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Business Development

How to hire a graduate for a role in Business Development

Candidate profile: A confident and socially adept individual who is able to form strong relationships with clients and think quickly on their feet when under pressure. To succeed in this role they should also be highly organised and be excellent at working to deadlines.

Business or Maths degrees can be beneficial for this role but should not be an essential requirement.

Top skills:

  1. Written & verbal communication
  2. Relationship building
  3. Problem solving
  4. Time management
  5. Attention to detail

Non-office experience

  • Previous roles in customer service, retail or front of house demonstrate that the candidate has experience in building rapport with clients.
  • If they have been a captain of a sports team or head of a society they are likely to have strong leadership skills which are beneficial to a role in Business Development. It also shows that they have strong communication skills.

Office experience

  • Previous experience in a Sales or Marketing role is a big plus! The ability to sell a product is key to a role in Business Development. Remember though, graduates are very adaptable and can be trained up quickly so this shouldn’t be an essential requirement.
  • Experience in account management roles or telesales indicates that the candidate has experience in speaking and dealing with clients.
  • Any experience which has required numerical work is beneficial as a successful candidate should be able to accurately analyse data for better decision making.

Green flag

  • Someone who is motivated and prepared to go above and beyond to ge the right results.

Red flag

  • A candidate who is uncharismatic and doesn't perform well under pressure.

At interview

  • Particularly for this kind of role, it’s important to take note of how a candidate sells themselves. Dressing smartly and being on time should be taken note of. It’s worth asking them what makes the difference between them and another candidate to test how they sell their experience and strengths.
  • We recommend asking the candidates to prepare a short sales pitch during the interview - the product can be anything and doesn’t need to be related to your business. What you want to test here is the candidate’s communication skills, how they react under pressure and how persuasive they are naturally.
  • Ask the candidate questions about your business and competitors to test their understanding of how a business works and the level of research they have carried out prior to the interview.
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