Written by Kimberley Startup | November 14, 2013
So you think you’ve got what it takes to work in sales? The art of being a successful sales person can be a challenge and isn’t for the faint hearted, but if you’re driven, enthusiastic and enjoy a challenge, it could be the perfect career for you.
It’s also worth remembering that although working in sales can be tough at times, it often comes with many added perks, including enticing bonuses.
If you’ve aced the application, next up is the interview, so how can you ensure you pass it with flying colours? Here are Webrecruit’s top tips.
Consider your personality
Being a successful sales person has a lot to do with personality; your interviewer will likely ask you how you describe yourself, so ensure you consider your traits wisely. They are likely to be looking for some traits, including passion, trustworthiness and self-confidence.
Skills and experience
When preparing for your interview list out your relevant skills and experience. Your interviewer will be looking for a natural leader so try to think of a time that you demonstrated this. If you’re good at maths, mention this and how you’ve found it helpful when being asked to offer percentage discounts at the drop of a hat.
Know your numbers
If you have previous experience in a sales role, make sure you know your numbers. Be prepared to give exact answers of your monthly sales, your percentage sales vs. target and how you compared to your previous team.
Research the company
Make sure you know what you’re selling and to whom. Dig around the company website or even ask for any helpful reading material prior to your interview. Jot down what you think are their USPs.
It may sound obvious but do make sure that you dress your best. Even if the role is a telesales position, there may still be occasions where you will get to meet with clients, therefore your interviewer will want to be able to visualise you presenting to a key client.
Consider some techniques
Sales teams can often hit ruts and for that reason the input of the full team is important for pushing through during slow periods. Your interviewer is likely to ask you how you might target new clients so prepare some ideas and be ready to have them challenged.
Pressure and rejection
You will likely be asked about your experience of working to targets. From this question the interviewer is trying to gauge how you deal with pressure and also how you cope with rejection – be honest; consider the saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Who are you
In your new role it’s important that you gel with the team and your interviewer will want to know what you do in your free time. Consider your response wisely and think on your feet; if you spotted a photo of children on your interviewer’s desk and have children of your own then mention them. Also, if your interviewer is clearly physically fit, and you love sport, get that in.
End on a high note
Take charge when closing the interview; ensure you have some killer questions prepared, such as ‘What don’t you look for in a candidate?’ This question allows you a chance to save yourself, if your interviewer answers with something you stated about yourself previously. And don’t forget to give a firm handshake on your exit and then leave professionally – remember you may be being watched on your exit so make sure you don’t snog your partner who’s been waiting in the car or chain smoke whilst walking past the building.
If you’re looking for a role in sales, visit Webrecruit’s search for jobs page here.