Big Data’s Big Impact On a Sales Candidate’s Interview Experience

When you hear the term “big data,” the first things that come to mind are likely the ways large retail companies use data to track and predict in-store purchasing trends, or how digital marketers rely on data to fine-tune their SEO strategies.


I can’t say I blame you for potentially not thinking of how big data can affect your hiring process. But in an era where hiring the right sales professionals can have a bigger impact on your company’s bottom line than ever before, the influence of big data is well worth a second look.


Why is that the case? It’s simple, really …


Your path to hiring great sales people all starts with the way you present your company during the interview process. As such, using big data is critical for creating a positive candidate experience.


Using Research to Your Advantage


No, you probably won’t get vast quantities of data from the interviews you conduct on your own, and that’s perfectly fine. Besides, if you’re anything like me, sitting in on thousands of interviews is not your idea of a good time.


But by examining the data regarding a wide range of interview practices, it becomes significantly easier to see which factors help companies appeal to those sitting on the other side of the table.


There’s a wealth of data available from third-party firms, covering everything from understanding how to optimize your job postings to which hiring tactics lead to the most effective hires.


This data is much more than an organized set of interesting numbers—it’s your key to finding actionable insights to properly adjust your hiring practices. Use this data to your advantage.


The Importance of Sound Screening


Of course, the real question you need to ask yourself is as follows—are you actively seeking out this data and applying it to your own hiring process?


If not, you put your company at risk of making ineffective hires or trudging through a lengthy hiring process that creates unnecessary aggravation for both you and potential employees.


Remember: during the interview process, a candidate isn’t just trying to demonstrate how they can be of value to your company—you also need to sell yourself to them.


The way you present yourself (and your company) during an interview reflects directly on your company’s culture, largely determining whether or not a candidate decides to work with you.


Seeking out data from authoritative studies and rival companies—all while closely scrutinizing the effectiveness of your interview practices—could very well make all the difference in your ability to hire and retain top sales talent.


Sharpen Your Interview Skills


So, what has big data revealed about the hiring process?


While it’s essential that you continue to be on the lookout for new information, the following are a few big-data findings that can help streamline your practices:


1) Create Hiring Rubrics


One of the greatest pitfalls of the hiring process is when candidates are made subject to inconsistent evaluations. Use big data to focus solely on the questions that are the most important. Then, follow the same guidelines when interviewing each candidate.


Studies find that this allows you to compare interviewees more objectively and fairly.


2) Cut Out the Fat


Layered interviews and other bureaucratic practices can lead to unnecessary delays in the hiring process. Generally speaking, these delays do little to help you find more qualified sales candidates, and could potentially cause some top talent to search for jobs elsewhere.


Using big data to identify where you can streamline your hiring process will allow you to start onboarding industry-leading sales talent sooner, rather than later.


3) Make It Difficult


While making your interviews more difficult may sound somewhat counterintuitive, data shows that emphasizing skills testing during the interview (not application) process can help you identify stronger candidates who are more likely to succeed in your place of business.

This not only helps you find the best candidates, but it increases your chances of hiring those who happily stay put for years to come as a loyal sales employee.


4) Tinker With the Process


While the above factors can improve your interviewing process and create a positive overall experience for interviewees, your methods are subject to change.


And you know what? That’s perfectly fine—it’s to be expected.


By continuing to use data to analyze what is or isn’t working and paying attention to new big-data findings, you’ll continue to make steady improvements.




As can clearly be seen, leveraging big data in your hiring process can ultimately give you greater confidence in your candidate evaluations, thus allowing you to make more effective hires. Even better, along the way, you’ll create more positive experiences for the candidates, themselves.


But enough from me—the mic is all yours!


How has big data helped your company streamline its hiring practices and better appeal to potential employees? Have you faced any challenges in implementing these changes?


Needless to say, I can’t wait to hear from you! Thanks for reading, and have a great day!