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A hiring manager’s best responses to “Sell me this pen” in an interview

StartupStockPhotos/Pixabay via CC0 Public Domain
That is a fine pen you have there.
This article is more than 2 years old.

This question originally appeared on Quora: What are some of the best responses to “Sell me this pen/pencil” in a job interview? Answer by Mike Hillyer, Professional Pre-Sales.

As a hiring manager, let me tell you why I’m asking you to sell me the pen:

When I ask someone to sell me an arbitrary thing, I am looking to see if they do discovery or not. I want to know if they are going to learn about my needs regarding the imaginary product, how I use it, what I liked about my last one, etc.

If I ask you to sell me a toaster and you immediately start telling me about features and benefits, how many slices it can toast, how it can burn in a picture of Darth Vader, you are not getting hired.

If you ask me how often I toast bread, how many slices I need to toast per hour, what I liked about my last toaster, etc. then you made it through the question.

If you get asked this question, start asking questions!

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