An interview for a sales candidate should be exactly like a sales meeting except in this case, you’re not selling an actual product or solution; but instead you’re selling YOU!
It’s therefore important that you approach it like a sales meeting!
Once you have your head in that mindset it is much easier to prepare as you would never go into a sales conversation, shouting the three best features of your product; but instead, you’d qualify out where the prospects pain points lie and then base the solution around this…
So when putting this thought process into an interview environment, it is vital that you fully qualify out exactly what the employer is looking for in a candidate and then base your skills & the conversation around this. In using this method, you will naturally & effortlessly prove that you’re a good salesperson, win-win!
As you then grow into an interview it’s important that you ask different types of questions to further, effortlessly, show why you should be hired. I therefore thought I’d break down questions that we at Robertson Sumner would recommend asking at the start, middle and back end of the interview to make sure your next interview is a success. Here are our tips:
Start of the interview – qualify what the employer is looking for!
Examples of questions to ask:
1) What qualities are you looking for in the person you are hoping to hire?
2) What do the most successful people in the position do that others don’t?
3) If you were to say the three most important traits needed in the role, what would they be?
4) Is there anything in my CV that most interested you? Or anything that put you off?
Middle of the interview – Ask questions which provoke thought & demonstrate research
Where possible, look to breakdown these questions down into two parts:
1st part – Fact
2nd part – Question
Examples of questions to ask:
LinkedIn snooper question (based on the interviewers background):
- Fact – “I see that you’ve been with [COMPANY NAME] for 10 years and been promoted 4 times in this period.”
- Question – “What three things do you put your success down to over the passed 10 years?”
Questions based on the company’s achievements
- Fact – “I see that your turnover grew a whopping 46% between 2017-2018 from £10 million to £14.6 million?”
- Question – “If you were to put this success down to one thing or change, what would it be?”
Questions based on new products or services
- Fact – “I see that you introduced [PRODUCT NAME] in 2018”
- Question – “Was this down to customer demand from 2017? And how did this introduction affect overall sales in 2018?”
End of the interview – Close the interview!
Make sure you always close the interview, exactly as you’d close a sales deal!
When you go back to your partner or meet your mates after an interview, if you answer ‘I don’t know’ to the question of ‘how did it go?’ – you haven’t closed the interview well enough!
An example of a close:
“Thank you so much for making the time to meet me today, I’m incredibly interested in the role with [COMPANY NAME]. Do you have any reservations about my suitability for the role?”
If the answer is yes – squash these reservations
If the answer is no – “great, what are the next steps?” (And proceed to get this next meeting booked in directly)
The questions you ask during an interview will separate a good candidate from a great candidate – so make sure you think them through. Hopefully these help but if you have any further questions before your next interview, reach out to any of the Robertson Sumner team who would be more than happy to help.