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The Best Interview Questions We’ve Ever Published 

The Best Interview Questions We’ve Ever Published

Hiring is by far the biggest concern we hear from founders. Finding the right people to work at your company is high-stakes. Poor performers can take a catastrophic toll on your success. Most seasoned CEOs say that founders should be spending as much as 50% of their time early on getting the right talent in the door. Yet, the actual hiring process tends to remain more of an art than a science for startups — regardless of all the structure and rubrics they try to impose.

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This makes the questions you choose to ask during interviews of paramount importance. You only get a narrow sliver of time with each candidate, so you need to maximize your learning per minute. How do you do that?

Over the years here at the Review, we’ve collected and aggregated hundreds of interview questions recommended by top leaders in every field. Our goal in this piece is to present the very best questions we’ve heard for hiring incredible performers — with deep dives into interviewing technical and product candidates in particular. We hope having them all in one place will make your future hiring that much easier.

1. Ask these questions to test for the 7 most important high-performer attributes.

As Co-founder and CEO of KoruKristen Hamilton has long worked to bridge the gap between graduation and employment, and place people in jobs where they’ll excel. Working with candidates who lack real-world experience has had a surprising byproduct — she now has a crystal clear sense of the skills and traits that make people great performers. She’s identified seven characteristics that, taken together, best translate into someone killing it at their job. These traits transcend department or career stage, and they apply to entry-level engineers and marketing executives alike:

  • Grit

  • Rigor

  • Impact

  • Teamwork

  • Ownership

  • Curiosity

  • Polish

To test for each of these qualities during a standard interview, Hamilton has curated very specific questions—

For grit, ask:
Tell us about a time in your career that you wanted something so badly that you were unstoppable in pursuing it. What obstacles did you overcome to get there?

As you listen to the answers to those questions, pay close attention to both the tasks and the duration described. “Try to get a sense of how long that person can stick it out. How long are they going to beat their head against a problem?”

For rigor, ask:
Tell us about a time you used data to make a decision.

Look for details about the complexity of the data and how the thinking happened, rather than focusing on them immediately getting the right answer.

For impact, ask:
1) Tell us about a time you had a measurable (read: quantitative) impact on a job or an organization.
2) Tell us about a person or organization that you admire. Why do you think they have made an important impact?

You’re looking for signs that the candidate understands the larger picture and that they can speak to the importance of making trade-offs and prioritizing appropriately.

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For teamwork, ask:
1) When working on a team, what’s hardest for you?
2) What about a time you worked on a difficult team? What were your role and experience? Do you know where the other people involved were coming from? Tell us about the situation from their perspective.
3) What makes you happiest and most effective when working with others?

You want to use their answers to measure EQ and ability to empathize. Are they able to acknowledge and understand the experiences of those around them?

For ownership, ask:
Tell us about a time you experienced what you perceive to be an injustice.

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“Regardless of their answer, empathize with the unfairness,” Hamilton says. “Say, ‘Are you kidding? That’s crazy. What a jerk.’ True owners will immediately respond with something like, ‘Yeah, but I recognized it wasn’t worth my time to complain about it.’ They won’t buy in and double down on venting or complaining.”

For curiosity, ask:
What’s the last thing you really geeked out about?

You’re looking for them to say something they then obsessively taught themselves about. “If someone doesn’t have that quality — if they don’t need to learn every single detail of the topic in front of them — they’re probably not going to reflect that level of engagement in their work, either.”

For polish:
1) See how they handle themselves when you interject or interrupt them in the conversation.
2) Do they send a thank you note shortly after the conversation?

You’re looking for calm confidence when they might otherwise be flustered or thrown off their game. Gratitude following an interview indicates humility and a sense of professional standards that will translate into their work.

For more on how to ask these questions and suss out the 7 traits for success, read the rest of Kristen Hamilton’s interview here.

2. This is the anatomy of the perfect technical interview.

As the former Technology VP for both Amazon and Zynga, Neil Roseman‘s interviewed hundreds of people and believes every phase of the process needs to be meticulously designed to drill deep into skill sets, actual accomplishments, culture fit and leadership potential.

In his opinion, great interview questions focus on specific examples of the candidate’s unique contributions, actions, decisions, and impact. Ideally, you want to:

  • Probe: give me an example…

  • Dig: who, what, where, when, why and how on every accomplishment or project

  • Differentiate: we vs. I, good vs. great, exposure vs. expertise, participant vs. owner/leader, 20-yard line vs. 80-yard line

“I look for past projects and accomplishments that seem to have enough weight and depth that I can apply STAR questions — STAR stands for situation, task, actions, and results.” Roseman subscribes heavily to an approach called Behavioral Interviewing, in which STAR questions are a staple. They include:

  • What’s the background of what you were working on?

  • What tasks were you given?

  • What actions did you take?

  • What results did you measure?

When it comes to soft skills and culture fit, Roseman is a big fan of one question — he asks everyone, no matter the position: Do you consider yourself lucky?

“I’m looking for the people who embody the phrase ‘fortune favors the prepared,’” says Roseman. “It’s the willingness to be ready and take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. At a startup, this is particularly valuable.”

For more questions and advice on how to structure interviews from Roseman, read on here.

3. Identify ‘Adaptable Leaders’ with this list of questions.

According to Anne Dwane, former CEO of Zinch, CBO of Chegg and now Co-founder of Village Global, the most important quality any startup leader (current or aspiring) can have is adaptability. And the most defining attribute of adaptable leaders is who they surround themselves with. They are often on teams with other flexible, resourceful, innovative people. Whether now or in the future, Dwane recommends a certain hiring framework to help you identify self-motivated individuals who will enrich your team’s aptitude for learning.

“The most powerful way to construct a job description is to clearly communicate that unyielding, consistent learning is a core part of the job,” she says.

After making introductions, Dwane begins with a pointed two-part question: What motivates you and what do you want to do next?

Most candidates deflect the question by repeating their resume. “They try to add to it but it doesn’t demonstrate what I’m looking for which is: active listening, the ability to answer the question, and self-awareness.”

She then asks these questions to identify whether a candidate is an adaptable learner:

  • What have you started?

  • How would you describe yourself in your own words?

  • How would a colleague describe you in three adjectives?

  • What current trends are you seeing in your profession?

  • What new things have you tried recently?

The last two questions are strong indicators that your candidate is self-motivated to explore and embrace new trends, routines, and technology. Take note of this as a critical demonstration of self-learning in your interview. Dwane advises probing more about the new process he or she introduced, why it intrigued them, and the results of implementing it.

As for homework: “I love to give people an opportunity to give a compelling presentation on a topic they care about,” Dwane says. “That’s the game. If they look pained while they are doing it or don’t enjoy the assignment, then you know someone isn’t going to have a gameful approach. You want someone who is going to enjoy talking about the topic and putting the presentation together.”

For more on how to spot, hire and nurture adaptable leaders, read more from Dwane here.

4. These questions are designed to bust bureaucracy before it starts.

As VP of Engineering at Airbnb with an impressive track record behind him, Mike Curtis has seen the dire impact that bureaucracy can have on a company. In his experience, hiring well, to begin with, is one of the most powerful antidotes to paralyzing bureaucracy. You want to recruit and onboard people you know you can trust, so you that you don’t have to set up a bunch of newfangled processes just to ensure productivity and quality.

To hire specifically for this type of trustworthiness, Curtis recommends allocating at least 45 minutes to an interview that is entirely about culture and character. Diversity of backgrounds and opinions is championed at Airbnb, so ‘Culture fit’ is about finding people who share the high-performance work ethic and belief in the company’s mission. If people don’t share your conviction in your company’s success, they aren’t a fit.

At Airbnb, Curtis found that these four moves truly extract the most value out of this type of interview:

  • Let them shine first. For the first 15 minutes of your culture interview, let a candidate describe a project they’re particularly proud of. The idea here is to get a sense of what excites them — is it technical challenges, for example, or perhaps personal interactions? “Try to suss out what gives this person energy,” Curtis says.

  • Then make them uncomfortable. The other side of that coin is that you want to learn how candidates react when they’re not excited, too. Ask them about difficult experiences, or moments when they were somehow not in control. Some of Curtis’s go-to questions are:“Describe a time you really disagreed with management on something. What happened?” and “Think of a time you had to cut corners on a project in a way you weren’t proud of to make a deadline. How did you handle it?” This exercise is all about reactions. “Does the candidate start pointing fingers and say, ‘This is why I couldn’t get my job done, this is why this company is so screwed up’? Or do they start talking about how they understood another person’s point of view and collaborated on a solution?”

  • Calibrate your results. It’s easy to see if someone nailed a coding challenge. It’s a lot harder to get comparable reads on candidates when you’re working with a group of different interviewers. It takes time to get on the same page, but you can help the process along. “We get all our interviewers together in a room and have them review several packets at the same time to help expedite the process of getting to some kind of calibration on what’s important to us,” Curtis says. Essentially, try to make the subjective as objective as you can.

  • Watch out for signs of coaching. If a candidate seems to have uncanny command of your internal language, take note. The public domain is exploding with tips and tricks from past interviewees and journalists. “Especially as your company starts getting more popular or well-known, there’s going to be a lot of stuff about you out on the Internet. If people start quoting things to you that they obviously read an article or something that is your own internal language, they were probably coached. They either read something or they talked to somebody who works at the company,” Curtis says. That’s not to say you should reject them immediately, just don’t let yourself be swayed.

For more from Curtis on not only how to hire, but onboard and train new employees to head bureaucracy off at the pass, read more of our interview with him here.

5. Recruiting practices and questions for hiring ‘Originals.’

Bestselling author and Wharton professor Adam Grant has spent years researching and interviewing people he refers to as ‘originals.’ In his book of same name, he shows how to identify, foster and nurture nonconformists — and the brilliant benefits they bring to their work and the organizations they join. Here are the questions he suggests asking to recognize and recruit them in a startup setting:

Tell me about the last time that you encountered a rule in an organization that you thought made no sense. What was the rule? What did you do and what was the result? “You’re not excited about candidates who just let it go. But you also don’t want somebody who says, ‘Yeah I saw this rule, marched into my boss’ office, argued and quit over it,” says Grant. “What you’re looking for is somebody who says, ‘I saw this rule that I thought didn’t make sense. I first did some research to figure out how it was created and why it was this way. I spoke to a couple of people who’d been at the organization longer than I had, asking if they knew what it was initially set out to do. If they didn’t know, I reached out to some people who have influence and sought their advice on ways forward to improve the rule and made a few suggestions on how. I got tasked to lead the committee to change the rule. We made a change and here’s the evidence that we had an impact.’ That’s an original who’s learned to be a tempered radical.”

Why shouldn’t I hire you? “In Originals, I talk about founder Rufus Griscom, who pitched his startup Babble to investors by listing three reasons not to invest in his business. Sarah Robb O’Hagan once opened her job application the same way, describing why she shouldn’t be hired. In one breath, she outlined which qualifications she didn’t meet, but also why she was suited to do it anyway,” says Grant. “She challenges the job description and shows that she can bring something different than what a company thinks it needs. Part of why this worked is that, in one fell swoop, she shows extreme awareness: not only of her abilities but also of the proposed requirements — and why some don’t really matter.”

It’s your first few months on the job. What questions would you first ask and to whom? Presidential candidates are often asked what they plan to accomplish in their first 100 days in office, and hiring managers tend to evaluate candidates for leadership positions similarly. “This idea came from one of my collaborators, Reb Rebele, an applied positive psychology expert who leads many of our hiring projects,” says Grant. “He observed that when new people are coming in, their first few months should be as much about learning as doing. Originals distinguish themselves by asking questions that no one else has thought to ask, and posing them to people who have fresh perspectives to offer. Ask candidates what questions they’d want to ask in their first two months on the job, and who their ideal sources would be. Listen for examples of open-ended questions — rather than just yes/no or testing-my-own-thinking styles of inquiry — as well as a willingness to draw from and challenge many sources of information.”

How would you improve our interview process? “I find this question powerful for a couple of reasons. One, it’s an opportunity to see if they’re willing to speak up. Two, it’s a window into their thinking process. When they encounter something that they don’t like, do they have the instinct not only to raise why it may be broken but also suggest how it can be better?” asks Grant. “It’s a chance to learn about their tendency to share opinions that might be unpopular but beneficial. It gives you a little bit of perspective on their ability and inclination to improve their environment.”

For more on fostering an environment where original talents can truly thrive, read more of our exclusive interview with Adam Grant.

6. Interview questions for hiring the best product managers.

Todd Jackson has led product organizations across some of the best companies in tech, from Google to Facebook to Twitter. Now VP of Product at Dropbox, he’s worked with hundreds of product managers — and hired dozens — over the course of his career. In every product manager interview, he recommends making sure a candidate fits the following criteria:

  • Intellectual ability

  • Communication

  • Leadership

  • Effectiveness within the company culture

  • Knows what users want

  • Strategic/Analytical Thinking

  • Technical background

  • Entrepreneurial spirit

Below, Jackson lists the questions he’s found to be the most valuable when interviewing product management candidates in person, what he believes good answers sound like, and the responses that should give you pause.

QUESTION 1 (Product Sense): Name a product that you think is exceptionally well-designed – ideally a non-electronic product. Tell me what makes it well-designed. (Testing intellectual ability, communication, and whether they know what customers want.)

WEAK ANSWER: Something superficial or cliché. “If they don’t go into a lot of detail and say something fluffy like, ‘My electric toothbrush is so great, it’s won a bunch of design awards,’ that’s a strike against them.”

GOOD ANSWER: First, the candidate will get excited to talk about a product they admire, and it will show. “One of the best answers I heard was about the Micro Kickboard scooter for kids – I remember the candidate getting really excited telling me all the details: ‘I recently noticed how thoughtfully designed my niece’s scooter is. It’s the mini scooter that you see a lot of kids riding lately. It’s got two big polyurethane wheels in front and a third small one in the back, so it goes over cracks and bumps smoothly and prevents faceplants. Also, instead of handlebars that turn, it has a ‘lean-to-steer’ design which is really intuitive for kids, teaching them how to steer by shifting their weight. And it’s also just super easy to assemble and disassemble—basically just two parts that click together.’”

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Particularly strong candidates will look at the product from the user’s perspective and talk about the problem it solves. In the above example, “the candidate spoke about how the users of the product (kids) are actually different than the customers of the product (parents) and all the product design and marketing ramifications of that, which I thought was quite insightful.” The candidate will have a lot to say and will be very enthusiastic as they speak, especially about the very small details that provide a finished and delightful experience. “That’s how you know the difference between a passionate product person and someone who just wants a job.”

To take it up a notch, you can follow up with the question: “What would you improve about it?” or “If you were the CEO of the company that produced this product, and you wanted to sell 10X as many, what would you do?” Look for educated guesses or reasonable assumptions about the market for the product, who the target buyer is, how the market could expand, the constraints of production, etc. Those are the components that should drive the next best step for the product, it shouldn’t just be a random idea.

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Note: It can be easy for PM candidates to prepare for this question. You can make sure they’re thinking on their feet by constraining the space they choose from. For instance, the example must be a physical or non-electronic product or one they have at home.

QUESTION 2 (Technical Skill): In as much detail as possible, tell me what happens when I type into my browser and hit enter. (Testing intellectual ability, communication skills and technical background.)

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WEAK ANSWER: Their response might be rudimentary or confused. You could get an answer like, “I see the Yahoo homepage, right?”

GOOD ANSWER: Something like, “Your browser generates an HTTP request. A DNS lookup gets the IP address of the host. The server receives the request, checks for cookies to see if you’re logged in, and eventually generates an HTTP response containing the content you should see. Your browser receives the response, parses the DOM and starts to render the page. CSS, images and Javascript are loaded to modify the page.”

The strongest candidates can answer this question in good detail, taking about five minutes to walk you through the process. This is a good level-setting question for product managers so you can see where they stand technically. They don’t have to hit every single action that happens. Watch out especially for candidates who say they’ve programmed in the last few years but are clueless about this question. That’s definitely a red flag.

If you think that candidates may have prepared for this type of question, you can mix it up by drilling them on specifics at various junctures of their response. Or you can ask them similar questions about the fundamentals of iOS or Android programming if they have a lot of mobile experience.

QUESTION 3 (Leadership): Tell me about a time when you disagreed with engineers and designers on your team. What did you do? (Tests communication, leadership, and effectiveness within the company culture)

WEAK ANSWER: There will be allusion to finger-pointing or mention of blame. The tone of their response will be generally negative, and you might see a dip in self-awareness, complemented by a spike in defensiveness. They’ll be more concerned with smoothing over their role in the confrontation than sticking to the facts.

GOOD ANSWER: They’ll demonstrate leadership by diagnosing root causes of the conflict. They’ll show humility. “One candidate told me she couldn’t agree with her engineering and design team on one feature — they all wanted to build it and she didn’t. She said, ‘Okay let’s time-bound it. We’ll do the idea, but if it doesn’t pay off in four weeks, we’re going to change it to this other idea.’ I thought that was a great solution to avoid gridlock.” The candidate knew when to push back and when to disagree and commit.

A candidate who ends their response by saying what they learned from the situation and how they applied these lessons going forward should get serious bonus points.

QUESTION 4: What are all the implications of self-driving cars? (Tests strategic and analytical thinking and entrepreneurial spirit.)

WEAK ANSWER: A response that is boring, cursory, or disorganized. They might throw out some obvious answers, like unemployment for taxi drivers, or self-driving big rigs. But they won’t go deeper into the ripple effects in other industries that will create a whole new wave of businesses. They’ll stay in the inner ring of cause and effect.

GOOD ANSWER: Showing vision and imagination, they’ll paint you a picture of what could happen. Maybe car seats will be arranged in a circle around a coffee table! No one will own cars anymore, which means no one will have garages anymore. “I got an amazing answer to this one the other day: ‘Google will open-source the software for self-driving cars so that any manufacturer can build them, the way they offer Android,’” says Jackson. “I have no idea if that will be true or not, but I thought it was pretty creative.”

Most importantly, the answer should come packaged in some sort of organizational framework. Maybe they’ll say how life will change for drivers, and then the auto industry, and then urban planning. Ideas should be presented within themes, not as a free-association jumble.

QUESTION 5: What aspect of product management do you find the least interesting?

WEAK ANSWER: A PM who complains about doing nitty-gritty work (e.g. taking notes, scheduling meetings) and implies that these things are beneath them.

GOOD ANSWER: A great PM understands that they need to lead from the back, and they relish their role as an unsung hero. The candidate doesn’t have to say they love the tough nitty-gritty stuff, but they should get points for acknowledging the grungy parts of PM work and why it’s important to be in service to the team and mission their supporting.

QUESTION 6: Why do you want to work at this company or on this product?

WEAK ANSWER: “X industry/company is getting a lot of buzzes. Everyone is talking about it. It’s really hot right now.”

GOOD ANSWER: Clearly passionate about the industry, company or project. Look for specific ideas and plans for what they’d want to do and how they want to make things better. This indicates that they really did their homework and have thought deeply about the company. In particular, keep your eyes peeled for long-term thinking, which indicates a commitment to the industry or type of product. For example, is the person talking about what robots or drones will look like in 5 or 10 years? Or do they just talk about how robots and drones are exciting now? Here are some examples:

  • I’ve always wanted to work in X industry, I’ve done Y and Z in the last couple years to really prepare for this career move.

  • Company X has a huge competitive advantage because of Y.

  • I have been using product X for a while, and I really like feature Y. I think feature Z could really improve growth/engagement/monetization and here’s why…

You want people who are excited about the space, not just this one opportunity.

For more on finding, vetting and closing the best product management candidates, read more from Todd Jackson here.

First Round Review is committed to giving you, our amazing audience, all the tools you need to hire the best team for your company. So please stay tuned for more stories about interviewing and hiring. We promise to keep you posted on the best new questions, thinking and exercises leaders across the industry are using to recruit winning talent.

Image courtesy of PeopleImages/DigitalVision/Corbis Historical.


These Top Tech Companies Are Hiring First, Training Later

These Top Tech Companies Are Hiring First, Training Later

Pinterest, Airbnb, LinkedIn, and others are giving apprentice engineers with nontraditional backgrounds a shot at tech jobs–and paying them to learn.


Madelyn Tavarez doesn’t have a computer science degree. She studied economics in college and interned in finance-related roles before taking a 10-month coding course called Access Code, with C4Q. Now Tavarez works for Pinterest–as an Android engineer.

But first, she started as an apprentice Android engineer.

Despite high demand for tech talent, big-name employers tend to pick their new hires from predictable talent pools in their own backyards. A recent analysis by Paysafound that companies like Snap and Apple recruit heavily from Stanford, while Microsoft and Amazon stick to Seattle’s own University of Washington. Not exactly a recipe for a workforce to mirror these firms’ global user bases.

So the odds were high that Tavarez would’ve wound up just another millennial barista with a bachelor’s degree, instead of one of three candidates chosen out of hundreds for Pinterest’s new apprenticeship program–an approach to training nontraditional tech talent that other businesses, including Airbnb, LinkedIn, and Visa are now testing out.


Pinterest launched its apprenticeship program in early 2016 to widen the 1,200-person company’s access to self-taught coders, coding boot camp grads, and others who may not have had the advantage of attending top schools or working at brand-name businesses. According to Pinterest diversity chief Candice Morgan, Tavarez and two others made the cut due to “promise, passion, and a stated interest.”

To get there, Tavarez went through several rounds of interviews, first remotely and then in person. The latter included a tech screening with a Pinterest staffer present in a mentorship role, allowing Tavarez to show she knew the basics in a lower-pressure environment. But she also had to go through a full day’s worth of showcasing her knowledge of software architecture, coding, and algorithms, just like any other tech hire.

LinkedIn’s “REACH” apprenticeship program is similar. According to the initiative’s executive sponsor, Mohak Shroff, who also serves as SVP of engineering, applicants had to submit a portfolio software project, then do a take-home technical assignment, followed by in-person interviews. With more than 700 applicants, Shroff admits narrowing down to 31 apprentices was “agonizing.” This first-ever cohort of 29 started a six-month tenure at LinkedIn in April. The company hasn’t yet announced how many were offered full-time jobs.

Last June, Airbnb started “Airbnb Connect” for its engineering and data science teams. Apprentices were all people from underrepresented backgrounds who had two to five years’ experience in non-technical fields. Three apprentices in engineering were sourced, like Tavarez, from C4Q, while Galvanize, another tech education company, helped Airbnb recruit for eight additional data-science apprenticeships.

A company called Andela, which launched in 2014, is tackling the apprenticeship idea from a supply side. It helps connect talented engineers from across Africa with some 100 partner companies like Viacom and Gusto, so those firms can build distributed teams. Much as an in-house apprentice program might, Andela trains its developers extensively over a six-month period before placing them at employers.


Once apprentices are installed in their new positions, the real work begins. At LinkedIn, Shroff says, apprentices generally meet one-on-one with team members at least once a week. They also have mentors who spend several hours each week either sitting right next to them or nearby. In addition to dedicated coaching time, Shroff says each apprentice learns casually in team meetings and discussions.

According to Morgan, Pinterest also spends a lot of time in coaching. Each apprentice gets a manager as well as a mentor over the year-long apprenticeship period, which can take up to 50% of engineers’ time–a “big investment” for those mentors, Morgan notes. Mentors are trained separately to help their charges get a sense of belonging inside the company.

Still, Tavarez recalls having impostor syndrome at first. “The typical new graduate has four years of computer science and related internships,” she explains, “I felt so behind in the beginning–everybody’s brilliant.” Eventually, though, thanks to a very reassuring mentor with 12 years’ experience, Tavarez learned to get over it. “I just had to give myself time,” she says. “I wasn’t used to being one of the people who didn’t know everything.”

An apprenticeship program at Visa operates a bit differently, according to global employer brand communications director Stephanie Matthews, but is no less labor intensive. It starts earlier, drawing candidates from high school and early college who wouldn’t otherwise have exposure to tech jobs. In a pilot program with the Springboard Initiative, a tech training organization, 14 student apprentices spend time in the Visa University Learning Labs and shadowing programs. Each one gets managers, teams, and a “buddy” to help them. Additionally, Visa’s HR team meets monthly with each apprentice, their manager, and a Springboard staffer to discuss performance.


If there’s any resistance on staff to such apprenticeship programs or grumblings about preferential treatment, none of these program directors are aware of it. In fact, says Shroff, the reaction at LinkedIn has been positive.

“This is not an undue investment,” he explains, especially since early-career hires always take extensive on-boarding no matter what; usually it takes six months to get them up to peak productivity, he estimates. In fact, Shroff says he’s surprised at how quickly LinkedIn’s REACH apprentices have gotten up to speed and begun succeeding, through the sheer force of “massive potential, grit, and determination.” This energy has allowed some of them to surpass peers from traditional backgrounds and prompted several team leaders to request “more of that,” he says.

Meetesh Karia, CTO at the Zebra, an Andela partner, says that over their year-long partnership the Africa-based engineers have helped the Zebra gain a competitive edge, thanks to their high-quality work, energy, and enthusiasm. “The Andela team has raised the bar for passion for our Austin-based team,” says Karia.

Shroff also points out that the apprenticeship program has helped LinkedIn rethink what the “typical” candidate should look like and what it takes to succeed. For her part, Morgan believes Pinterest apprentices’ nontraditional backgrounds have helped them approach to design and user experience a different way. Morgan credits Tavarez’s economics degree, for instance, for helping her optimize decisions with limited resources.

All three of Pinterest’s first apprenticeship cohorts are now employed full-time, and six more are apprenticing with the company right now. Shroff says that of the 31 apprentices LinkedIn offered jobs to, 29 accepted. Visa has also made full-time hires from its apprentice cohort.

But while programs like these seem promising tools for companies looking to diversify their workforces, it takes care and an eye toward inclusion. Tavarez says that she and the two others in her group at Pinterest all relocated from the East Coast, and didn’t have built-in support networks in the Bay Area. Shroff says LinkedIn worked hard to encourage its apprentices to network, not just to learn but also to advance their careers.

Christina Sass, Andela’s co-founder, and the president believes the apprenticeship model is key to economic growth. “America’s lack of technical talent will be the greatest challenge facing the tech industry over the next decade,” she says. Indeed, estimates that one million computing jobs will go unfilled by 2020, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and college graduation rates from the National Science Foundation. “Without enough engineers,” Sass argues, “American companies are unable to grow and unable to create more jobs.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of the story said that LinkedIn hired all 31 apprentices. They have not disclosed how many were hired full-time yet.


Supercharge Your Brand With These 5 Powerful Storytelling Tips

Supercharge Your Brand With These 5 Powerful Storytelling Tips

CREDIT: Getty Images

Apply these five business storytelling tips to help accelerate growth at your company and fire people up about what you have to offer.

Regardless of the marketing moniker you hang on it, the truth is the same: brand storytelling is one of the smartest moves you can make as a company leader. Businesses using content marketing/inbound marketing/brand storytelling for consumer outreach attract new customers at a much higher rate than companies relying on social media alone.

Creating stories to build a brand presence not only helps you develop a persona for your company, it helps to fuel your outreach while significantly boosting your SEO at the same time. From Richard Branson to Phil Knight, storytelling has been an ace in the pocket of the greatest brands. To optimize your business’ storytelling for success, following are five essential tips you should bear in mind:


Not only will your content be more relevant, the creation process will be easier. Generic stories aren’t likely to be shared on social media; the more precise your content, the better the chances your target audience will share your content with their social networks. Make consuming your content marketing worthwhile; answer their questions, offer tips, and leave your audience with a ‘wow, that was a really good read’ sense of accomplishment.


Titles, headlines, and taglines are an effective brand storytelling method. If you saw your title in your Instagram stream, would you find it irresistible? Clickbait titles won’t work, especially if your content doesn’t deliver. Make sure your titles are click-worthy and your content share-worthy; that’s the secret sauce to storytelling success.


Blog posts regarding the latest social media trend might get you immediate clicks, but will they continue to send potential customers to your brand next year? The power of content marketing is that it can send you new customers for years; create your stories with this thought in mind.


Are you building a cohesive brand voice? Do you plan your seasonal content in advance? You wouldn’t start out on a long road trip without making sure your vehicle was properly fueled, the tires were checked, and engine fluid levels were topped up; the same goes for storytelling. Know the results you want to achieve, how you plan to get closer to your goal, and the resources you’ll use along your marketing journey.


Content marketing services are expected to generate over 313 billion U.S. dollars by 2019; data-based storytelling could help send some of that revenue your way. Building a strong brand via storytelling is an endeavor you won’t ever regret. Unlike flash-in-the-pan social media posts, brand stories can send traffic your way for years. If you occasionally update old stories, your content marketing ROI skyrockets even more.


8 Practices That Will Make You A More Engaging Keynote Speaker

8 Practices That Will Make You A More Engaging Keynote Speaker

Wouldn’t it be great if you could magically transform yourself into a pro at public speaking? Some people think that being a business leader means speaking to an audience comes naturally, but that’s not true. I remember my first conference well, and the thought of getting up in front of all those people was daunting, to say the least.

Since that first event, though, I’ve become a marketing speaker who has the opportunity to travel the country and talk with lots of amazing people. Becoming an engaging, impactful speaker in your space isn’t exactly easy, but it is possible. Here are eight ways to do it:

1. Use content before, during, and after the event.

Embracing content is one of the best ways to help you become a speaker in the first place, and it can make a positive difference throughout the experience, too. When you create and distribute high-quality content, you not only start building a following before you take the stage, but you’re also able to engage audiences early on. That content can be used as a resource during your talk and as fuel for follow-ups when you’re back in the office, keeping your contacts engaged well after the event and providing, even more, value over time.

2. Never end on a Q&A.

My friend David Nihill, who went from fearing public speaking to writing the book on it and is probably one of the best speaking coaches out there, made a good point about speakers ending their sessions with an audience Q&A. He compared it to a band like U2 recording an album and touring the world — and then asking someone in the audience to sing the last song of the last show to close it all out. When you end your talk — the talk that you put together, rehearsed, and delivered with heart — with an audience Q&A, that’s basically what you’re doing.

The end of your session is the last impression you leave on the audience. Why wouldn’t you keep control of that impression? I’m not saying you shouldn’t answer your audience’s questions, but don’t end there. Instead, take questions if you want, and then conclude with something more powerful before people leave.

3. Adopt a helpful mindset.

I’m a firm believer in showing up early and staying late, and that applies to conferences as much as it does to your day-to-day work. This mentality gives you the chance to lend a helping hand and can easily lead to new opportunities.

It’s simple: Remember that organizers are juggling dozens, sometimes hundreds, of speakers and sessions, and you’re only tasked with your own. Find ways to go above and beyond to assist your hosts. Believe me, they’ll remember it — and they may even ask you back the following year. If you’re stumped about where to start, simply ask your organizers how you can be helpful to them, and do what you can to deliver on that.

4. Remember that ‘short’ isn’t the same as ‘bad.’

We’ve all seen our share of presentations that went on for much longer than they needed to — well past the point when audiences stopped paying attention. People’s attention spans are only so long, and if you’re not keeping them engaged throughout, then it can be hard to come back from a dip in audience attention.

Remember that there’s usually nothing wrong with cutting a talk short, especially if the alternative is force-feeding your audience a long session for length’s sake. As long as the material you do have prepared is strong and engaging, then trimming your talk shouldn’t be a problem.

5. Be funny, but stay cautious.

One of the practices of IDEA communication is finding ways to make your content amusing. The key is always maintaining good taste and not alienating your audience with your humor.

I’ve found success with visual humor, especially because we live in a world dominated by visuals. But I always test it with my team first and ask around if I’m ever on the fence about a joke. If we can all agree that I’m not the only one who thinks it’s funny, then I can incorporate it into my deck, which adds an easygoing element to my business-related speaking sessions.

6. Participate outside your own session.

You probably won’t be the sole speaker at any given event. Your audience members are going to see other people, and you can benefit from taking time to check out those speakers. This gives you the chance to pick up on the vibe of the crowd, avoid overlap in your session (if possible), and identify new points, jokes, or references you can add into your own talk to humanize yourself as a fellow attendee.

7. Get personal.

People want to connect with people, not brands. This is a phrase we basically live by at Influence & Co., and that’s because it’s true. Content — whether it’s digital or in-person — is enriched when it’s based on personal experience. It’s what proves you know what you’re talking about, and it makes you and your brand more relatable.

So, don’t just copy and paste the same basic template for each event you speak at. Break down trust barriers between yourself and your audience by customizing your talk each time and sharing unique stories that actually connect you to your listeners.

 8. Don’t be afraid to interact.

Sessions that feature plenty of participation and interaction are rarely dull. When you give your audience the chance to interact with you (and encourage them to do so), you end up talking with them, not at them. Whether it’s through a show of hands, clapping in response to questions, or more hands-on techniques, interaction makes the audience part of the experience.

This interaction can go beyond the event itself. Look for ways to keep your audience engaged after the event, too. I’ve said it before, but content is a great tool to keep this momentum going.

 A lot of us fear public speaking, but that doesn’t need to keep you from taking the stage, building your brand, and creating opportunity. Use these tips to sharpen your speaking skills and prepare yourself to handle any speaking engagement that comes your way.

John Hall is the CEO of Influence & Co., a keynote speaker, and the author of “Top of Mind.” You can book John to speak here.

By FORBES – John Hall

7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan

7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan

7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan
Image credit: Shutterstock
Every business needs to have a written business plan. Whether it’s to provide direction or attract investors, a business plan is vital for the success for your organization. But, how do you write a business plan? recommends that a business plan includes;

  • Executive summary – a snapshot of your business.
  • Company description – describes what you do.
  • Market analysis – research on your industry, market, and competitors.
  • Organization and management – your business and management structure.
  • Service or product – the products or services you’re offering.
  • Marketing and sales – how you’ll market your business and your sales strategy.
  • Funding request – how much money you’ll need for next 3 to 5 years.
  • Financial projections – supply information like balance sheets.
  • Appendix- an optional section that includes résumés and permits.

However, getting started can be difficult to do. So, here’s a seven steps in writing a perfect business plan.

1. Research, research, research.

“Research and analyze your product, your market, and your objective expertise,” writes Bill Pirraglia, a former senior financial and management executive. “Consider spending twice as much time researching, evaluating and thinking as you spend actually writing the business plan.”

“To write the perfect plan, you must know your company, your product, your competition and the market intimately.”

In other words, it’s your responsibility to know everything you can about your business and the industry that you’re entering. Read everything you can about your industry and talk to your audience.

Related: Do You Really Need a Business Plan?

2. Determine the purpose of your plan.

A business plan, as defined by Entrepreneuris a “written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and containing a projected profit and loss statement.” However, your business plan can serve several different purposes.

As Entrepreneur notes, it’s “also a roadmap that provides directions so a business can plan its future and helps it avoid bumps in the road.” That’s important to keep in mind if you’re self-funding or bootstrapping your business. But, if you want to attract investors, then your plan will have a different purpose and you’ll have to write your plan that targets them so it will have to be as clear and concise as possible. When you define your plan, make sure you have defined these goals personally as well.

Related: 3 Apps to Help You Write a Business Plan

3. Create a company profile.

Your company profile includes the history of your organization, what products or services you offer, your target market and audience, your resources, how you’re going to solve a problem, and what makes your business unique. When I crafted my company profile, I put this on our about page.

Company profiles are often found on the company’s official website and are used to attract possible customers and talent. However, your profile can be used to describe your company in your business plan. It’s not only an essential component of your business plan, it’s also one of the first written parts of the plan.

Having your profile in place makes this step a whole lot easier to compose.

Related: Conducting a Market Analysis for Your Business Plan

4. Document all aspects of your business.

Investors want to make sure that your business is going to make them money. Because of this expectation, investors want to know everything about your business. To help with this process, document everything from your expenses, cash flow, and industry projections. Also, don’t forget seemingly minor details like your location strategy and licensing agreements.

Related: How Do I Build a Business Plan? (Infographic)

5. Have a strategic marketing plan in place.

A great business plan will always include a strategic and aggressive marketing plan. This typically includes achieving marketing objectives like;

  • Introduce new products
  • Extend or regain market for existing product
  • Enter new territories for the company
  • Boost sales in a particular product, market or price range. Where will this business come from? Be specific.
  • Cross-sell (or bundle) one product with another
  • Enter into long-term contracts with desirable clients
  • Raise prices without cutting into sales figures
  • Refine a product
  • Have a content marketing strategy
  • Enhance manufacturing/product delivery

“Each marketing objective should have several goals (subsets of objectives) and tactics for achieving those goals,” states Entrepreneur.

In the objectives section of your marketing plan, you focus on the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of the marketing tasks for the year ahead. In the implementation section, you focus on the practical, sweat-and-calluses areas of who, where, when and how. This is life in the marketing trenches.”

Of course, achieving marketing objectives will have costs. “Your marketing plan needs to have a section in which you allocate budgets for each activity planned.” It would be beneficial for you to create separate budgets for internal hours (staff time) and external costs (out-of-pocket expenses).

Related: Why You Must Have a Business Plan

6. Make it adaptable based on your audience.

“The potential readers of a business plan are a varied bunch, ranging from bankers and venture capitalists to employees,” states Entrepreneur. “Although this is a diverse group, it is a finite one. And each type of reader does have certain typical interests. If you know these interests up front, you can be sure to take them into account when preparing a plan for that particular audience.”

For example, bankers will be more interested in balance sheets and cash-flow statements, while venture capitalists are looking at the basic business concept and your management team. The manager on your team, however, will be using the plan to “remind themselves of objectives.”

Because of this, make sure that your plan can be modified depending on the audience reading your plan. However, keep these alterations limited from one plan to another. This means when sharing financial projections, keep that data the same across the board.

Related: 7 Steps To A Winning Business Proposal

7. Explain why you care.

Whether you’re sharing your plan with an investor, customer, or team member, your plan needs to show that you’re passionate, dedicated, and actually care about your business and the plan. You could discuss the mistakes that you’ve learned, the problems that you’re hoping to solve, listing your values, and what makes you stand out from the competition.

When I started my payments company, I set out to conquer the world. I wanted to change the way payments were made and make it easier for anyone, anywhere in the world to pay anyone with little to no fees. I explained why I wanted to build this. My passion shows through everything I do.

By explaining why you care about your business creates an emotional connection with others so that they’ll support your organization going forward.


5 Keys to Closing Far Bigger Deals at Massive Companies

5 Keys to Closing Far Bigger Deals at Massive Companies

Identify the decision maker, and start there.

5 Keys to Closing Far Bigger Deals at Massive Companies
Image credit: Prasit photo | Getty Images
There’s only one thing that separates the top 1 percent of salespeople from the rest of the pack — and it’s not the number of sales they close. In fact, many mediocre salespeople are closing more deals than the top performers in their industry. So what sets those successful salespeople apart?

 The answer is average sale size. In many cases, the top 1 percent of salespeople are closing sales 10x the size of their competitors’ average sales.

Related: 7 Closing Strategies to Double Your Average Sale Size

The key to closing those massive deals lies in selling too much, much bigger companies. Read on to learn five keys to closing huge deals at large companies, then implement them to crush your competition and rise to the top of your industry.

1. Face your fear.

Most salespeople are nervous or uncomfortable trying to sell to really large companies, and they let that fear hold them back. Successful salespeople, on the other hand, understand that those large corporations can actually be easier to close.

First, they often have the same problems as the “smaller fish” you’re currently selling to — just on a bigger scale. Second, they actually have the budget to really invest in a premium solution. The only way to benefit from this reality is by facing your fear and realizing that big companies don’t bite.

2. Only sell to decision makers.

When you first start looking at bigger corporations, you may be overwhelmed by all of the fancy titles. Should you sell to the CMO? CSO? Chief Happiness Officer? Brand Director? What do those titles even mean? Cut to the chase by going straight to the top of the chain.

When looking at a big organization, identify the highest-ranking person relevant to the problem you solve and start there. The worst thing they can do is refer you back down the chain of command, but if they do, you’ll not only be connected to the right decision maker, you’ll also be introduced by their boss.

Related: 4 Ways to Make It Easy for Customers to Give You Their Money

3. Use an organized prospecting campaign.

If you’ve been relying on haphazard calls and email to reach your prospects, it’s time to upgrade your approach. Before going after a high-level prospect, sit down and plan out an organized prospecting campaign, complete with unique, value-adding packages that you send via FedEx. Why FedEx? Well, even C-suite prospects open their own FedEx packages — the curiosity is just too much to resist.

Each time you send a letter or package, follow up with a call or email. Be prepared to repeat this strategy over and over until you finally get through. After all, this will be a massive sale, so you can afford to put a little more time and money towards getting their attention and establishing a connection.

4. Clarify the decision-making process.

While small mom-and-pop operations often rely on one decision maker to choose a solution, the decision-making process is often more layered and complicated with a bigger company. By failing to understand that process on the front end, you’re setting yourself up for a much more difficult close.

Try asking your prospect, “What is your typical decision-making process for a solution like this?” By asking this question, you’ll be much more equipped to present a great sales proposal without being blindsided by a dozen more people you’ve never heard of who need to sign off on the decision.

5. Leverage each sale into more sales.

Once you sell to one department in an organization, it’s much easier to close additional sales in other areas of the company. When you close a big sale with a large company, don’t simply celebrate your success and go home. Instead, ask your new customer for introductions to others in the company — or outside of the company — that they think could benefit from your product or service.

Related: 7 Key Selling Habits All Sales Professionals Must Develop

Don’t wimp out on this last step. I’ve never met a salesperson who’s missed out on sales by asking for introductions, but I’ve met tons of salespeople who missed out by failing to ask. There’s no risk and a wealth of opportunity, so this should be a no-brainer next step after any sale.

Have you ever closed a huge deal with a massive organization? If not, how will you use these keys to close your first one? Check out this free 1-Minute Sales Strengths-Finder Quiz to learn more about how to improve your sales approach.


The 15 Characteristics of People Who Succeed at Sales

The 15 Characteristics of People Who Succeed at Sales

If you’ve ever been involved with sales, then you know that it’s not for the faint of heart. Whether it’s selling a pair of sneakers at a store, a new heating system to homeowners or pitching a startup to investors, making that sale depends on the appearance, knowledge, and enthusiasm of the salesperson. Quite frankly, not all of us have those characteristics in us. There is a saying that salesmen are born, not taught. Well, not exactly. Undoubtedly, there is a natural talent, but can you can learn these characteristics and be just as successful? Yes!

A true salesperson has the following characteristics that they use consistently to succeed in making those important sales.

1. Conscientiousness

In 1993, the American Psychological Association published a report that found the most successful sales reps were  “conscientious.” This trait is found in people who take great pride in their work, are organized and efficient. But, if you are not organized and efficient, you can learn to be. Conscientious also means you keep going in your job, no matter what.

2. Respectful

Founder of Searchmetrics, Marcus Tober, states that “our top sales reps respect our customers’ time above all else. You have to make sure that your customers and potential customers are treated like gold.” Part of doing this is making sure that they have time and you schedule time for work. People want the bottom line. Old tactics don’t work. People are busy, respect their time above all.

3. Initiative

Salesperson don’t wait for orders. They’re go-getters and take matters into their own hands. Being disciplined like this helps salesmen to stay on track. If something has to be sold, there is a way to do it. The salesman will do what it takes to sell the product. Learn to like the product better, compliment where appropriate (even if they hate it at first), learn how to mirror to connect, then actually care about the connection.

4. They listen

American Express’ OPEN Forum says that the best salespeople ask their clients and customers “why they want something done.” When you listen to your clients/customers, you find out what they want and need, and how to make that happen. If you don’t know exactly how to make happen what your client has asked for, be absolutely sure that there is a way. You just haven’t found it, yet.

5. Persistent

You have to have thick skin to be a salesperson. Why? Because you’re going to become very familiar with the word “no.” You have to be confident and persistent if you want to remain involved with sales. The public is done with the hard sell. However, the average person is not done with extreme kindness, even if you are irritating. “Hello, yes, I’m calling you back because I know you didn’t mean to hang up on me.”

6. Coachable

According to Mark Roberge from HubSpot, the experience isn’t nearly as important as coachability for predicting successful reps. Being energetic, willing to learn and having the ability to adapt are all a part of being “coachable.” Coachable means an early adopter of the suggestion. If you are asked to do things in a certain way, do it that way, even if it’s something you have always done a different way. Brainstorm in your one-on-one with your coach.

7. Positive

Who would you rather make a purchase from? The upbeat go-getter or the depressed downer? Having a positive attitude and being cheerful makes it easier to approach customers and keep their attention until after you’ve made the sale. This positive attitude exudes from a person. If you’ve got a really bad scene going on at home, stuff it! I mean, stuff it! Learn to compartmentalize the aspects of your life. Your work life is positive. Try some psychology, smile, jump up and down, breathe, do what you have to to be positive.Related: How Your Attitude Can Win You Sales

8. Resourceful

The true salesperson is able to shift gears if a sale isn’t going the way that they envisioned. Instead of just taking “no” as an answer, they will attempt a different approach by using their creativity and imagination. Remember though, you have to make it snappy and switch quickly. Learn to read faces. If your approach has not worked within two minutes, change. Have your twists and turns ready. If you have to practice them at home so that you are natural.


9. Passionate

A top-notch salesperson actually enjoys their job. If you hate it, change or get out. Most importantly, the salesman will be passionate about the products or services that they’re selling. If they’re on board with a brand’ message, they can excitedly share that vision with prospective clients and customers. Happy, positive, love it, passionate.

10. Ask questions

Searcy states that there is data that has discovered “that the higher-performing sales representatives ask more questions–often more than twice as many.” But, these salespeople don’t ask questions that focus solely on data. They want to know what the implications are. I have personally found that the questions I ask are not about the product. The client got what you are selling your first time around. Don’t drone on. This client has something to say. What is it? They have a Zen garden at home? You learn to love the Zen garden quickly and ask more.

11. Independent

Since most salespeople work on a commission, they have to be independent and will take the correct measures in making this a reality. The boss doesn’t have to be there to make sure the work gets done. The salesperson is a self-motivator. The independent salesperson can build themselves up to do more. They can pat themselves on the back and appreciate their own greatness. Most independent salespeople do not have to be thanked for each call or sales, they know how to say, “Good job, me!”

Related: 7 Must-Know Tips for Managing Your Millennial Sales Team

12. Time managers

Here’s a simple equation: more selling time increases sales and compensation. The best salespeople manage their time effectively, such as finding the best routes from location to location, so that they have more opportunities and time to spend securing a sale. If one place or person takes too long, or longer than expected, the time manager makes up for it somewhere else.

13. Overachieve

Author and sales expert Grant Cardone informed OPEN FORUM that salespeople should “over commit and over-deliver.” You have to go above and beyond. True salespeople don’t know when to stop and typically are pushing for more. More people, more clients, more work, more money… just more. The quality more.

14. Personable

A great salesperson has no problem getting along with others. And, most importantly, they enjoy meeting new people and realize the power of networking. It’s not surprising to see salespeople involved with so many local events and organizations. Most salespeople love people, and it shows. They are energized by people. They go home and can hardly sleep after an event.

15. Alertness

Salespeople are always prepared. They have to be ready for any situation that they’re thrown into and know how to successfully break free. The salesperson is aware of herself and her body. If she is not alert, she has felt it coming on and take care of it. Caffeine up, run up and down the block or eat less, they do whatever it takes. Alertness is key to so many of the principles of being a great salesperson.

Related: Build a Stellar Sales Team

By Entrepreneur

Sales Manager Hydraulic Cylinders OEM Sales

Sales Manager Hydraulic Cylinders OEM Sales

Job Description

Responsible for managing and uncovering new clients- mid-size to large OEM customers covering a region or a set of accounts.

Generating sales from key OEMs across application segments – construction and earth moving equipment, material handling industries, commercial vehicles etc.

Generate sales from key OEMs in the following industries: construction and earth moving equipment, material handling and cargo, Agriculture, Truck Hydraulics, Mining, e.g.

Leverage relationships with existing global accounts to generate business in North America

Exploring and mining of new accounts, new markets, and new sectors.

Engage with customers throughout customer lifecycle (pre-sales – sales – delivery – service) and expedite the resolution of any customer problem or complaint

Generate new/allied business through long-term engagement and relationship building with customers.

Intelligence gathering on customers and competitors.

All other duties as directed by management.


7 – 10 years of experience in Sales / Key Account Management role in the hydraulic cylinder industry.

Education and/or Experience Equivalent Previous experience selling to OEM customers previous, Manufacturing experience

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Requirements

Proficient with a personal computer, fax machine, copier, and multi-line telephone. Moderate to extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite Applications and Social Communication Applications such as Skype, MS, and Web-Ex, etc.

Ability to access, navigate and research the internet, ability to interact professionally with customers, both physically and electronically to maintain professionalism with difficult customers, ability to problem solve and to multi-task and support and organize various projects at the same time.

Must be extremely self-motivated/self-directed and able to start and persist with specific courses of action with little supervision.

Ability to draft basic and technical correspondence in proper English and proofread for content and flow.

Owns or has access to a private vehicle to perform company business and has a valid driver’s licenses with a good driving record.

Travel requirement 25%-50% with the ability to arrange travel logistics, and participate in trade shows and conventions.

Any other knowledge, skills or abilities needed to successfully perform the duties of the position.


Apply Now!


Sales Manager Hydraulic Cylinders OEM Sales

Outside Sales Lubricants Oil

Outside Sales Lubricants Oil

Primary Industry Industrial Lubricants
Company Size Small-< 100 employees
Company Information We are recruiting for an Outside Sales Representative in the industrial and automotive lubricant industry. My client is a manufacturer and packager of blended private label products. My client manufactures, blends and manufactures lubricants, Oil, and grease, metal working fluids, and cleaners for all types of industrial and automotive customer. Some of the industrial vertical markets include but are not limited to:

Aviation, Chemicals, Construction, Food & Beverage, Manufacturing, Metalworking, Power Generation. Industrial lubricants are one of my client’s concentrations of interest as well as the passenger and heavy duty automotive markets.

Territory Chicago
City Chiago
State Illinois [IL]
Position Outsied Sales Lubricants Oil
Job Description The successful candidate will be responsible for being able ot meet high expectations.

•Interact directly with customers and prospective customers in person, telephone, or electronically, and respond to customer inquiries promptly.
•Document daily activities in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
•Provide weekly sales plan and report to management for review.
•Develop and maintain relationships with specified customers or any other accounts identified by sales management.
•Process orders, applications, and requests from customers to appropriate lab personnel.
•Direct technical requests to the appropriate resource and assist in formulating the response to the customer.
•Support existing customer related questions and activities as directed by senior lab personnel and management.
•Communicate and coordinate with internal departments and assist in fulfilling activities supporting customer requests.
•Attend and engage in team sales meetings.
•Monitor profitability and purchase volumes of assigned customers.
•Perform other duties and tasks as needed and required by management.

Required Knowledge/ Experience 5 years of outside industrial sales experience.
•Eagerness to learn lubricant business and industries we serve
•Proven track record of achieving sales quotas.
•Consultative mind-set with excellent communication and presentation skills.
•High energy and disciplined to work your territory and achieve sales results.
•Competitive, confident and assertive with a strong work ethic.
•Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills
•Aggressive follow-up and attention to detail
•Desire to maintain & grow sales
•4 years of college or equivalent work experience in engineering, manufacturing, or industrial.
•Work in a team-oriented atmosphere
•Ability to show initiative and self-manage
•Professional image and high-level of integrity
•Goal-Oriented Mindset
•Positive Attitude
•Personal Drive to succeed
•Experience building relationships with customers is a plus
•Experience with computers, MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook), CRM’s (Salesforce)
Yrs Experience 6-7 year

Apply Now!