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200083 Marketing Principles, Autumn 2014 Sample structure of answers to an essay question Sample question What is stress interviewing? Do you think it is justifiable that sales managers use stress interviewing in recruiting salespersons? Suggested answers A stress interview is a technique designed to put job candidates under extreme, unexpected, psychological duress for the purpose of seeing how they react. For example, a job candidate might be asked to make an impromptu sales presentation for a convenient item such as a ballpoint pen or an ashtray. Another stress interviewing tactic is to ridicule the responses of the job candidates, or to repeatedly interrupt the candidate's responses to questions before they have an adequate opportunity to provide a complete response. (Define the concept and used examples to illustrate and discuss the concept.) Sales managers justify the use of stress interviews by pointing out that salespeople must be able to think on their feet and react quickly to unanticipated questions from customers. (Give examples to further elaborate the pros.) However, from an ethical perspective, there is no reason why a person should be subject to such stress just because they want a job. There may also be legal implications if the “techniques” used to put a candidate under stress violate some legislations. (Give examples to further elaborate the cons.) (Discuss both the pros and cons of alternative solutions or point of views with examples to support your discussions. You can then give your overall position by discussing how you trade-off the pros and cons in coming up with your final recommendation. What decision criteria do you use in making the trade-offs? Justify these criteria and their relative importance in making the trade-offs). E.g., After all, a personal selling job is a very tough job that sales managers need to make sure that the persons that they recruited can handle the stressful situations when they are in the field that a minimal...