When interviewing for a role as a Sales Person, interview questions tend to cover several angles. It's because the job role of a Sales Person is multifaced. A successful career in sales involves a wide range of skills and key attributes the interviewer will be looking for.
To help you get your dream sales job, we have compiled a list of the top 10 interview tips when applying for a sales facing role.
1. Do your research
When you are preparing for your interview, you will need to find out as much about the company, the product you may be selling, and the role as possible. You can find information from the company’s website, social media channels and Glassdoor.
Find out the company’s mission and values and reflect on them throughout the interview. Demonstrate you will be the right fit for the role by coming to the interview prepared and learning all about the opportunity beforehand.
Who is their target buyer? It will be your target audience, so think about how you will market to them.
Here are some key things to research:
What you’re selling & to who?
Who will be interviewing you?
Key achievements & background of the company
The company culture & values
The company goals
What your role entails
2. Plan your questions to ask
Continuing on from the research part, plan your questions around the research you have done on the company. It is important to not only ask questions at the end of your interview but throughout the process as well. It can show your interest in the role as well as your confidence.
As a salesperson, you want to work in a company that suits your way of working and can develop you further in your sales career – be sure to ask about plans for the future and not just the current role you are interviewing for. It allows the interviewer to see you want to grow with the company.
3. Look the part
First impressions are key, as a sales person, you are ultimately the face of the business. Ensure you dress smartly in clean shoes, come to the interview prepared and show positive, friendly, and engaging body language.
4. Be ready to talk about your experience & successes
Alongside your CV, it would be a good idea for a sales person to bring along supporting evidence. This could be any case studies, successes, awards, or testimonials you have previously gained. You will need to know your previous sales experience inside and out, so be prepared to discuss this in detail.
It doesn’t necessarily matter what you have sold and where. You will have the skills to sell a different product. Plan an appealing way to spin your experience gained to suit the product/services sold by the company you are interviewing at; this will usually concentrate on your skillset.
5. Demonstrate your customer service skills
Customer service is key to any sales role. Show this off in your interview, prove you have the skills required for the role. Hiring managers will likely ask questions about customer service, including handling customer/client complaints or objections.
You can talk about your best examples of customer service and involve outcomes that are both satisfactory for the clients/candidates, and your company. You must be transparent in this interview, no sales person is perfect. Talk about challenges you have faced and how you have overcome them, but always leave the reply with a positive outcome, even if the situation did not end as positive as you would have liked.
6. Make a good first impression
People will be making first impressions of you constantly throughout your sales career. Each new connection is a new first impression, and it will be the same for your interview. You will need to make it a very good one, as you will be the person potentially representing their company.
Practice a confident introduction. It needs to include a genuine smile & friendly but professional approach, a clear voice and good eye contact to show your confidence.
Companies usually have a first impression of you before they have met you. It is because they will commonly check your social media. Make sure yours is on private to your following or check through your profile to ensure it remains somewhat professional to a potential employer.
7. Build a relationship with the interviewer beforehand
Building relationships and connections are arguably the most important part of a sales career. Actively show the company you are interviewing with that you can do this. Focus on building a relationship with the interviewer and give them a preview of how you will be interacting with clients. You can do this beforehand, send LinkedIn requests, ask any questions you may have and keep in contact before your interview happens.
You can also use their LinkedIn as a guide to find out more about the interviewer – active users will show a glimpse of their interests and identity on the platform. Use this as a foundation of conversation on your interview day.
8. Know your numbers
Your interviewer will want evidence and accurate results of your successes. A critical part of any sales role is the numbers. You will need to come prepared with this. Some examples to help you prepare this could be:
Did you manage a budget in your previous role? If so, explain?
Any major wins or successes? What were their numeric results?
How did you measure your success in your last company? Talk about any growth since you have been there.
They may not directly ask for these numerical figures but prepare them and refer to them in questions they may ask, such as recent successes or how you manage workload.
9. Come with a plan of action
Show that you will go the extra mile. Most businesses want to know what you can offer their company. Show you have thought about it. Bring a vague plan of action to the interview. How will you first attack your new role? Where do you want to take the job role? And what do you want to achieve in the job role?
It will give the hiring manager an insight into your work ethic, how you will prioritise tasks and your personal approach to the business. This will also help you later if you are successful in the hiring process. You will be able to hit the ground running in your new role with a clear outline of what you are looking to do.
10. It’s okay to talk about money
In sales, money is a common topic of discussion. Sales people are money minded and motivated, so do not shy away from this in the interview process. An example of this could be including high earning potential as one of the reasons you are interested in the role.
You will need to be money motivated when working in sales, and this is something the company will look for, so discussing the job package will not be seen as a negative from the hiring manager as instead in a sales role, it is seen as a positive.
It is important to remember that no matter how an interview goes, don't stop, and wait for ages for one role. Keep applying, keep networking, and keep creating opportunities to allow you to get your dream sales job secured.