managing director interview questions

In one of our earlier insights, we detailed our experience sourcing a Sales Director for manufacturing firm Grant Westfield. This experience was one of the many successful headhunts we’ve carried out for senior sales executives.

We’ve provided more examples of two of our experiences in senior sales recruitment. The first details our work as a sales recruitment agency working with cleaning business Nviro. The business needed a new Head of Sales and Marketing. The second case study covers our work recruiting a Global Retail Sales Director for a large international fragrance business.



We worked with cleaning business Nviro to source them a new Head of Sales and Marketing. Nviro is an industry leading contract cleaning business. Operating in southern England, they specialise in hygiene, cleaning, and facilities management services. Nviro have an impressive track record of quality delivery of service spanning over 20 years.

The Approach

The business was looking for a new Head of Sales and Marketing. This was a highly important role, as it was the number one sales position in their business.

As such, Nviro required the assistance of a sales recruitment agency. This role’s purpose was to promote the business’s marketing and sales activity, as well as grow the business in line with the Managing Director’s goals.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for Nviro would be in charge of the sales and marketing team. They would nurture and develop this team, giving each member confidence and the ability to work autonomously.

The candidate needed to provide strategic input into the business. They were required to provide frequent reports and updates regarding available opportunities.

The ultimate goal of this opportunity was for the successful candidate to raise Nviro’s profile. Nviro wanted to strengthen their brand recognition and enhance their strong reputation.

The Challenge

It was clear to us on our meeting with Nviro that they had a strong business culture and identity. Their vision for the business’s goals and future growth direction was clear.

Ensuring that the company’s beliefs and culture are upheld by each and every employee is one of our client’s top priorities. With this in mind, we set out to find the ideal candidate for Nviro with the help of this information.

The Search

With a good knowledge of our client’s business, we conducted our executive search. We targeted our client’s direct competitors as well as similar businesses who supply to similar clients. Thinking outside the box, we also targeted businesses from other industries that operate in a similar manner to Nviro.

As a result of our extensive talent search, we identified an ideal candidate for Nviro. This candidate was very talented and had strong experience working autonomously in senior roles. They were customer focused and had a great track record in business development. The candidate was confident and charismatic and possessed a strong sales background. As such, they were a great fit for the role at hand.


Sales Recruiting Success

As a result of this headhunt we found the ideal candidate for Nviro. This individual was a great fit for both the role and the organisation as a whole.

We found our experience to be very rewarding for both ourselves and our client.
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International Fragrance Business

Our client was a large international fragrance business established in England in the 1800’s. Now owned by a highly-successful US finance group, the business is split into multiple brands. Each of these brands is rising in popularity, with the business being based around its successful retail stores.

The business has a strong global distribution network, and deals in Ecommerce as well as wholesale and concessions.

The Ideal Candidate

The client approached us as they were looking to recruit a trailblazing Global Retail Sales Director who could lead the business to new heights. The need to recruit for this role arose from their expanding international presence.

The business was expanding rapidly into the Middle East, Asia, and South America territories, and as such required a Global Retail Sales Director who could facilitate this expansion and report directly to the CEO.

The role at hand was highly commercial-focused. One of the largest parts of the role involves working with wholesale channel partners and distributors to drive revenue. As a result, the hired Sales Director needed to have a strong knowledge of business strategy as well as P&L. They also needed to be highly knowledgeable in areas such as marketing, E-commerce, sales, and related functions.

In a similar manner to the Finance Director and CEO, the Sales Director would be aware of the impact that their work has on the business in relation to targets and goals.

The Search

For this executive search, we knew that it was absolutely vital that we found a candidate with specific experience selling into this market. This was due to the niche nature of the product.

As a result, we started by identifying candidates from our client’s direct competitors and undertaking a headhunt from this. The focus of this search was to identify candidates who had demonstrated strong commercial acumen in previous international roles, opening up their businesses to different international territories.


We identified all potential brand competitors within industries related to fragrance, all of which had experienced or were experiencing a growth period. We understood the importance of targeted networking within these businesses in order to find the best candidates. This was because of the reluctance many candidates have in moving from a growing business.

Despite this, we were confident that our client’s opportunity was career-making for many candidates. Why? For one, our client had recently experienced an increase of 20% LFL each year for the past 4 years.

The Challenge

One of the key challenges of this headhunt was the specific requirements the ideal candidate had to meet. The nature of the role required a candidate who was comfortable performing at director level. They needed to provide an additional level of motivation in order to achieve the right results for the business.

The ideal candidate would have an exceptional sales record and the desire to tackle fresh challenges; these were key features. The candidates we sourced needed to be ambitious and eager to help develop the brand through Europe and worldwide, with a highly hands-on approach. Part of the success of our approach is due to how well we understand our clients.

We understood that a lot of our client’s success came from their eccentric and creative atmosphere which originally catapulted them to success. They’ve admirably maintained this vibe to this day.

Each of the business’s ingredients are sourced on a global scale. The background stories that support their fragrances are each imaginative and exciting, as they have been since the business’s launch.

Because of this, the cultural fit was extremely important to the candidate’s success. The chosen individual would have to identify strongly with the brand.

The Results

As a result of our search, and through extensive talks with a number of high-quality candidates, we identified two ideal individuals for the role. These candidates both possessed the right skills and experience to excel in the role, and one was offered the position as a result.


Our client was very pleased with the shortlist of candidates we submitted. So much so, in fact, that they created a further opportunity in one of their sister companies as to not lose out on some of the other high-quality candidates we sourced.

All in all, this was an extremely successful senior headhunt, producing very pleasing results for both the client and ourselves.

In need of a sales recruitment agency? Do you want to find the perfect hire for your business? Executive Headhunters are a whole of market headhunting agency. We find ideal candidates for senior roles across all sectors and industries.

Give us a call on 0161 926 8686 / 0207 160 6996 to request your free Executive Headhunters insights session with one of our senior consultants.

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