Company president: Most of our best sales representatives came to the job with a degree in engineering but little or ...

Timur on February 5, 2015

Clarification

Could you please explain what makes (B) correct?

1 Reply

Melody on February 19, 2015

Our conclusion is: when we hire sales representatives, we should favor applicants who have engineering degrees but little or no sales experience over applicants with extensive sales experience but no engineering degrees.

Why? Most of our best sales representatives came to the job with a degree in engineering but little or no sales experience.

What's the issue here? We have a correlation/causation flaw occurring. Just because there is a correlation showing that most of the best sales reps of the company came to the job with a degree in engineering but little or no sales experience, does not necessarily mean that their engineering degree and lack of sales experience caused them to be the best sales reps.

Answer choice (B): "Most of the people hired by the company as sales representatives have had a degree in engineering but no sales experience."

Answer choice (B) puts the sales reps of the company into perspective. If the company has 100 sales reps and 90 of them had a degree in engineering but no sales experience, there's a higher probability that the best of the sales reps will be those who have engineering degrees.

So, there's no reason to believe that the conclusion is true, i.e. that the company should favor applicants who have engineering degrees but little or no sales experience over applicants with extensive sales experience but no engineering degrees.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.