Top Sales Job Interview Tips for Hiring Managers
Success in landing any kind of sales job depends on how well you’re prepared for your interview. Many sales have been able to land the position they’ve applied for simply by presenting an exceptional quality product (and, again, an equally strong degree of customer service). But what if you don’t have the best product or the greatest customer service? If you don’t prepare for your interview well, you may find yourself bypassing interviews altogether – and not getting the job you want. Here are some sales job interview tips that can help you prepare so you end up getting the job you want:
First, one of the most important sales job interview tips is that you need to completely understand the interview process and what needs to be done to get you the interview. Sales people understand that job interviews can often feel like a death sentence – with only a few seconds to spare before you’re dismissed for another, more interested applicant. But the truth is that it’s actually one of the least stressful aspects of the hiring process.
So what exactly goes on during this brief window of time? First, you’ll meet with the interviewer to discuss your job description, objectives, and selling style. You’ll likely be asked questions about your sales history and training. After the interview, you’ll be asked to provide a list of your accomplishments, as well as a short document summarizing everything you discussed. It’s a common practice to cross-reference your list with the applicant’s curriculum vitae.
But what about your selling style? The sales job interview tips here concentrate almost exclusively on selling yourself. As a salesperson, you need to present a polished, professional image to your potential employer. When your employer sees that you’re willing to put in the time to learn their organization’s mission, as well as demonstrate your unique selling skills, they’ll quickly see that you’re the right person for the job. This doesn’t mean that you should lie about your background or sell yourself short. But a salesperson’s greatest strength – their ability to sell – shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to applying for a new sales job.
The real secret to getting the job isn’t so much in what you know (you do) or who you know (you probably do), but in your ability to sell yourself to your employer. Unfortunately, many sales candidates learn to perfect their selling skills in the job interviews they attend, but few take the time to polish their in-person interviews. Here are some sales job interview tips to help you polish your in-person interviews.
One of the most important sales job interview tips is to not only listen carefully to the questions being asked, but to be able to show the interviewer that you understand what the interviewer is asking. Many times, candidates hear what the interviewer is asking, and automatically assume that they already know the answer. In fact, it’s often better to have your answers prepared before asking the question, because you can explain them and then immediately answer any related questions the interviewer may have. For example, if the question asks you how many years of experience you have in Customer Service, you can quickly respond by listing your three best years of experience, even though the interviewer might not realize that you’ve already offered that specific answer earlier in the conversation.
Another one of the best sales job interview tips is to develop an interest in the products and services the company you’re looking at offers. Ask questions about the solutions they provide for customers, as well as how their customers feel about their service or product. If the sales rep can show you that they really care about your new business, you will likely have a much better impression than if they respond with vague answers that don’t pertain to you at all. You want to build a relationship with the representative from the beginning, so when the time comes to sell them on the products and services of your new business, you already know what kind of person they are and how they respond to customer questions.
One of the biggest challenges sales job interview tips for hiring managers face is how to get past candidates who seem to know the answers to interview questions, but are actually blanking out when it comes to discussing the needs of your company. Most candidates ask questions about the products and services their potential employers offer, but they don’t sound enthusiastic enough to share the benefits of their position. Sales managers need to take some time and really think about how a candidate is presenting themselves and answering questions. If the candidate is faking enthusiasm, then it’s likely that person doesn’t have the right attitude or personal qualities for the job.