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CEB Sales Associate, Middle Market Interview Questions & Reviews

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Sales Associate, Middle Market Interview

Sales Associate, Middle Market
Chicago, IL

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at CEB in April 2013.

Interview Details – I was referred by a friend who worked there. Recruiter was helpful, did a phone interview, then asked me to take an online assessment. This was two parts, one personality based, the other was aptitude (analyzing data, understanding what data means, graphs, logical order questions). Then I was handed a questionnaire of 4 behavioral questions to write my answer and submit before my in-person interview. This was tough, but they wanted writing samples and they told me I did very well. The in-person interview was very difficult and confusing. The first hour was an interview with a Director who asked me a number of behavioral questions, some similar to the ones I had already answered. He was very helpful, guided me through the process well, gave excellent feedback, and said I did very well. The recruiter informed me I did excellent on this part.

The second part was not such a great experience. They sat me in a room for an hour to review a "stack" of information, data they had run regarding a common problem in the HR industry. They also gave a situation sheet regarding the "sales situation" that I would be role-playing for. I was told before the interview that I would be demonstrating a sales process from start to finish. This is not what I was asked of in the interview. I interpreted the data just fine and was hoping to utilize my sales skills to "sell" or "pitch" the data as a solution for the "client". I met with a young, new sales manager, and then the sales director was over the phone. Rather than let me walk through a sales process, he broke it down into small sections, skipping parts of the process and instead asking me questions. The questions were confusing, jumped all over the sales process, from middle, to end, to beginning, to was very difficult to follow and I wasn't always clear on what he was asking. He had also interrupted one of my responses to his question saying "well what is it you sell, I don't know what it is you do." The situation sheet they provided me CLEARLY STATED "this individual you are selling to is familiar with your company and has used your services in the past." He then gave me a set of objections that I was to overcome. The "objections" he gave weren't objections, they were blow offs. It gave me the impression they weren't looking for sales professionals, but people who want to hound and annoy potential clients. I've done that before and I didn't feel that sales approach aligned with a consultative company like CEB, but I guess I may be wrong.

I'm a seasoned sales professional with a 7 year track record of success and have demonstrated my ability to deliver content to client and overcome objection. The evaluation process I was given did not effectively determine that and was pretty much a waste of my afternoon. I regret taking time off work to interview with them. When I left the interview I had decided I would not work for this company. They sent me a rejection email about 8 days later.

Interview Question – Mostly behavior questions, asking for examples of how you've handled situations. Seem hard at first but if you practice by googling "behavioral interview questions" you'll find yourself very prepared.   View Answer

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