Job Interview Preparation Tips From an Experienced Manager of Sales Job Interviews
Job interview preparation can be the difference between success and failure at sales job interviews. These job interview tips come to you from an experienced manager of interviews and assessment days. They will help you to prepare the evidence of your experience and skills to match the job you are applying for. Follow these tips and you will match your answers to predicted interview questions and avoid common mistakes that many job candidates make.
Candidates are going to a meeting that may dramatically increase their income and give them a greater lifestyle. They could gain the benefits of job satisfaction, and actually be happy at work. And yet I see so many candidates that obviously haven’t prepared. It starts to impact on their chances of success in the first few minutes and shows that they haven’t invested in effective job interview preparation.
What I don’t want to see in an interview is a candidate struggling to answer basic questions that they should have expected and prepared for. They will not know the exact wording of every interview questions they will be asked. But they can predict 90% of the topics of the interview questions. They can also prepare how they will present their interview answers and their evidence that they match the role on offer. A basic job interview tip that every applicant should use is to gather all the information they can about the job, the company, and the industry and market place. This information can come from the job description, the vacancy advert, the Internet, people that already work there, and don’t be afraid of contacting their publicity department.
Once you have all the information you can write a list of all the question topics that may be asked in the job interviews. Pay special attention to all the information you have about the job role. They are looking for someone that can present evidence of their skills and experience to fill this role. So write your list of interview questions that could be asked to discover if candidates have what the role requires. Once you have your list you can match your skills and experience to the predicted questions. Start with the areas of the role that you are strongest in. These will be the easiest to answer. Then work through to the weakest areas. Remember you will still have to answer questions on areas where you have no, or little, evidence to offer. You still need to present your answers confidently and communicate well. Don’t just say you haven’t done that, or you have no experience in this area. Put a positive spin on your answer and tell them how you could quickly pick up any training you are given, and then use a similar experience of learning as an example of your capability to learn new skills.
When you have covered all the job skills and experience requirements start looking at the attitudes and personality traits the interviewer could be looking for. For example: A sales job interview with a company that build its business on customer service will be looking for a different type of person than a business that makes one off sales and is sales target driven. Look for the indicators in the job description of where the company sits on the scale between customer service and sales is all that matters. You can get an idea of the company focus from their adverts. Are they price driven with continuous sales and reductions, or do they focus on quality and service.
Now picture what type of person an employer with a high focus on sales will be looking for compared to a company that advertises quality and service. With a clear picture of these differences in your mind, assess the company you are going for an interview with and what they will be looking for in you. Then look at your experiences, both personal and work related, and choose the ones that you want to present that will match the image you have of the ideal candidate. These should be experiences and examples of how you meet the personality type, and have the attitudes the employer is looking for.
Remember this important job interview tip: You cannot be all things to an employer. You cannot use a shotgun approach and project an image that portrays you as both a caring, customer service focused account manager, and a hard-nosed, sales means everything, high achiever, all at the same time. Only by investing in the right job interview preparation and giving yourself the information to be successful can you score highly in a sales job interview.