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Ways to Assess Business Development Candidates

I think the interview process alone can usually assess fit for the majority of business development roles. However, I usually prefer that a candidate do a project before they come in for a full day of interviews. If the project relates directly to what a candidate will be doing if hired, this helps 1) assess whether the candidate is serious about the company enough to put in some work and 2) allows the candidate to assess whether the work is something that suits his interests. 

As for questions to focus on in the interview process, I generally touch on:

How Does a Candidate Assess Opportunities: As a BD person, you’re presented with numerous deals to go after and you need to ensure you hire someone who will go after the *right* deals for your company.

1. What companies should we target for partnerships and why?

2. Tell me about a deal you walked away from at your last company and why.

3. How would you assess what deals we should spend other company resources on, if any?

How Does a Candidate Form a Process: A BD person can have hundreds of deals in play at one time. You need to understand how they stay organized with heavy dealflow at various stages.

1. Tell me what you would do in your first 30 days at our company.

2. Once a deal is signed, what happens? What would you like to happen?

3. How do you ensure that existing partners stick with you as our company grows?

How Convincing is a Candidate: BD is all about relationships - from forming them at early stages to nurturing them as they grow. 

1. How have you convinced an unwilling partner to work with you in the past?

2. What tools do you think we should have to better enable partnerships?

3. Let’s say I’m (X big potential partner). You’re our latest BD hire. Convince me to work with you.

I originally posted this as an answer on Quora.

1 Notes

  1. cristinacordova posted this