Personality Traits You Should Look for in Your Next Sales Candidate

Jan 30, 2021

Posted by: Jason Alexander, Managing Partner, BANKW Staffing

When hiring a sales candidate, personality traits are a strong indicator of success in the role. Because sales is a highly competitive field filled with lots of obstacles, you need to find a candidate with the right temperament to keep going in the face of adversity.

Here are five personality traits to look for in your next sales candidate.


When meeting a sales candidate, look for the drive. They must be ambitious and unwilling to sit on the sidelines, waiting for someone to find a solution to a problem. A driven candidate takes the initiative to learn all they can talk about their product and customer. They want to do well for the sake of doing well, outperform other salespeople, and motivate the customer to see their point of view. Though it may take half a dozen times to get a response, land a meeting or open a discussion, the driven candidate understands that persistence pays. They know that successes involve failure, and rejection is part of the process. The driven candidate has a unique ability to cope with difficulty, negotiate obstacles, and optimize performance despite adversity. They take rejection as a personal challenge to succeed with the next customer.

Creative Thinking

When finding the right sales candidate, search for creative thinking. A candidate who thinks creatively anticipates potential objections and knows how to overcome them while finding a proper solution. They’re always thinking one step ahead of where they’re at, planning for various outcomes, and finding ways to achieve desired results. Creative candidates are open to trying new methods and seeing what works.


When determining which sales candidate to hire, look for one who has empathy. An empathetic candidate knows how to persuade customers by showing they’re on their side. They demonstrate an understanding of the customer’s problem and care about solving it. An empathetic candidate shows why their solution makes sense and is in the customer’s best interest. Their emotional intelligence lets them put themselves in the customer’s position and use that to form a connection.


When interviewing a sales candidate, seek conscientiousness. A conscientious candidate is responsible, organized, and a hard worker. They respect leadership and pride themselves on performing their best. A conscientious candidate focuses on educating customers and demonstrating why customers should believe in them rather than on selling.


When talking with a sales candidate, determine whether they are extroverted. Such a candidate is energetic, assertive, talkative, and people-oriented. They’re always aware of their circumstances and surroundings, ready to present and make a sale at any moment. An extrovert is sociable and energized by spending time with others. They enjoy talking, have many interests, and easily make friends. Because extroverted candidates like connecting with people and discussing a variety of subjects, they’re better able to connect with customers.

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