Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Interviewing for a Sales Job

Interviewing for a Sales Job:

Over the years I have had the pleasure of interviewing many people for many different sales roles. Part of being a good sales person is your ability to identify with the customer and understand their requirements. Interviewing for a job is exactly the same as executing a discovery on a prospect.

Treat your interviewer just as you would if you were prospecting a customer!

You are selling the product and the product is you!

Here are some suggestions:

Qualify the interviewer:

- What are their buying criteria?
- Are certainly aspects of a candidate weighted with more or less consideration?
- What is important to the organization? Cultural Fit? Alignment with Company values and vision
- What is important to them?
- What are their Key Business Requirements?
- What attributes make a great sales person at their organization?

Presenting your information:

- Follow their lead of questioning but focus on high level successes
- be straight to the point
- Sales is all about achievement. Promote your % to quota and revenue. Frame anything less than 100% with delicate explanations that moves the focus away from your ability and back on the economy

Here is what every Sales Manager is looking for:

- Sales Ability. Do you understand the basic principals of the sales process and close deals
- Hard Work. Work Ethic is absolutely paramount. Work smart is for reps making over $200k a year. For them and everyone else, there is no substitute for hard work. Give examples of your dedication to your profession
- Self Improvement. Read and be self taught so that when an interviewer asks you the last book you read you can articulate the concepts of a business book back to them. Sales Managers don't become Sales Managers without reading business books. Reading also demonstrates how seriously you take your job
- Business Acumen. Do you understand how businesses work? What is important to specific industries? What each department does in a company? What are the key job functions of a CEO, CFO, CIO? Can you be confident and talk the language of a "C" level?
- Cultural Fit. Having someone who does not fit into the organization will not be successful. Do you share the same personal and business values? Will you be a good ambassador of the company? Will you get along with your piers and superiors?

Differentiating yourself in the interview process can be difficult. Hopefully these tips will help!

Best of Luck!

Susan Corcoran