Interview & Ref Check Questions

18 Sep 2018

Interview Questions

  1. Did she ask questions? Was she curious about the product / mission / technologies?
  2. What according to you would be the ideal role for this candidate where she would shine?
  3. How did she handle a challenging piece of work given to them. Did she break it down? Did she delegate the work? Did she take help?
  4. Did she take ownership? Did she miss any deadlines ever? (When she missed the deadlines, did she escalate the issue before hand? Does he understand to raise alerts?What happened to the task after he missed it? Did she see to it that it got completed ASAP after the miss?)
  5. One setback/fuck up incident? How did he handle it?What do you think she can improve?
  6. How much would him/her leaving affect the team (like modules/responsibilities which he/she owned)? How much effort he is taking/ would take to transfer the knowledge to someone else(This shows commitment)
  7. How much value did she add to the company and team?
  8. How would you rate her for her sales skills on scale of 5?
  9. What kind of responsibilities would you not trust or you would think that the person won’t be able to do?
  10. Would you hire them again?
  11. Can you give me manager tips to manage this person?

Business Acumen

  1. What is the difference between product company & service company? What differentiates enterprise from SAAS? Can they be treated in a similar way?
  2. Suppose you have $1M? What would you do?
  3. What is good revenue and what is bad revenue?
  4. Which are the startups that you personally like?
    • Why?
    • Opportunity size?
    • What would they have to do in order to succeed?
    • The most important thing?
    • Rough Unit Economics
    • Business model Defensibility


  1. Your reportee handling a big account resigns, what do you do?

  2. Give me an example where you disagreed with your manager?

    • What all did you do to prove yourself?
    • Did you finally surrender, if yes how do you feel about it?
    • What will you do differently when you would manage a team yourself?
  3. Imagine a situation when you close a deal with a very important customer, one you had chased for 4 months. But due to bandwidth capacity product cannot pick up that feature today but can pick up in next 4-6 months.

    • What will you do in such case?
    • How would you avoid that?
  4. How do you convert sales meetings into product insights?

  5. What’s your way of highlighting urgency?

  1. How do you know you clients are successful? How do you measure that?
  2. Your product is in testing and will take another 4 weeks to be deployed, do you sell?*
  3. Do you not get frustrated by calling?
  4. How to know if the person has understood what you say?
  5. How do you handle uncertainty on deal closure?

Judging Culture Fit

  1. What do you and you don’t appreciate about your former managers?
  2. What kind of people you just can’t get along with?
  3. Do you think you are successful in your life so far? Why?
  4. What more is to be done to become more successful?
  5. Do you have any role model(s)? Why?
  6. What do you generally read or watch apart from work?
  7. What do you read or watch to better at your work?
  1. How do you answer customer questions when you don't know the answer?
  2. How high do you set your initial price? Why?
  3. Have you ever sold something at a low price just to establish a relationship? Is this technique effective?
  4. What are the biggest obstacles to closing a deal?
  5. When is a price too low?
  1. Can you tell me about a time you failed to reach an agreement in negotiations?
  2. What's your definition of negotiation success?
  3. How do you plan for negotiations?
  4. Is it important to research before walking into negotiations? Why / why not?
  5. Is a negotiation a debate? Why / why not?
  1. You are connected to the correct potential customers but the are not buying, what can be the reasons?
  2. Have you ever given any product feedback to internal team and what has been implemented? Was it easy to get your request incorporated?
  3. Have you interfaced with Product and scheduled their calls with customer? How? And Why?
  4. Will you sell a product which is not ready to be delivered? If yes, what all things you will keep in mind?
  5. What do you want product and tech teams to learn if you have to teach them anything?
  6. To sell, does the quality of product/service make a difference or good quality selling? Which one is dominant? Why?
  7. How do you know if competitor’s product if better or yours?

Ref check questions

  1. If you have to describe XYZ from what’s on top your mind, what would that be?
  2. What have you observed as XYZs strengths?
  3. What is the feedback you have given him consistently to improve on? How did he take the feedback?
  4. Ask about the reds you have observed during the hiring process?
  5. Which parts of the job you found XYZ was not motivated with or didn’t show enough enthusiasm?
  6. Why did you not stop him while he was leaving?
  7. Would you hire him again?
  8. As his new manager, what are the tips you can give me to manage him and get the best out of him?

Evaluation Framework

3/3 (Stellar) - Only if someone uses or express very powerful adjective to describe the person of the relationship

2/3 (Good - If someone is not described a super super awesome Or bad in some way too

1/3 (Not Good) - Nobody gives bad feedback. But if there is not spike or good examples and neither the person is thankful for the XYZs efforts