How to Screen BDR Candidates to Find the Best Sales Development Reps


Hiring the right talent has long been a struggle for companies looking to grow and expand in all the right ways. Today, companies are less worried about what they can do and more worried about having the right people to do it. There are countless stories of people who aren’t the “right fit” for a role along with horror stories of companies hiring blindly, only to see huge turnover rates and other issues. 

So, how are you supposed to find the best sales development reps for your business? The good news is that you’re not on your own to figure it out. It starts by learning about the best practices for candidate screening, then considering how you’re going to go about generating those new candidate leads. Whether you choose to do it in-house or you outsource to recruiters or a staffing company, you need to have a plan. 

And eventually, even if someone else gets the ball rolling, you’re going to have to jump in and conduct an interview with the screening questions that will help you determine if someone is the best BDR candidate. There are several different types of interviews and interview questions that you can use. You may have to try a few to see what works before deciding on a final solution. You also might want to tweak the process for each candidate and make sure that you are focused on getting the answers that you need to make an educated hiring decision. 

Screening interviews 

The first step is to conduct screening interviews to make sure that people are motivated and properly trained in the work that you need them to do. You can ask about things like career goals, professional qualifications and capabilities, challenges and struggles, leadership, previous roles, and so forth. Essentially, you want to make sure that you’re getting all the information that you need to appropriately weed people out or move them forward in the process. 

This is also a good time to ask why people are switching jobs at this moment, or why they are seeking a new role. If you want the best SDRs/BDRs, you’re not going to hire the ones that left for poor reasons. What’s a good reason versus a bad one, though? It depends, but typically you’ll want answers like:

  • Seeking new challenges
  • Looking to expand future growth potential 
  • Interested in an industry change 

If someone starts talking about how terrible their employer was/is or how the company’s goals were “ridiculous” and unattainable, you might want to dig deeper to make sure that they’re not looking for work for all the wrong reasons. Otherwise, they might leave you high and dry, too. 

Other interviews 

There are several types of interviews that you can conduct and you might have to try them out to see which ones work best. However, when you’re trying to determine the best BDR candidates, the “Who interview” is another important one. This essentially showcases someone’s previous experience and uses that to uncover patterns in their career history that may inform their future with your organization. 

Ask questions like what they were hired for, what they achieved, any challenges or struggles, who they worked with, their managers and team members, etc. You can also ask them to rate their supervisors or teams and find out why they left or are considering leaving so that you know you’re not just getting another job hopper that will leave you, too, when they are dissatisfied by their own disillusion. 

Questions to ask 

The common interview questions are all relevant and helpful. In addition to what we’ve already covered, some of the best questions to narrow down the BDR talent pool include:

  • How do you make a decision when there is an overwhelming amount of information and data that needs to be considered?
  • Would you cover for a coworker who overlooked a task, and how?
  • Tell us about a time when you overcame an unanticipated challenge. 
  • Describe a situation where there were several obstacles and limited knowledge of how to handle them. How did you succeed?
  • Tell us about a time when you performed a specific task related to your duties. 

This kind of information helps you get a feel for not just who people are, but how they work and how they will work most effectively for your company. 

It’s also important to note that since no two candidates are the same, your interview processes may be different, as well. Make sure that you create questions and a framework for the interview that allows it to flow based on the responses and behaviors of the individual being interviewed. That will be much more successful than using the same standard questions for all interviews. 

What about online screening tools?

There are a growing number of online screening tools and resources that companies are using to find talent, such as those offered by the Predictive Index. The PI is a tool that helps assess applicant behaviors and personality traits, as well as skills and capabilities, in relation to a specific job or role. You can use these tools to help you interview candidates, but they should be just that—a tool, not the end-all, be-all of the interview process. 

The best thing that you can do is to create a comprehensive screening and interviewing process for each member of your organization, including your BDR/SDR teams. That way, you will be able to create a standardized, effective process that allows you to hire better, retain more talent, and save on outdated training and onboarding processes. 

Speaking of savings, save time and money with 

While you’re busy screening candidates, who is taking care of business? If you have a partnership with, you’ll know that our virtual receptionists are fielding every call as your 24/7 answering service so that you never miss an opportunity. Plus, we can even assist with lead intake and appointment scheduling, giving you even more time to focus on your business. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to

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Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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