinar will introduce participants to doing business in the U.S.
  2. “Managing expectations – a guide to the U.S. sales cycle.” 2.30pm(GMT), Thursday 2nd August: This webinar will introduce participants to generating sales and the sales cycle in the U.S.
  3. “U.S. success – barriers and opportunities for generating technology sales in the U.S.”2.30pm(GMT), Thursday 9th August: This webinar will offer a practical guide for technology companies attempting to generate sales in the U.S.

Register a place on this free webinar series by completing the form below:


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