3 Tips for the Perfect Sales Job Interview
The best way to demonstrate your sales skills in a job interview is to really sell yourself.
Remember, the impression you make on the people you meet is not always just about what you say, it’s about how you make them feel.
When you leave the interview room, you want to have created an atmosphere of confidence and positivity.
Like all good salespeople, you’ll need to do your research before your pitch and know what you are offering over and above the competition. Try to identify possible problems that the company you are talking to might come up against and prepare intelligent solutions.
Here are our top three tips for nailing your sales career interview:
1. Listen and respond
No one likes a pushy salesperson who clings onto the belief that the more they talk at you, the more you’re likely to buy from them.
Be consultative instead of salesy; if you’ve done thorough research on the market you should be able to ask your interviewer relevant questions about issues that really matter to the company.
If you can glean more insight from them during the interview and offer thoughtful advice on the spot, you will demonstrate your genuine interest in the business.
The interviewer may well put you on the spot and ask you how you can improve their sales – you can draw on your research and have some informed suggestions up your sleeve.
2. Be clear about your approach
Be prepared for questions about your sales technique; you will likely be asked about the following broad subjects:
- Identifying new customers
- Handling objections
- Presentation and best practice customer service
- Overcoming obstacles
- Negotiation and closing the deal
- Meeting targets
The key is to consider each of these areas and think of specific times in your career when you have tackled them successfully. If you can, take along evidence including sales reports, campaign statistics, references or case studies.
If you have examples you can talk about and meaningful anecdotes, you shouldn’t be thrown by any curveball questions, even if they’re phrased slightly differently from what you expected.
Your interview is guaranteed to be considerably better if you rehearse these personal stories at least a few times. Just like an actor, if you know your lines, your performance will be much more professional.
People always groan when they’re asked about their strengths and weaknesses and often they rely on stock answers that won’t incriminate them, such as: ‘I’m just too organised!’
Interviewers will see right through this.
What is impressive is someone who can talk confidently about why they operate the way they do and their awareness on the impact they have on the people around them.
Know yourself; have the confidence to express your individuality – sales is all about personality.
3. Be inspiring
It’s all very well presenting PowerPoint graphs and figures but it can be just as effective to paint your audience a picture with descriptive words. Appeal to their senses by using metaphors they can relate to.
Even though sales is about numbers, many people respond better to visual language. This technique can help to tap into your interviewers’ sentimentality and inspire them to an emotional reaction.
At this point, it won’t hurt to include a bit of flattery; tell your interviewer why you want to work for them. Even when people know they’re being buttered up, they respond well to it because everyone has self-doubt.
Do not hold back on enthusiasm; show how inspired you are by the business and let them know how much effort you have put into the opportunity to be involved in their journey.
When you walk out of that room, they should be scrabbling to call you back.
Good luck – you’ll smash it!