The Coaching Effect Blog

The Coaching Effect Blog

    3 interview questions a sales manager should avoid!

    by Kristi Shoemaker / March 21, 2011

    We found this very relevant article on BNet. It is written by Mark Henricks. To read the full article CLICK HERE. We are sharing an excerpt of "3 Interview Questions That Could Cost Your Company $1 Million." 

    As a Sales Manager you interview sales people all the time. We hope Mark's advice will help keep you out of trouble.


    The grounds for some successful discrimination lawsuits begin as early as the first job interview, when the employer asks a question that produces information later used for illegal discrimination. With that in mind, we came up with these seemingly harmless interview questions that could, if all goes wrong, cost you $1 million:

    Question #1: I see you speak Spanish. Where did you study it?

    The problem: According to a guide to risky interview questions prepared by the University of Albany, if the applicant says, “I learned it at home,” you may have just gathered information about an applicant’s ethnic background that could later on be used as grounds for a discrimination complaint.

    Question #2: How many sick days did you take last year?

     The problem: Sure, you’d like to avoid hiring a malingerer at your business, but a list of thin-ice questions from HR Morning warns that a candidate’s health information is legally none of your business.

    Question #3: How long have you lived here?

     The problem: “Familiarity with local culture may be important to the position, but it’s important not to ask about a candidate’s residency in the country or region directly,” advises HR World. You can ask for a candidate’s current address and phone number, but quizzing someone about their tenure in the region or country could go over the line.

    Although many lists of “illegal” interview questions like these exist, arguably, none of these questions is actually illegal, nor is there a law against asking anyone almost anything, short of whether they would like to, say, commit an act of terror. The question of legality depends on the purpose for asking the question and whether the information is used for purposes of illegal discrimination.

    (end of excerpt)

    After a new sales rep is hired, the work really begins for the Sales Manager.  Please enjoy this research article titled "Fact Based Reasons New Sales People Fail".

    Keep learning!  Keep growing! A Sales Manager's job is never done!


    Mark Henricks has reported on business, technology and other topics for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and other leading publications long enough to lay somewhat legitimate claim to being The Article Authority. Follow him on Twitter @bizmyths.

    The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission maintains an impressive list of all kinds of illegal discrimination, ranging from sexual harassment to age discrimination. And the list grows steadily. Recently, a new federal law added genetic information to the roster of illegal foundations for discrimination.

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    Kristi Shoemaker

    Kristi Shoemaker

    Kristi is a marketing communications and public relations expert with over 30+ years of experience in a variety of industries. She was an integral part of EcSell's go-to-market strategy and execution from 2008 - 2012. Kristi enjoys taking a holistic approach by integrating all the key marketing disciplines to create synergies that generate maximum results. She is currently the president of KLS Consulting in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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