It’s natural to be nervous before an important interview, especially a sales interview where you know the interviewer will dig into your previous performance and situational planning. As you prepare for your next sales interview, here are a few quick steps to make sure you separate yourself from the pack!
Research the company before the interview
Basic knowledge of the company’s message, mission, and goals is a good place to start. Then find out about their sales process, clients, and competitors. This research will show you are not just looking for a new job, you are looking for the right company. Using this research to inform the conversation is a great way to prove that you’re intellectually curious and you are interested in the opportunity.
Get there early and make an impression
There’s nothing worse than arriving late for an interview. Be sure to factor in time to find parking, an extra few minutes for unexpected issues, etc. Aside from the logistics of arriving early, it’s a great way to make a positive first impression. This highlights your promptness and organizational skills. It also allows you to observe the environment, and maybe even get to chat with some employees. This helps you to get a general feel of the company, and to make a good impression on other people besides the interviewer.
Figure out what you have in common
Along with researching the company, always understand the background of the person you’re interviewing with beforehand. You can find some things you have in common, and it’s a great way to come up with some questions around their unique experience. This ability to connect the dots helps illustrate an important soft skill in sales that can’t always be represented on your resume or LinkedIn.
Include experience and quantifiable metrics in your answers
When answering questions regarding your previous experience, include examples of things you’ve achieved. Instead of answering with “I think that”/”I want” sentences, also make sure to say, “I have done ____”, “My team and I did ___”. This is a chance to show your scope of knowledge and what you can offer. By taking it a step further and quantify your results you can help the interviewer understand your impact. Giving examples of said experiences is a great way to make you look even better than your resume did.
Don’t oversell yourself
Show your value and be your own best advocate, but be careful with hyperboles and exaggerations. This interview is about your relationship with the company and figuring out if it will work out. One of the best things about sales is that metrics are objective ways to show your skills. Use historical data to demonstrate what you can bring to the table rather than trying to oversell your experience.
Always come with questions
Interviewers value interviewees who have questions for them. This is a way to prove you are prepared, interested, committed, and proactive. Ask specific questions about the role, the company roadmap, the interviewer’s experience and anything else that you may not have been able to surface while doing your research.
After you leave, end the process professionally
Always send a personalized thank you email to everyone that you met. Be sure to include something specific about the conversation that helped you learn more about the role. This is a great way to keep the conversation going and keep your name in the back of their minds as they look through all of their candidates.
Interviewing can be daunting, but by keeping these tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be sure to set yourself up for success.