• Gerald Zankl

Interview Guideline to hire SDR and BDR Talent

Updated: Apr 23

The challenge executives are facing these days is not WHAT they want to do, but rather WHO can do it. In every leadership role, hiring is by far the most important part. In my daily business life, I hire constantly and made also a lot of hires who weren't a fit for the company, the team and/or me. Nothing is more important than hiring the right candidate.


In this blog post, you find great interview questions to identify if your candidate is a fit or not. The interview questions are based on the ghSMART method by Geoff Smart and Randy Street.



1. Screening Interview

In the screening interview, you check the basics of your candidate and make sure you sort people out, who are not aligned with your or the company's future. In this interview, you check motivation and skills.


Questions you can ask in the screening interview:

  1. What are your career goals? This is especially important to see if your potential SDR/BDR candidate wants to have a future in Sales. The ambition should be to become an Account Executive or a Sales Manager as soon as possible.

  2. What are you really good at professionally? Asking questions and talking to people should be one of the skills your candidate is good at professionally. Also, checking out resilience and pushing through is important here.

  3. What are you not good at professionally and what do you not want to do? Here you should understand, what areas of improvement the candidate potentially has.

  4. Who were your last 2 bosses, and how will they each rate your performance on a 1-10 scale when we talk to them? This is important to understand how the candidate would rate his/her performance in previous jobs.

  5. What is the reason for switching job? Most of the time, you hire first-time SDRs/BDRs but if someone had already a job, they should have a good reason for switching jobs. Good SDRs or BDRs usually get promoted within an organisation. A good reason would be to start over as a SDR again in a new industry to get fast towards an Account Executive.


2. Who Interview

The Who interview is one of the key interviews. This interview uncovers the patterns of somebody's career history. In this interview, you get out the good and the bad. I recommend strongly doing at least one Who interview.

  1. What were you hired to do?

  2. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

  3. What were some low points during that job?

  4. Who were the people you worked with? Specifically:

  5. What was your boss's name, and how do you spell that? What was it like working with him/her? What will he/she tell me where your biggest strengths and areas of improvement?

  6. How would you rate the team you inherited on an A, B, C scale? What changes did you make? Did you hire anybody? Fire anybody? How would you rate the team when you left it on an A, B, C scale?

  7. Why did you leave that job?



3. Focused Interview

In this interview, you want to talk about a specific outcome or competency. This can be marketing a new product into a new market, selling software products, doing phone calls to new people, creating strategy plans, managing teams, etc.

  1. The purpose of this interview is to talk about _________

  2. What are your biggest accomplishments in this area during your career?

  3. What are your insights into your biggest mistakes and lessons learned in this area?



4. Reference Interview

  1. In what context did you work with the person?

  2. What were the person's biggest strengths?

  3. What were the person's biggest areas for improvement back then?

  4. How would you rate his/her overall performance in that job on a 1-10 scale? What about his or her performance causes you to give that rating?

  5. The person mentioned that he/she struggled with ____________ in that job. Can you tell me more about that?


5. Example Questions for an SDR Interview

In this Google Doc you find some example questions you can ask to specifically see if your candidate has the right sales and sales development experience.



Here is some more related content that might be useful for you:



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