Questions to ask business development job candidates

Predicting which business development professionals will succeed at your company is extremely difficult.

Here are some interview questions that might help:

  • What types of products/services have you sold and how did you sell them?
  • Describe a standard business development process including the key roles.
  • Tell me about a sales experience that demonstrates your work ethic. (If they give a positive one, ask for a negative one. e.g. a time they failed and what they learned)
  • Give a specific example of how you successfully identified, qualified and then supported a bid through contract award.
  • What is the key information you need to gather to develop a viable, qualified opportunity?
  • How do you respond to buyer’s objections?
  • Which government agencies have you had success selling to?
  • How much time do you spend at your desk versus meeting with prospects and teaming partners?
  • How you would spend your first 90 days in your new job?
  • What factors do you believe should drive a bid versus no bid decision?
  • What is the optimal way for business development to work with operations?

Even if you find someone who aces all the questions, there is still the matter of whether your company has the BD focus, process and resources necessary to enable BD success. And, whether the individual will be a fit for your organizational culture.

– Mike Lisagor


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